OPINION

Good Morning: It is Battle of the Ax time, yet again

Michael Hutchins
Herald Democrat
Michael Hutchins

There are many things about sports that I don't get or understand. I've never followed professional sports, teams or players, or the fine art of the game — regardless of what game we are talking about.

I say all of this to note that even I understand the importance of the game that will be played Friday night in Texoma between Sherman and Denison. In the eight years that I've been with the Herald Democrat, it is one of the events that brings out the crowds each and every year without fail.

It is the week for Battle of the Ax, where the Sherman Bearcats and Denison Yellow Jackets face off on the football field for both the right to carry the ax for the next year and all the bragging rights that come with it.

It doesn't take a sports fan or expert to understand the appeal of the hometown rivalry, and it certainly doesn't take one to get behind. In many ways, I am reminded of when I was in high school back in my home town of Grand Prairie. In my four years in high school, I attended all of four football games. Without fail, I would show up to support the Gophers in the annual contest between Grand Prairie and South Grand Prairie.

I think that same energy can be felt in the Battle of the Ax and many hometown rivalries across the state. While the reasons for the rivalry, and length vary the spirit of competition is always the same.

In the days leading up to the game, I've already seen that spirit around town as anticipation for the big game grows. I've seen it through the various events ahead of the game and just in talking with people.

In a way, some of those events, including those aimed at raising supplies of funds for local causes, are the best part of the week for me. Rather than lettering the friendly rivalry go overboard, the cities can keep it on the playing field but use the same energy for a good cause.