September 10, 2015

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

Barbecue or Pecans: VSU President, WSSU Chancellor Agree to Friendly Wager

VALDOSTA — Dr. Cecil P. Staton, interim president of Valdosta State University, can already taste the succulent, vinegar-kissed barbecue pork he will feast upon when his three-time Division II National Championship Blazers defeat the Winston-Salem State University Rams during the second annual Cobb County Clash Saturday.

"I just got off the phone with Chancellor Elwood Robinson of Winston-Salem State,” he said Wednesday. “We agreed to a friendly wager regarding the big game. If VSU wins, Chancellor Robinson is going to send me some North Carolina barbecue. If WSSU wins, I will send Chancellor Robinson some South Georgia pecans.”

Staton is not the least bit concerned, although he expects Robinson will be highly motivated to win this bet. There is, after all, no comparison to freshly harvested Georgia pecans.

“A week ago VSU was ranked No. 16 in the nation,” he said. “This week, we are ranked No. 14, and we have no plans except to continue to progress as the season progresses. We already claimed victory over one set of Rams this season when we defeated Albany State University 21-13 last weekend … and I recall [cough, cough] we defeated the Rams of WSSU during the inaugural Cobb County Clash 22-17 … and then there was that pretty significant 35-7 victory for our third National Championship back in 2012.

“If I may borrow some inspiration from The Hunger Games Trilogy, I do believe the odds are ever in our favor.”

Nearly eight hours away, Robinson is dreaming of his own sweet victory, one that will come in the form of Georgia pecans roasted, spiced, or covered in chocolate. Like Staton, he is not the least bit concerned about the big game. His Rams are 54-9 over the last six seasons.

Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. at McEachern High School’s Cantrell Stadium in Powder Springs. Advance tickets are $15 for adults, $5 for VSU students with valid identification and children ages 5 to 17. Blazer fans who wish to attend should call the Athletics Ticket Office at (229) 333-SEAT (7328).

The VSU Alumni Association and VSU Alumni Chapter of Atlanta will host an alumni reception at 6 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 11, at Maggiano’s at the Cumberland Mall. There will be heavy hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar. This will be followed by a catered tailgate at 4 p.m. on Saturday at the stadium. Visit to register.