Gretna may have won the state football championship for their division with their 35-20 victory over the Floyd County Buffaloes Saturday at Salem Municipal Stadium but they and their fans did it with the worst display of sportsmanship I have ever seen.
I’ve seen a lot of poor sportsmanship at high school, college and professional level sports over the past 45 years but none as bad as Gretna. The team’s swagger, combined with fans that were rude at best, was an insult to the Virginia High School League and the playoff system.
The team’s attitude was that they belonged in the state final and Floyd didn’t. Gretna’s coach Chris Thurman told The Roanoke Times: "They (Floyd) should not be here" and that was the attitude the players from Gretna took to the field.
Gretna players taunted across the line, I saw more than one give the finger to a Floyd County player (always when the officials weren’t looking) and they paraded up and down the Floyd County side of the field when the game was over with a swagger that many, myself included, found offensive. After the game, Getna fans taunted Floyd fans in the parking lot
The team may have won the state championship but the way they did it was a disgrace to both their school and their town.