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Lowndes takes on Valdosta in 54th annual Winnersville Classic

Published: Sep. 24, 2021 at 9:15 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Lowndes and Valdosta High Schools are set to compete Friday night in the 54th annual Winnersville Classic football match. It’s expected to be a sell-out, with the U.S army parachute team jumping in to deliver the game ball.

For over half a century, this has been the rivalry not just in South Georgia, but maybe all of high school sports.

Lowndes head man Jamey DuBose talking about the emotion of this game Friday morning at the pep rally held in Martin Stadium.

Playing against old friends, neighbors, the attention of the whole region on your shoulders - it’s all particularly daunting, especially when you have a roster as young as the Vikings. But DuBose has been preaching a simple message to his locker room all week: You gotta worry about the game and let everyone else worry about everything else.

”We talked to our players the other day this game’s got a lot to it I get it but for a football player it’s about us playing the game, let the fans be the ones that are enjoying it but at the end of the day it’s our job to go out and perform,” said Coach DuBose. “And you know it’s not the team that’s gonna make plays, it’s the team that’s gonna execute, everybody’s gonna make plays but we’re gonna have to execute throughout four quarters to get a win tomorrow night.”

The visiting Valdosta Wildcats know how big this game is for their season. With no eligibility for the playoffs this year, this is their Super Bowl.

First year head coach Shelton Felton says they’ve figured out who their playmakers are. They’re going to have to run the ball well, try and contain Jacurri Brown as best as they can and leave it all out on the field to win the Winnersville Classic for the first time since 2016.

”Ah man it would mean a lot to these kids. And it would mean a lot to me for these kids because my seniors have been through a lot. Not an ordinary senior class probably in the history of football, of high school football. Some of them didn’t leave. They fought through it knowing at the end of the season there isn’t a 10th game,” said Coach Felton. “So to be able to flip the rival back to our side before they leave high school would be a big tribute to them and a big honor to do it, so it would mean a lot for these guys to win Friday.”

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