Monday, July 28, 2008

Valdosta named ESPN’s “TitleTown USA”

Governor Sonny Perdue today congratulated the city of Valdosta on being selected as ESPN’s “TitleTown USA.”

“While we all know of Valdosta’s football reputation, this contest also showed the city’s tremendous sense of community spirit and pride,” Governor Perdue said. “From the massive turnout at the ESPN taping to the wide margin of victory in the winning vote, it was clear that Valdosta would be as tough to beat in this competition as their teams are on the football field.”

“TitleTown USA” was a month-long competition on ESPN’s flagship show, “SportsCenter.” Sports fans from around the nation submitted nominations for what they considered to be “TitleTown USA” and voted on which town or city they felt best deserved this distinction. Out of more than 3,000 different applicants, 20 finalists were chosen. Valdosta, one of the smaller cities up for the award and the only city from the state of Georgia, competed against major U.S. cities such as Los Angeles, New York, Boston and Detroit.

“This award truly represents the heart and soul of this great community,” said Valdosta Mayor John J. Fretti. “The excitement and unity shown for this effort proves that the Winnersville spirit transcends all aspects of our community. Valdosta will make our community, the state, and the nation proud!”

Valdosta is known throughout the region as “Winnersville USA.” This nickname has come about over the course of the past century as schools in Valdosta have won an unprecedented amount of championships. In all, Valdosta schools have won more than 450 titles. These titles have ranged across the spectrum of sports and at different levels of competition. It is, however, the football field that truly has set Valdosta apart from the rest of the nation.

Valdosta is home to Valdosta High School, which has won 23 state championships, 40 region championships and 6 national titles over the past 86 years on course to becoming the nation’s winningest high school football team with a win percentage of over 80 percent.

Lowndes High School has also shined on the football field having won 5 state titles, including 3 out of the last 4 state AAAAA titles.

Valdosta’s domination on the grid iron has also taken place at the collegiate level. Valdosta State University has established itself as one of the top college football programs in the country having won two Division II National Championships in the past 4 years.

Just this year, Lowndes High School won the football state championship, Valdosta State University won the national championship and Valdosta native J.D. Drew was named the Most Valuable Player of the Major League Baseball All-Star Game.

ESPN will officially crown Valdosta as “TitleTown USA” on “Sports Center” which airs at 6 p.m.

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