VALDOSTA, Ga. (WTXL) — The Valdosta State Blazers ran through their first fall practice Friday morning. The 2018 NCAA Division II national champions went 14-0 last season. This is a different year, with a lot of returning starters, but also with a new head coach.
New head coach Gary Goff explained the months since he arrived in Valdosta flew by. Coach, along with his staff and players, are more than excited to get back on the practice field and prepare for the 2019 season. "There was a lot of energy and excitement. I mean, it's been a quick six months, but I'm so thankful to get back out here today to start the work, because now it counts, now it matters."
Valdosta State came out as national champs. However, like any coach will say, that does not matter too much for the 2019 season. Coach Goff said his team will still work in practice the way they know they should. "Nine years ago, I took over one of the worst programs at this level. I still went to work every day with a good attitude, worked extremely hard, and we expected to line up and win on Saturdays. Now, this happens to be I'm taking over the #1 team, but the job doesn't change," explained Goff. "We still expect to show up to work everyday and work hard and we expect to take the field and win on Saturday."
Goff added that winning is now guaranteed on Saturdays in the fall. He said he has explained that to his staff and players. "Block out that white noise, that's for the media, and that's great and we are very appreciative of it, but we have to worry about today and worry about getting better all the time."
Valdosta state's season opener is at Albany State on September 7th.