Valdosta Daily Times


May 4, 2008

Column: Are we TitleTown USA?

ESPN is searching the United States, trying to find TitleTown USA. They ought to look at Valdosta.

After all, this city does know a thing or two about winning titles.

Valdosta is one of 68 nominees for the moniker of TitleTown USA, in a contest being held by ESPN. Now it’s up to the people of Valdosta to let the self-proclaimed Worldwide Leader in Sports know why we deserve to be called TitleTown USA.

ESPN is asking for essays and videos letting it know why our town is deserving of that prestigious nickname. The network is accepting them from now until May 16.

“To nominate a town, city or municipality, submit an essay or video explaining why your town should be crowned TitleTown USA. Judges will consider pride, passion, performance, heritage, history and tradition,” ESPN’s Web site says.

The list of 68 will be narrowed down to 20 by a panel of judges. ESPN will visit those 20 cities this summer, and at the end, fans will be asked to vote online for which city is most deserving of the nickname TitleTown USA.

Valdosta, which has called itself Winnersville for almost 30 years, is competing against cities as big as New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, and towns as small as New Lothrop, Mich. (population 603) and Cavalier, N.D. (1,537).

A lot of those places can’t come close to matching the success we’ve had in Valdosta, though.

We’ve had minor league baseball champions (Valdosta Dodgers and Valdosta Tigers), college national champions (Valdosta State in four different sports), high school national and state champions (Valdosta High and Lowndes High) and little league state champions (Valdosta Boys and Girls Club and Valdosta-Lowndes Recreation, Parks and Community Affairs Department teams).

We’ve had school champions in football, baseball, basketball, golf, wrestling, track, cross country and tennis. We’ve had individual champions in wrestling, track, Taekwondo and mixed martial arts.

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