August 30, 2013

Blazers Start Next National Title Defense in Macon

VALDOSTA -- After winning their third national football championship in Division II play, the Valdosta State Blazers are looking to start their next national title defense in Macon. The Blazers will face off against state rival Fort Valley State University, at 2 p.m., Sept. 7, at Henderson Stadium.

For Blazer players, defensive end Tevin Davis and linebacker Chris Pope, the game represents a chance to play before a hometown crowd.

Davis, a junior from Forsyth, Ga., played high school football at Mary Persons where he helped the Bulldogs to a 7-3 record. 

“This will be like a welcome home game,” said Davis, who started all 14 games in the 2012 season. “I have a lot of supporters back home coming to the game…a lot of family and friends who have supported me.” 

Davis, who recorded 67 tackles last year, is excited that his younger brother Malik Herring, a member of the Mary Persons High School football team, will be in attendance at Saturday’s game.

Pope, a senior from Jackson, Ga., said the match-up against Fort Valley State is also a chance for him to play before friends and family, especially his 4-year-old son Keylan.

“A lot of my family who live in Monticello will be coming to the game,” said Pope, who starts the 2013 season ranked eighth in career tackles at VSU with 280, just 88 away from the school record. “My immediate family come to the games in Valdosta, but more relatives and friends are planning to come to this game because it so close.”

Davis and Pope both started in the 2012 national championship game against Winston-Salem State University and agree that the best part of being a Blazer is the winning tradition.

“There is a winning atmosphere at Valdosta State,” said Pope, who is majoring in psychology. “Losing is not an option, nothing less is accepted and that is exciting and a challenge.”

Davis, a criminal justice major, agrees that he has a lot of pride in being a Blazer.

“I really like the winning program and being part of a tradition,” said Davis. “The game means so much, I want to be in the same place that we ended up last year. We want this to be a good start.”

VSU’s Alumni Association has activities planned throughout the weekend, beginning at 6:30 p.m., Sept. 6, with a reception at the Tic Toc Banquet Room, 408 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Hosted by VSU’s Middle Georgia Alumni Chapter, the reception offers a chance for alumni to mingle, catch up and network.

On Saturday, Blazer fans are invited to join the pregame tailgating at 11 a.m., before the 2 p.m. kickoff at Henderson Stadium. Cost for tailgating is $10 per person, with food provided by Fresh Air BBQ. For more information, contact VSU’s Office of Alumni Relations at 229-333-5797.

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Implementation of the plan’s five goals, along with their accompanying objectives and strategies, supports VSU’s institutional mission and the University System of Georgia’s mission for comprehensive universities.

The story above demonstrates VSU's commitment to meeting the following goals:

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