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Big lessons

I was incredibly impressed last night as I watched the girls state basketball final. As I looked around I kept noticing North Medford cheerleaders and the North Medford girls basketball team still present. My mind thought, my goodness, those girls have a long drive ahead of them and it's getting late. When it was time to announce the teams, out on the court were Craters' cheerleaders, North Medford's cheerleaders and the North Medford girls basketball team. They all were cheering on each Crater player as they were announced.

They didn't have to be there. In a time when at games you hear fans chanting back and forth, It's all over! Is this your varsity team? It was AWESOME to see the Southern Oregon Conference setting the example for the state of Oregon.

As the game came to a close and Oregon City's crowd was getting quite full of themselves, a slow rumbling was heard, it started quietly and then they made their statement. Instead of saying the regular obnoxious things back they were chanting SOC, SOC, SOC, Southern Oregon Conference.

That is what sports is about -- celebrating competition, each game, each team, even though they might be your cross-town rival. My hat is off to the North Medford girls basketball team, their coach, cheerleaders, the North Medford crowd, and the Crater girls basketball team and their coach, David Heard, for their outstanding performance in the playoffs, and for teaching the state of Oregon how to celebrate, sportsmanship, courage and showing amazing amounts of integrity.

We could all learn some big lessons from their example. You are true champions.


Report real sports

I was saddened to read that the Mail Tribune on March 9 chose to continue to feature in 20 inches of type Mr. Sprewell's unsavory, anti-social, antagonistic behavior instead of devoting ANY, I repeat ANY, mention whatsoever of the progress of the disabled Olympics or follow-ups of the stellar accomplishments of local athletics.

Your sports writers and editors should report news of real sports action and not glamorize the staged remarks of a wrongdoer.

-- Ray R. Tharp, Central Point