The other day I was knocked to the ground by a herd of 15 to 20 OPRF High School girls who were running together. They were running faster than me, surrounded me completely on both sides and front and back, so close as to force me to trip on them and fall. I tried to get up on my middle-aged feet quickly but was again knocked down. I hollered in shock and distress.
Only one of the girls looked over her shoulder and yelled "sorry" as I lay on the ground. Not a single one stopped to see if I was OK. I got up and approached their coach, who witnessed the entire thing, and I questioned whether the girls were taught anything whatsoever about good sportsmanship, and the response was a curt, "Ma'am, the track is technically closed when we're using it." Again, not a bit of concern for my well-being. In the past I have seen these herds of OPRF runners force elderly folks off the sidewalks into the mud. I have seen them dart across streets mid-block, forcing drivers to slam on brakes and swerve, nearly causing crashes. What values are being instilled and what kind of adults do these children become?
As I have discussed this experience with other locals, the common refrain is something to the effect of, "Oh, yes, OPRF is notorious for bullying, domineering, entitled, selfish, conceited behavior." I had no idea this was a popular opinion, but I have to say that, based on my experience, I concur. I don't want to be one of those people who complains about the youth of today, however, when I was that age, our coaches taught us much more than how to overtake an opponent. We learned respect for self and others, self-discipline, self-control, teamwork and many other intangible skills that would empower us to be our best as individuals, members of our team and members of the larger society.
Maybe in the past OPRF was considered an excellent school, but their glory is fading and some of the reasons may not be so hard to figure out after all.
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