I read the front page feature article by Wednesday Journal reporter Bill Stone, “OPRF wrestlers win third state title” [March 2]. My immediate thought after I read the article’s headline was, “They did it again.”
I called the athletic department at Oak Park and River Forest High School and talked to a young woman. I asked her, “Are they going to have a special assembly for this championship team?” Her answer was, “They sure are.” She ended her conversation with one word: “Awesome.”
Here is a direct portion of the Wednesday Journal article that created in myself an emotional response. The article reads, “Junior Deundre Garner had an emotional victory after the death of his brother, Diamond Garner, just days earlier. Diamond Garner was killed in a drive-by shooting in the South Austin neighborhood, on the West Side.”
This, in my mind, a planned calculated murder, was done by a very misguided person who was blinded to the consequences of his actions. This one action had tremendous consequences for the murderer as well as the victim. The murderer was brainwashed to not ask himself one question before he took action, “What are the consequences of my actions?” He, or by that matter possibly she, followed a so-called authority symbol, whose basic motivation was probably a perverse notion of power. Similar occurrences happen all the time. All they create is casualties.
The state championship victory by the OPRF High School wrestling team may have taught a value: belief in the coaching staff. I read the coaches motivated the team to do the best of their ability.
Deundre Garner made a personal decision to wrestle in the state competition. If he decided not to wrestle, I don’t think he would have been wrong. As it turned out, he contributed to a team that, along with the other two previous state championship teams, may have the best three-year team record of any OPRF team.