Hahira, GA - Valwood is down to their last game of the season, which for them is a good thing. One more win will make them state champs.
To Jake Lastinger, one win means everything. Four years ago, when he was a freshman, one win was all this team had.
"I'm proud to have gone one-and-nine and than made that change," he said. "It's a good feeling to turn this program around."
The Valiants edged John Milledge Academy 27-24 in the state semifinals. Now they have to face Westwood, winners of two straight state crowns. But Valwood already beat Westwood in the regular season.
"That was a lifetime ago," Valwood Head Coach Ashley Henderson said. "This bunch has not lost a playoff game in three years that we're playing against. They've won two straight state championships. Very well-coached."
"We're expecting them to come over here with an attitude," Lastinger said. "They've already lost to us once. They know they want to beat us."
Henderson is currently 13-0 in his first year as the Valiants Head Coach.
"It's hardly just me. It's hardly just me," he said. "A lot of the time I get a lot of the credit. But the credit should be spread out to a lot of other people right there."
He refers to the people standing next to him in practice. Players and staff members who embraced change and who intend on making history.
"To get this far, it's an honor," Lastinger said. "And, hopefully, we're going to take it one step farther this Friday night."
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