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Posted: September 14, 2013 12:24 p.m.

Rams celebrate, ready for Wildcats

Matt Smith/

The Newton Rams had a bye week after defeating Lowndes 15-14 a week ago, giving the team two weeks to prepare for Valdosta this Friday.

It was a busy celebratory week for the Newton High varsity football team, but amidst all the fanfare and accolades, the Rams aren't ready to call their season a success after just one surprising victory.

Newton coach Terrance Banks said the program has been working on the mental game as much as physical stamina after defeating Lowndes 15-14 last week.

"We've been working on our mental toughness and how to handle success," Banks said. "It's the most important thing we need to work on."

After posting a momentum-building win over the Vikings a week ago, Banks said that his players have shown a lot of maturity in victory.

"We have good senior leadership," Banks said. "I had a group of seniors come and talk to me this week after we were named the Fox 5 Team of the Week. The program earned the same honor three years ago. The team was 6-0 and ranked No. 10 in the state and they lost its last four games before the playoffs.

"The kids were apprehensive about us winning, but I told them that this was a different team," he said. "That's leadership right there. We're not tied down to the accolades, because we expected to beat Lowndes. We expect to beat Valdosta."

Banks said that as long as the program keeps its overall goals in sight, it should have no problem handling success.

"Our number one goal is to be the best Newton we can be," he said. "If we do what we're supposed to do, I think it's going to be hard for anyone to beat us."

As for his first win as Newton's head coach, Banks believes it's a moment he won't forget.

"It was something that I've dreamed about since they hired me," he said. "It was a surreal experience. I was running around all over the field. It felt good to get my first win, but it's just a reflection of my players."

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