After reading the Nov. 15 column by Mr. Kalle Oakes and attending the pre-game dinner, I have to respond.

That night I had one fantastic history lesson in the Lewiston/Edward Little rivalry, and then I heard two great coaches promoting sportsmanship. But, Edward Little Principal Jim Miller’s tip for the athletes might have been the best advice of the night: Take the time to enjoy the event, and some day you will have fond memories of The Game.

This is true no matter the outcome.

I think we all know schools should promote sportsmanship and teach lifelong lessons in one way or another. Two rival schools, agreeing to work together to support sportsmanship, should be applauded not chastised, as Mr. Oakes did in his Hot Corner column.

For Mr. Oakes to make fun of anyone trying to promote sportsmanship is wrong!

I have read many articles on fans attacking coaches, officials, players and even other fans. I have read about two hockey parents fighting — one of them died! As a soccer, basketball and baseball official, I have been on the receiving end of some of these nasty situations and it is frightening.

Mr. Oakes talks about a “”healthy hatred.”” There is no such thing, and his attitude is one of the biggest problems in sports today.

Mr.Oakes writes sports commentary in order to influence readers; I feel sorry about that. From this pre-game dinner I gained a new level of respect for both schools. Being from EL, I obviously hoped EL would win, but if Lewiston had won, I would be supporting their efforts for the gold ball.

More importantly, however, I know that both schools now have a greater respect for each other and this dinner is directly responsible for that!

Taking a chance on promoting sportsmanship is not taking a chance — it is assuring that our sons and daughters will be a better people later in life.

Oakes should be commending the efforts, not knocking them.

Dan Deshaies, Auburn

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