Valdosta State football coach David Dean said the lines of communication are open to return the neighboring rival Rams to their schedule.
MACON — Valdosta State coach David Dean admits there is something missing from his team’s 2012 schedule.
Tuesday’s annual Peach State Pigskin Preview at the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in Macon is liable to be the only time Dean and Albany State coach Mike White cross paths this season, but that is something Dean would like to change.
“One day we will get (ASU) back on our schedule,” Dean said. “We would love to play them because of the proximity, but there are underlying issues of when you have to schedule and what you have to do.”
The two South Georgia teams renewed their 30-year-old rivalry last season for the first time since 2007, but it was just a one-year contract that didn’t carry over to this season. When it was revealed in March that ASU and Valdosta wouldn’t meet on the gridiron this year, White said he hoped the schools could get a matchup “worked out for a lot of reasons, for traveling purposes as much as anything.”
Dean said the schools couldn’t find a date to continue the series because ASU’s conference “schedules games early and late in the season, while the Gulf South Conference does games late in the year, so finding that one date that would mesh for both of us is really difficult.”
Dean then added: “A lot of their players are from South Georgia and a lot of our players are from South Georgia, so they know each other and play against each other in high school. It’s kind of the bragging rights of South Georgia football when we play Albany State, but the most important thing for us is when we play Albany State we play really good competition. It gets us ready for our conference, because their athletes are very similar to the ones we play in our conference.”
Valdosta State won last year’s game, 30-27, and has won 14 of the 15 total matchups in the series. Dean said he hopes the rivalry is renewed soon.
“Those lines of communication are always there,” he said. “Our guys look forward to playing them, and I know they look forward to playing us.”