Spotlight on: Lowndes
Hometown: Valdosta, Georgia
Group: GA Class AAAAA
By Adam C. Warner
After a sound 22-7 victory over Georgia power Peachtree Ridge (State PR: 41.00, Rank: 43) on September 5, the Lowndes Vikings passed their first major test of the season and appear poised to capture their fourth state championship in five years in 2008.
The Vikings have come a long way since their first year as a program in 1966 when the squad finished 1-8-1 (Lowndes would go 26-66-3 during its first 10 seasons).
But in 1976, head coach Joe Wilson ushered in a new era in Vikings football and guided the team to a 95-49 overall mark in his 13 years at the helm – all while steering the team to two regional titles and one state championship.
And ever since, the Vikings (currently ranked No. 2 in our latest Mega Division Top Ten Poll) have earned the distinction by media and coaches alike as a state and national juggernaut.
Most recently, with head coach Randy McPherson at the reigns, the Vikings have never enjoyed more success. The squad is 68-12 over the last six plus seasons with four regional titles and three state
championships. Meanwhile, with an assembly line of talent coming through – including Randall Godfrey, Vincent Burns and Jay Ratliff in recent seasons -- Lowndes hasn’t even endured a losing campaign since 1994.
Lately, the team has garnered national attention when ESPN named Lowndes’ hometown of Valdosta, Georgia as TitleTown USA (beating out Boston, New York and Columbus in the process). During the spring, fans across the nation nominated towns and cities across the country based on their championship pedigree and a panel reviewed the nominees, culminating in a fan vote to determine the winner.
Meanwhile this season, Lowndes continues to make headlines as ESPNRise’s No. 2 team in the nation and PrepNation’s No. 4 squad. Already at 3-0 this year after impressive wins with playmakers Greg
Reid and Gerald Demps leading the way, one can be sure that the Vikings will make another run at a state title – all while turning heads along the way.
Next up: Friday, September 19 vs. Colquitt County (State PR: 90.00, Ranking: 16).