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Despite loss, team and fans earned respect

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Athletic victories are important things in communities but contrary to the great Vince Lombardi, they're not the only measure of success. 

In that spirit, take a look at the letter written by Robert Adeline, the athletic director at Mount Vernon Christian High School after their girls' basketball squad beat Waterville over the weekend.

"To the Administration of the Waterville School District and Community:

I want to congratulate you all on the pride and enthusiasm you displayed throughout the afternoon at Mount Vernon High School Saturday.  Your team played with intensity, effort and passion.  They played fairly and compete so well!  I am pleased our girls were able to earn a victory, but sure loved seeing your players work like they did.  Your head coach demonstrated the proper aspects of competition, preparation, coaching and care for his team.

The band was outstanding!  I have desired for a pep band at our school and yours demonstrated why bands belong at high school athletic events--great sound, upbeat music selections, fun, and student involvement.

The cheerleaders and student section was the best I have seen!  The tu-tu,outfits, the shiny silver and red pants, capes, headwear, etc. were so great~the cheering was respectful, appropriate to the game, and showed wonderful school spirit and support.  The number of adults that filled up your upper section of seating was amazing as well.  We had a huge crowd being so close, but your crowd was vocal, full of involvement for the Shockers and represented your school district and community so well.

I just want to offer my appreciation for all that took to get over here for the game and and your number of supporters, their class, style and enjoyment in support of their classmates and their community--it was outstanding in all areas Saturday!

Best to all of you in Waterville!  Thanks for demonstrating what is very good about high school athletics and sharing some of the positive aspects of your community with us!

Go Shockers!"

Waterville Superintendent Cathi Nelson sent copies of the letter out to Shocker Nation.  "This unsolicited compliment about Waterville certainly makes us all very proud," Nelson wrote.

Nice to see that sportsmanship and spirit are respected as much as victories.