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Sportsmanship top priority tonight

There probably aren’t more than a handful of residents who wouldn’t be ecstatic to hear tonight that Ironton High School sent the Martins Ferry Purple Riders packing.

Friday, November 03, 2000

There probably aren’t more than a handful of residents who wouldn’t be ecstatic to hear tonight that Ironton High School sent the Martins Ferry Purple Riders packing.

Nothing would be better than ending the year with another state championship for the Fighting Tigers to put into the school trophy case.

But while winning is important and all of Ironton will be cheering for the team, there should be another goal in the Fighting Tigers playbook – good sportsmanship.

Winning at all costs should not be a part of any Ironton victory – and has not been for the decades that the team has been winning.

Ironton teams have always been an example of good sportsmanship across the state. This is no time to dump that reputation.

And the fans should take a page from that book as well.

No matter what the outcome of tonight’s contest, the Tigers should be proud of their performance on and off the field.

And any fan who is less than supportive of a loss doesn’t deserve to be around for a win.

The same is true for the opposing team. No one knows for sure if the Purple Riders subscribe to the same high standards as the Tigers, but no high school student should be the object of jeers or physical harm.

So, go to the game, have fun and cheer on the Tigers.

But, remember to be proud of not just the skill with which Ironton plays football, but of the quality of the young men we put on the field. Then, there is no way we can’t win.