The Lovejoy Wildcats won the first Adidas 7-on-7 State Championship Tournament, formerly known as the Southside Shootout, at Warren Holder Park in Locust Grove last summer. Longtime tournament host Clint Satterfield says he's glad to see it grow. (PHOTO: Jason Mussell)

PREP FOOTBALL: Photo Page from Lovejoy’s win over Dutchtown in inaugural Adidas 7-on-7 State Championship Tournament

LOCUST GROVE, Ga. — If their performance in this past week’s inaugural Adidas State Championship 7-on-7 passing league tournament is any indication, the rumors of Lovejoy football’s demise have been greatly exaggerated.

The Wildcats hoisted the first Adidas State Championship trophy, and earned the right — along with three other Georgia teams at the tournament — to compete in Valdosta on July 18 against top teams from Louisiana and Florida. They did it by defeating Dutchtown 21-20 after the potential game winning two-point conversion pass from Dutchtown quarterback K’Lin Epps to D.J. Montgomery was complete, but ruled short of the goal line.

Though just the first major competition of summer football workouts, the win was a huge coup for a Lovejoy team searching for replacements to several key voids left by star players — none bigger than at wide receiver with the graduation of former 5-star recruit and Tennessee signee Preston Williams.

The first-year tournament is an expanded version of the annual Southside Shootout which has been hosted by Locust Grove High for the past eight years.

Southern Crescent Buzz photographer Jason Mussell caught images of Thursday’s championship game held at Warren Holder Park.

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