“It has been rough. It has been difficult.” That’s how social studies teacher Robert Gwinn described the past few weeks following the AIA’s ruling upholding its decision to keep the football team out of the playoffs.
The team was ranked first in the division with a winning record of 8-2 at the time of the appeal. Now that the team is no longer in the playoffs, rival Chaparral has taken its position as No. 1 in the division.
“I was really upset because my senior year was over, and I kinda wanted to cry,” said varsity right guard Luke Forte.
He said his favorite part of the season was “Beating Chap with my dawgs because it was an important win.”
Senior pommie Tate Jameson said, “As a pommie, we still have competition season, but as seniors, we are upset because when our boys are affected, we are affected.”
However, we can’t let these events define how we live out the rest of the year here at NDP.
How are we going to move on? Simple. It’s time we start to focus on the positive. We have to remember what makes NDP the great institution that it is and why we decided to come here in the first place.
“NDP is a lot more than football. What defines our school is our faith, and that’s how we’ll get through it,” said Theology teacher Thomas Coast.
It’s true. Besides our strong athletic teams, NDP many other positive aspects to focus on to move on.
“We need to pray and heal. We need to get back to loving each other and remembering we are more than this situation,” said Mary Lou Lachvayder, Theology teacher and director of student formation.
“I see a lot of good things with the student body. They are so polite and kind and caring. It’s nice to be around such a positive environment,” said Athletic Department secretary Bonnie Nystrom. “The staff and administration and the kids all unite as one when we need to.”
These are the kind of values that NDP is all about. We have to remember our roots and what this school is founded on, from our old ESLRs of reverence, respect and responsibility to our new charisms.
Freshman Marek Hertle said he believes what makes NDP so great is “the atmosphere, for sure. The people here, the alumni, teachers and my friends.”
It’s clear that the people who are familiar with NDP aren’t afraid for the future of NDP.
But this raises a question: What about the people who are not aware of our strong community? These people include the seventh- and eighth-graders who are still deciding where to go to high school.
According to Mrs. Lachvayder, some students must have been impacted by what they heard about NDP on the news. She said, “I am sad that people outside our community might never know the true greatness of this school, that on a daily basis we love and care for each other and build minds, bodies and souls with God’s guidance.”
Admissions director Matt Rylski said that although there are reports of people changing their minds about applying, “Application and enrollment numbers are on the same track as they were before the football ordeal.”
Campus chaplain Father John Parks said the excitement will soon die down, and people will begin to move on. “In six months, this will all be nothing more than a memory,” he said.
In his opinion, the whole football issue reminds him of the large scale off-campus party that the seniors were reprimanded for at the beginning of the last school year: “It was a big thing for while, but after a couple of weeks people moved on.”
“Really, I think the kids adapt better to things like this than the parents do,” Mr. Rylski said. “I just hope the parents can model after the students and see the school for what it really is.”
Mr. Rylski added that he is confident that the AIA sanction will soon be a distant memory.