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January 4, 2013

Hot Vikings, Dean ready for cold Green Bay

TIFTON — If you saw the playoff standings for the National Football Conference four weeks ago, the Minnesota Vikings were in the back very hanging on with a 6-6 record.

The Vikings have since won four straight games and qualified for the playoffs with a 37-34 win over the Green Bay Packers last week at home at Mall of America Field.

With the victory, the Vikings earned a rematch with the Packers at 8 p.m. tonight in Green Bay, where the temperature is expected to be 16 degrees at presstime.

The cold conditions will add something to the team’s third meeting of the year. The other game saw the Packers win 23-14 Dec. 2 at Green Bay.

Vikings’ special team ace, and Tifton native, Larry Dean said his teammates and himself have looked at their final four regular season games as playoff tilts.

“That has been the mentality we have had, we need to win or go home,” said Dean. “But we have been playing some good ball and taking it one game at a time.”

Dean said the teams playing for the third time this season should not affect either side.

“We are very familiar with each other and we know what the other likes to do, there is no real advantage for either side as far as I can see,” said Dean.

One thing hasn’t crossed his mind, Dean said, and that’s the possibility of playing in his home state.

With the Vikings being the No. 6 seed in the NFC, a win over Green Bay would mean Minnesota would play at Atlanta, the No. 1 seed, in the next round. The Falcons have a bye this week.

“I have not even though that far ahead to be honest. I am staying focused on the task at hand and that’s beating Green Bay,” said Dean.

While it is a long way from Tifton, local fans can see Dean play tonight. as the Vikings-Packers game will be broadcast nationally on NBC, and will be shown locally on WALB.

“We have had a great season, and I am excited that we can be on national television, so the folks back in Tifton can watch my teammates and I play,” said Dean.

“I appreciate all of the support that people in Tifton, and all over South Georgia have shown me,” said Dean. “I hope I am doing a good job of representing them.”

Game time is 8 tonight.

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  • public safety awards.tif

    Pictured are the honorees of Thursday night's annual Public Safety Officer Appreciation and Awards Banquet by the Tifton Elks Lodge. Shown, from left, are Louise Spradley, who organized the banquet, Eddie Brown with the Tift County Emergency Medical Services, Sgt. Debbie Pyles with the Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College Police Department, Sgt. Bart Walker with the Omega Police Department, Officer of the Year honoree Thomas Catanzarita with the Tift County Sheriff's Office Jail Division, Deputy Jonathan Toledo with the TCSO, Brandi Conway with the Tifton-Tift County Animal Shelter, Georgia State Patrol Trooper Ben Taylor, Officer Brian Shockley with the Tifton Police Department and volunteer Firefighter Brian Fincher with the Chula Fire Department.

    LEOs and first responders honored at banquet

    A room full of local law enforcement and first responders were honored Thursday night by the Tifton Elks Lodge at their annual Public Safety Officer Appreciation and Awards Banquet for their service in the community.
    Prior to the awards being given out, Louise Spradley, who organized the banquet, welcomed everyone, and the invocation and pledge were led by the Tift County Sheriff's Office Honor Guard.

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