Posted By Sparta Live | September 1, 2011 12:00 am
Some call it the Battle of 111, I just simply call it Sparta/Cookeville week.
That’s what it has always been and guess it always will be for me. I guess because I started following the rivalry before Highway 111 existed. I think I get as pumped up for this game as the players if not more.
You see, in case you didn’t know it, my blood runs just a little darker than red. It’s maroon with a little hint of gray in it. I try my best to be an unbiased sports writer doing my job, but it’s really really hard for me. I’ll be honest I pout when we lose and if we should break the 15-game skid, it will be harder to find anyone happier than me in the stadium. That’s just how I roll; I am Sparta through and through.
You see when I look out there and see those maroon uniforms I see Warriors. White County High School Warriors from Sparta. I am not cheering for one particular person, player or coach. I am cheering for the team, my team. I want them to win as a team.
These young men have put so much hard work into this season. I was up there one morning early (that’s right I said early, but note that I also said ONE morning) during the summer when they were working out. I heard one of the seniors say, “We are going to beat Cookeville this year.” This team wants that win so bad. Shouldn’t we want that for them also?
Now, it’s time for everyone else to do our job. If you support the Warriors, the team that wears maroon and gray, it’s time to do just that. Put aside all the negativity and complaining and let’s come together as one small town that supports their youth. After all, even though some of these are big strong guys, they are still our kids. I have heard enough of the negatives and complaining over the last 20 years. Let’s try something new. Get behind the team and see what they can do for the guys.
The folks to the north of us make jokes and say this isn’t a rivalry anymore. Granted, it has been 15 years since we won a football game against the Cavaliers, but last time I checked, it’s still a rivalry between two schools that don’t really like each other than much. The stadium will be jam packed on both sides. I have watched every one of those last 15 games and every time no matter what the score, no matter where the game was played, the winning team’s student body has stormed onto the field after the game.
It’s still a rivalry. Just like it was a rivalry on the basketball court every time the girls’ basketball teams met between 1983 and 1998. Guess what happened during that 15-year period? The Warriorettes won every game over the Cookeville Lady Cavs. There were at least two games every year and sometimes three. That was at least 30 straight wins by the Warriorettes in that series, but it was still a rivalry and will always be. Just like it always will be in football as long as the two play.
Let’s see the Lady Cavaliers broke the Warriorette dominance after 15 years, maybe that can happen on the football field also.
Cookeville High School has almost twice as many students as WCHS. Twice as many players to choose from and more than twice as many fans that can come out and support. That means we have to have twice as much heart and spirit from this small town. We have never lagged behind in the number of fans despite the difference in size. Let’s keep that going.
Let’s have a sea of maroon to greet our visitors from the north and to support our football team.