GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) Intensity, competition, and rivalries are all things we associate with high school athletics, but should that list include fighting as well?
Sports teach students teamwork, respect, even responsibility, but now one state athletic association is getting rid of a post-game ritual that has been a demonstration of sportsmanship for decades.
The Kentucky High School Athletic Association is cracking down on fighting by eliminating a part of the game they believe sets the stage for fights - the post game handshake.
But here in Western Colorado, district 51 officials disagree with the move.
"To me this is just going to separate the two teams maybe even a little bit further and make things worse down the road," says district 51 athletic director, Paul Cain. "You have contests once in a while where things get very heated and you're concerned about that handshake but it just takes a little more supervision."
Local coaches agree and say it should not be about preventing fights, but about promoting growth instead.
"I understand where they're coming from but I do think that we need to keep the sportsmanship one of the main issues of this," says Palisade High School football coach, Joe Ramunno. "That's what we're doing with our young people - building character."