Twenty-nine state titles. Forty-five Region 1 championships. A full year’s worth of bragging rights. These are just some of the highlights of tonight’s “Winnersville Classic” between No. 9 Lowndes and Valdosta. Despite trailing the overall series 33-16, the Vikings have won seven in a row and 10 of 12 against their intra-country rivals. Head coach Randy McPherson’s program has won five Region 1-AAAAA titles and three state championships in addition to yearly bragging rights over the Wildcats. After being Valdosta’s “little brother” for a few decades, the Vikings have turned the tables and now dominate the series. Both teams enter the game 5-1 and will be playing their region opener. A win virtually assures a playoff spot, as four of the five Region 1 programs will move on to the postseason. A loss would be devastating to either team’s region title hopes. … In one of the more balanced rivalries in Region 1, Tift County will travel to Colquitt County for their second region game of the year, while it will be the region opener for the Packers. Colquitt County leads the series 20-16, but the Blue Devils have won three of five. A win would be gigantic for Tift County, which lost their region opener to Coffee last week. For Rush Propst’s squad, however, lofty goals of region and state titles would be in doubt if they were to lose this game. … Class A No. 1 Charlton County will host No. 3 Wilcox County tonight at The Swamp in Folkston. The two programs have combined to win four state titles since 2004, with the Indians taking home hardware in 2004, 2005 and 2006 and the Patriots winning the title in 2009. Both teams are undefeated.
Stephen Black is managing editor at Score Atlanta, a full service Atlanta-based sports marketing company and media partner with GPB Sports.