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October 1, 2012

Propst points finger at rivals

MOULTRIE —  Colquitt County coach Rush Propst has a video that appears to show a Thomas County Central middle school coach watching Friday’s Lowndes-Colquitt County football game through binoculars and then talking to Lowndes coaches in the press box.

And Propst indicated that he and the high school administration will gather information about the incident and forward it to the Georgia High School Association.

The video has gone viral and has caused a furor around the Colquitt County fieldhouse.

Propst says he believes there was a conspiracy between Thomas County Central and Lowndes coaches to steal signs.

“There is no question in my mind that this is a major rules violation,” Propst said Monday. “I can’t see where it wouldn’t be violation.”

Lowndes coach Randy McPherson responded on Monday, telling the Valdosta Daily Times: "We are being accused of cheating. We don't cheat at Lowndes.

"I'm proud of the way our team played hard for four quarters last Friday night and executed the game play that our coaches developed without any external assistance."

Lowndes High Principal Jay Floyd added, "For someone to make that accusation, that is a strong statement against our employees. I feel like you need to be in a position where you can support that.

"You just don't need to be loosely making those accusations You are talking about guys that have several years of coaching experience, that are high-integrity and high character. That part is a bit disappointing and I am going to be in touch a little later this week with their principal, Mr. Bob Jones."

Jones said he did not discuss the matter on Monday.

The video, shot by the parent of a Colquitt County player, shows a man who appears to be Thomas County middle school coach Buzz Payne sitting in the last row under the visitors press box and directly underneath the open window in front of the Lowndes coaching staff.

The man appears to be conversing with the coaches in the press box after looking through binoculars.

"I have seen the video and I have never seen the man in the video," McPherson told The Daily Times. "He is in no way associated with our program. I even asked my coaches if they could hear him — they couldn't. I can't help what some fan does in the stands."

Payne coached the running backs at Colquitt County in 2010, but left after the season to take a job at Valdosta. He returned this season to Thomas County Central, where he coached for several years before coming to Moultrie.

See Tuesday's edition for more details.

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