Valdosta tries for first state title since 1998

Walking in the halls of Valdosta High School, you get a sense that this is more than just your average football week. Banners, signs, and t-shirts blanket the school as a reminder that the only place to be this weekend is the Georgia Dome when Valdosta takes on Westside-Macon.

"It's so exciting", says Valdosta High Cheerleader Ashlee Aurandt, "We are playing in the same place as the Falcons play. It's amazing...We're so proud of the guys."

The fans may relish in all the pomp and circumstance, but Head Coach Rick Darlington isn't buying in to the rah-rah of the Dome just yet.

"As a coach, I have tunnel vision", says Darlington, "People make a big deal about it, but it's not the end all. There is still one more step after this. We want to win a state title. We don't want to get into the mentality of we've arrived...we're on a mission, and the mission isn't done yet."

A 9 game win streak has the city of Valdosta in a frenzy, and the thought of the Cats first state title since 1998 makes it that much more exciting.

"Westside is real good", says Darlington, "they have a great coach. You don't win 300 games for nothing. They have a great back, he's gone for over 6,000 yards in his career, 2,000 this year. They are very efficient on offense, very efficient on'll be a big test for us this weekend."

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