Valdosta Daily Times

Local Sports

May 14, 2008

Titletown deadline approaching

VALDOSTA — The deadline is fast approaching for the people of Valdosta to let ESPN know why this city deserves the moniker TitleTown USA.

Valdosta is one of 68 cities nominated in ESPN’s national contest to determine which American city is TitleTown USA. The network 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).

The city has over 100 championships — either national or state — between its local schools and individual athletes. In football alone, Valdosta schools own 31 state high school championships, six mythical national high school championships and two Division II college championships.

Videos and essays will be accepted through May 16. A nationwide panel will then select 19 of the 20 finalists. Fans will vote to determine the 20th town from May 26-30 on espn.com. SportsCenter will announce the 20 finalists in June and will broadcast live from those cities starting on July 4.

After all of the cities have been visited, fans will vote for the town they believe deserves to be called TitleTown USA, and the winner will be announced July 27 on SportsCenter.

To submit an entry into the contest, go to ESPN’s Web site (sports.espn.go.com/espn/titletown/index) and follow the directions.

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