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Seniors looking to finish strong for Vidalia

VIDALIA — Dantrell Saul is looking to make his senior night memorable.

The Vidalia High School fullback/defensive end has been through some tough years playing for the Vikings. But with Buckeye High School coming to town Friday, Saul said he has tunnel vision for the final game of his high school career.

“I want to win,” Saul said. “I want to go out with a bang. I can’t have no bad memories about my last high school game.”

Head coach Gary Parnham Jr. said he’s been happy with the way his seniors have worked hard throughout the season, and he’s also hopeful they can make their final game memorable.

“They’ve been a pretty good group overall,” Parnham said. “They’ve played hard and have really tried to do everything they could to turn the program around, They’ve had great attitudes and have worked hard all year.”

Parnham also said the seniors have been able to fight through a disappointing 1-8 season.

“I don’t feel like they’re frustrated,” Parnham said. “I think everyone’s a little frustrated, but they’ve come in with a great attitude and work ethic, and we’ve just fallen a little short.”

Saul said it hasn’t been easy sticking with a team that’s lost a lot of games the last few years.

“It has you down, wanting to quit and go to another school to play football, but I stuck with it,” Saul said. “We’re not the best team, but we’re trying hard and working at it. You can’t give up on your home town.”

And it’s been that hometown pride that has kept Saul at Vidalia High School through the thick and thin.

“It’d be like giving up on your family,” he said. “You can’t abandon your family, your brothers. That’s what all these guys are to me. It’s hard to give up on something you love and the people you love.”

Parnham said Buckeye (7-2, 3-1) would be a tough test for Vidalia, which is winless in district play.

“They’re just tough country boys that get after you,” Parnham said. “They’ve got some good backs, and they just play hard. That’s always been their M.O.”

Parnham said the goal for his team in its final game is simple: play hard.

“Last week, we weren’t as focused as we needed to be,” Parnham said of the Vikings’ 56-6 loss to Caldwell Parish High School.

“It’s the last game for these seniors, so hopefully they’ll take that as an initiative to play hard.”

As Saul looks back on the season, he said one moment will stand out to him: His game-clinching safety in the final minutes of a 10-7 win against Baker High School Sept. 28.

“That was a big memory for me,” Saul said. “I was lit up. I was happy that I made the play. We won the game and overcame that losing streak.”

Kickoff is at 7 p.m. Friday at Vidalia.