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The Blazers open the season on the road against Albany State on Sept. 7 at 7 p.m. They return home for the 2019 home-opener against Ohio Dominican on Sept. 14 at 6 p.m.

Giving back: Blazers host scrimmage, drills for community

As fall sports creeps upon much of America, the Blazers’ football team decided to give back to the community before the season begins.

On Aug. 24, students and the community were able to watch the defending national champions as they scrimmaged in their annual Meet the Blazers event.

All who attended met their favorite student-athletes following the live scrimmage.

Redshirt-sophomore Rogan Wells, the VSU starting quarterback, threw a bevy of passes. His targets, such as Kenny Benjamin and Lio’undre Gallimore made spectacular one-handed catches that awed the VSU faithful.

The veteran defense, led by linebacker Nick Moss and defensive lineman, Joe Mozone, made the scrimmage that much more interesting. There’s an unwritten rule for players to not injure others in scrimmages, so they can be prepared for Saturday’s.

Nobody was carted off the field.

The all-around efforts in the scrimmage showed a brotherhood and promising leadership skills, according to Head Coach Gary Goff,

“The leadership is starting to emerge right now,” he said, who is entering his first season as the Blazers head coach. “Definitely something I’m focusing on. They’re a tight knit group right now and I think that’s one of the reasons this program has had a lot of success.”

The team welcomed the students and the community onto the field to do some of the drills as they were up close and personal. Very fast, the scrimmage turned into something much more.

Instead of pads clanking against one another, cheering and dancing from children is all one could hear after they completed specific drills.

Whether it was a game of catch with Wells, tackling a football bag with the defensive backs or racing some of the wide receivers, it was hard not to notice the smiles.

Goff expects the excitement between the team and community to be the norm.

“We have to give back to the community” he said. “One thing that makes Valdosta so special is the community supports you in so many different ways. It’s good for our kids to recognize that and try to help as well.”

Written by Jacolby Porter, Staff Writer. Photo courtesy of VSU Athletics.

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