Extinct: Small Town Pride

An epidemic in our school and our generation is occurring before our eyes. The mentality that we are above what we once conceived normal is destroying the communities we cherish. I’m aware that most of the students at the school believe I obsess my life over the pep club, which might be true, but I believe that the idea behind the pep club reaches farther than high school sporting events. Its goal was to buy into a movement and to stick with it. We live in a society where “new” is tossed away in a couple of months. The respect towards seniority, history, and tradition has long since vanished. I tried to build a culture and change a toxic thought pattern; however, I don’t believe I did a good enough job.

During the Taylor game over the weekend, I expected a weak student section at the game because of the poor road conditions and the fact it was a Saturday night. I was surprised to find one side of the bleachers completely full and a decent group of middle schoolers in the student section. The bleachers were packed because the parents of the mini cheerleaders eagerly waited to snap a photo of their daughters taking center-court. These parents all paid an entry fee and sat through a JV basketball game, but a mass exodus occurred when the cheer-leading ceased. How many of these families are graduates and community members? How many of them know the athletes cheering or playing? I’m sure at one point these people counted down the days to a high school basketball game, but those days have long past. It wasn’t unusual to sit shoulder to shoulder in a packed gym back in the day because community meant more. Reiterating my previous statement, this problem expands past a high school basketball game. Mayoral elections took place a couple months back and the voting numbers were appalling. School board meetings receive little attention anymore, and I remember once running ahead of the stampede to donuts after ten o’clock mass. Small town pride is diminishing before our eyes, and we are either oblivious or disinterested with the implications. 


The scariest part about the extinction of community is that my peers and I are the ones who can save it are the same peers that let a horde of middle schoolers adopt the front rows of the student section. If I would’ve attempted such an act as an eighth grader, I would’ve received coarse words and hostility. High schoolers are content with allowing precious memories that can’t be re-lived go by the wayside. One of the most frequent questions I’m asked is: Why should I go to the game? We, as a generation, feel we are owed something because of our presence. We are a narcissistic generation that expect laud and praise whenever we walk through a threshold. Even more despicable, some students show up to games and avoid the student section like the plague. They find the student sections childish and unworthy of their time. These same students, who can’t vote, drive, or graduate from high school, believe cheering on people they see in their hallways is beneath them. Not only is this a waste of unique opportunities, this is a poor example to set for the students who look up to them. A group of middle schoolers and I provided the loudest basketball student section yet, which proves that the onlooking high schoolers aren’t holier-than-thou. Time is a flat circle. The rowdy middle schoolers will soon become disinterested high schoolers. So, I beg whoever reads this to break the cycle and provide an atmosphere that celebrates today instead of looking for the personal benefits.

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