It’s official: Valdosta has its 900 victories.
The Valdosta Wildcats became the first high school football program — and just the second at any level — to earn 900 victories, and they did so by topping their biggest rival, the Lowndes Vikings, in the 2016 Winnersville Classic by a final score of 38-13.
Only the University of Michigan with 915 has more wins.
The rivalry game — the schools have played since the late 1960s — has traditionally been contested late in the season, but was moved up to the opening week of the 2016 season due to shifts in classification sizes in the state. That forced the scheduling of regional games in the weeks when the Winnersville Classic would have previously been played.
Despite the identity of the opponent, Valdosta earned its 900th victory — the first for new head coach Alan Rodemaker — with notable ease. The Wildcats jumped out to an early lead and held an 18-7 edge at halftime. That advantage expanded in the third quarter thanks to a punt return touchdown by Jayce Rogers, a Tevin Gray score and a later interception return for a touchdown that set up the eventual margin of victory.
Yet it was the significance of the win that stood out most clearly, with anyone connected with the Valdosta community quick to join in the celebration of Titletown’s 900th victory.
Can you blame their enthusiasm? It’s not every day that you earn win No. 900, let alone when you do it against your archrival.