Lowndes beats Valdosta in Winnersville Golf Tournament
VALDOSTA, Ga. (WCTV) - Although the pandemic put a halt to most fundraising events for Lowndes and Valdosta high schools during rival week this year, the 12th Annual Winnersville Golf Tournament was in full swing Thursday.
48 Lowndes and Valdosta High School alumni, businessmen and other community members took the high school football competition into their own hands with the Ryder Cup-style match play.
Half of the golfers wore grey striped shirts representing Lowndes High, and the other half wore blue striped shirts representing Valdosta High.
“Naturally, the rivalry has created a competition,” Lowndes High team captain Taylor Biddle said.
The tournament is sponsored by the Azalea City Civic Club, and $5,000 from the proceeds are donated to both Lowndes and Valdosta school foundations. Over the years, the group has raised $110,000 for the two organizations in total.
“For, you know, a lot of stuff being canceled and maybe not being able to raise the kind of money that they typically do, we’re just fortunate to be able to do that and be able to provide in the way that we can through this tournament,” Skip Long, the team captain for Valdosta High, said.
Just before tee off, the two head football coaches for Lowndes and Valdosta spoke to the crowd.
“It’s, I think, one of the mega-rivalries in the nation,” Lowndes High’s Coach Jamey DuBose said. “We’re excited about the opportunity, or I am, this Friday night. I know our players are, too.”
New to their teams, Friday marks both coaches' first-ever Winnersville Classic.
“It’s a big game, a huge game,” Valdosta High’s Coach Rush Propst told WCTV. “We’ll see, come tomorrow night at 8 o’clock, if we’ve done enough. I think we’ve worked very hard, probably too hard.”
Tickets for the game are still available, which is rare.
LaVerne Rome, a spokesperson for the Lowndes County Board of Education, tells WCTV it’s the first Classic she can remember that has not sold out.
Valdosta City Schools' Superintendent Dr. Todd Cason tells WCTV although Winnersville tickets sales are lower this year, he believes it will still be the biggest game of the season.
“We’re still in the middle of a global pandemic, and of course it’s going to be televised,” he said. “So those two factors, I think, are impacting the sale of tickets this year.”
The game will be broadcasted on ESPN2.
“From our band to our cheerleading and, of course, our football program, it’s great national exposure for them, and we’re just excited they have this opportunity,” Dr. Cason said.
The golf team representing Lowndes won the Winnersville tourney. Checks and trophies will be presented to both school foundations underneath the Friday night lights prior to kickoff.
You can purchase tickets for the Winnersville Classic Friday morning at the Lowndes County School Board building from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m. or the Valdosta City School’s Superintendent Office from 8 a.m. until 12 p.m.
Kickoff is set for 8 p.m.
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