Question: Is this a compliment?

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In my advanced class, the teacher explained how rigorous our high school transition will be(I’m in eighth grade.),and my peers had a quarrel over who will be valedictorian. Since there are two high schools in the area–both are equal distances from my house– they inquired which one I will attend. Once they realized I wasn’t going to the same one as them, some shouted, “Yes! I have a chance at being valedictorian!” and bickered with another student over the title. Most of them seemed relief that I’m not attending their high school, betting that they’ll be valedictorian without me in the way. Why is that?

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