VALDOSTA, Ga. (WTXL) — There are a few rivalry match-ups that need no introduction. The Winnersville Classic is one of those games. Valdosta travels to Lowndes this year, and if you follow high school football, you know the significance of this game. Bragging rights for the rest of the year are on line, it's also a Region game, and it's a rivalry six decades plus strong.
While Valdosta owns this rivalry all time, the Vikings have dominated over the last two decades. Lowndes is winners of 14 of the last 20, and are heading into this year's game winners of five straight.
"You're going to talk about this when you're 50, 60, 70," said Lowndes head coach Zach Grage. "The guys will talk about it in the barber shop. It's important for this season because the Region ramifications, but also important for the rest of your life to have those bragging rights in town. You can't explain it."
"Everybody comes out to this game and it means a lot to the people who have been here a long time," added Valdosta's Shelton Felton. "I've heard from everybody this week and they're looking forward to a great game on Friday."
Lowndes is under a new head coach this season in Grage, and while he may be new in Winnersville, he knows how big this game is. Felton is bringing an undefeated Wildcat squad into this match-up, a squad who's given up less than 30 points in six games.
You can throw stats out of the window though, as this is Winnersville, and anything can happen.
"I think it'll be two great teams getting after it," said Grage. "It's going to come down to who's able to execute the best. It goes back to that fundamental football we've talked about."
"We have to play Wildcat football. We have to play physical and fast, and we can't turn the ball over," said Felton. "We have to create turnovers, and we have to be solid in all three phases. If we do all three of those things, I like our chances at the end of the fourth quarter."
The Winnersville Classic kicks off Friday night at 8:00 at the Concrete Palace.