The tradition of intense rivalry in the Winnersville Classic is long and deep.

The stakes seem even higher tonight as the Valdosta Wildcats try to beat the Lowndes Vikings at Martin Stadium. The Wildcats have lost the last two competitions.

But instead of asking who has the best high school football team in town on Saturday, we'll want to know which team exhibited the best sportsmanship in town.

We're looking for exemplary behavior from not just the players, but the coaches, officials, parents and fans. We routinely hear of stories, even from the level of Little League fields, where referees are reviled, and fans fight. Despite the fierce competition in this town, we have not usually seen this happen.

It's easy to get too excited and to believe that being the best justifies any action. Anyone can get caught up in the heat of the moment or the emotion you feel after losing or winning.

We remind everyone that being a true winner also means knowing how to handle it when you lose. We expect both the Wildcats and Vikings will be true winners tonight, regardless of the final score.



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