The Valdosta State Blazers returned home to Titletown celebrating in front of the Blazer faithful on Sunday.
Due to bus problems, it was a delayed trip back to Valdosta. Though, riding with that Division II National Title hardware- the Blazer players didn't seem to mind.
This resilient Blazers team started the season with a 2-2 record, but ran the table the rest of the year- a testament to VSU's chemistry, defense and senior leadership. Head Coach David Dean says that rocky start led the Blazers to this championship finish.
"That woke us up...we realized we've got to play every week. We can't take anybody lightly. I think our kids each week got a little bit better, and that's what we talked about when we got together in August- each week get a little bit better," Dean said.
"It's a lot like the '07 (national champion) team. Those guys we're really close, but I feel like we have more of a family bond than they even had back then. We've really stuck together all season in everything we've done," Defensive End Tyler Josey said.
"One thing we did- we learned how to keep the faith. We kept faith...and in the end it paid off," Offensive lineman Cam Short said.
With Saturday's 35-7 win over Winston-Salem State, Valdosta State claims its third national title ranking the Blazers second in total titles amongst current Division II football programs.