VALDOSTA -- Valdosta State's men's sports program won the 2003-04 Gulf South Conference all-sports trophy, its third overall and second in the last three years.
"We've had some fine years in last 10, 11 years," Valdosta State athletic director Herb Reinhard said. "Some jump out and this is probably one people look at and say, 'that was a good year,' especially on the men's side.
"The last two or three years, we've had tremendous success. To win the all-sports trophy in Gulf South Conference competition is outstanding."
The Blazers tallied 66.5 points in the men's points race, winning by a fairly large margin over second-place West Florida (56 points). West Florida won the GSC men's all-sports trophy last year.
"We and West Florida have developed a good rivalry," Reinhard said. "They don't have football, but the sports they do have, they're tough."
Valdosta State and West Florida are two of the six GSC schools to compete in six of the seven conference sports. Harding (sixth place) is the only conference school to compete in all seven of the Gulf South's sports.
Four of the Blazers six sports teams qualified to compete in national tournaments. Valdosta State tennis fell one match short of winning the school's second national title, losing the Division II championship game to, guess who, West Florida.
"One of our goals is to win the all-sports trophy," Reinhard said. "If you do that it puts a number of teams in position to have national tournament success. That's what we're working to do. We want to be successful at the conference level, but we want national success as well."
Valdosta State joined the GSC in 1982, but didn't win a conference all-sports men's trophy until 1996-97.
Valdosta State finished 10th in the women's standings with 38.5 points, well behind first-place West Florida (69 points). The Lady Blazers last GSC all-sports trophy came in 2000-01.
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