We like to brag that the rivalry between Parkersburg's two Class AAA?high schools -Parkersburg High and Parkersburg South -is the biggest in the Mountain State.
Yet, it isn't too big to take a lesson from two area schools that are much smaller in student population, but also are fierce rivals.
It has been a long-standing tradition in Jackson County that the final regular season football game will pit Ravenswood against Ripley, two high schools that represent communities whose exits off I-77 are six miles apart.
As if the game wasn't important enough -after all it is for county bragging rights for an entire year -the teams also compete for The Hatchet, the 'trophy' that is awarded to the winning team.
Quite often, the game will determine the playoff fate of one of the participating teams. There even have been years when both teams enter the game battling for a playoff spot.
But the beauty of ending the season by playing your biggest rival is that no matter what kind of season you are experiencing -good, bad or indifferent -you always have something to which you can look forward.
Come 2013, Ripley vs. Ravenswood won't be the only big game taking place on the final Friday night of the regular season.
That's because Parkersburg High School Athletics Director Lori Lowers and Parkersburg South AD Rick Leach have moved the annual city rivalry football game to the 11th and final regular season week, beginning with the 2013 game, set for Nov. 8.
Opinions on the move will vary -it's sports, where every fan thinks they know what is best -but this is a move that the community should embrace, not to mention one that is long overdue.
The anticipation will build throughout the season. Imagine the excitement if one -or both -teams need to win in order to qualify for the playoffs.
That was one of the great things about the annual Backyard Brawl between West Virginia University and Pittsburgh, a casualty of conference realignment.
It would take place on Thanksgiving weekend and no matter the records, you never knew what was going to happen.
(This is where I am supposed to remind you of the 2007 game, but I don't even like to remind myself of that one.)
I've never understood NASCAR scheduling its biggest showcase -the Daytona 500 -at the beginning of the season.
Or horse racing's Triple Crown starting out with the year's premier event, the Kentucky Derby.
That's like beginning the season with the Super Bowl. It just doesn't make sense.
It's easy for those in public positions to simply keep repeating the way things always have been done, even though there might be a better way to do them.
I'm pleased Lowers and Leach had the courage to buck tradition and perhaps start a new one that will top anything that has taken place in the past.
Contact Dave Poe at firstname.lastname@example.org