Where has all the good pride gone?

On Thursday evening, Owatonna fans flooded Lakeville North. Filling the bleachers on our designated side, more than 500 fans drove to Lakeville to support the Huskies in the first round of state play. It was with pride that fans stood in freezing temperatures to cheer on their team. It was with pride that Owatonna took the win. It was with pride that the Husky football players rushed over to the fan section after the game to sing our school song. This display of community and spirit not only showed Appley Valley what we value, it reminded us, as well.

To many observing, it would seem that the Owatonna fans outmatched Apple Valley’s tenfold. In fact, Owatonna fans even had to make room for themselves in the Apple Valley bleachers. But if you were to take an actual look, if you were to zoom in on the populace of the fan sections, it is fair to state that in terms of students in attendance, Owatonna and Apple Valley were equally matched. It was our community that filled the bleachers, not the student body. Our community has continually proved their support for its growing generations, whether it be in examples like this or in passing the levy.

But stop for a moment. Imagine the same game but without the community support. The once pitied Apple Valley bleachers would have been our own. While our town buzzes with pride, the spirit inside our own OHS walls seems to have evaporated.

“But you can’t predict that solely based off of attendance at a football game!” you argue.

Yes, this is true.

“And we had a lot of students there!” you add.

And yes, we did.

But where was this pride during the football send off? It was a half enthusiastic gymnasium that wished our players luck. And beyond the football season, where was it during the soccer send off? Where was it in celebrating the achievements of tennis players, cross country runners, swimmers, divers, and volleyball players? Where is this pride displayed in our excellent music programs? In our theatre department? What about in our Mock Trial, Speech and Robotics teams? DECA? BPA?

You don’t have to be in every sport or extra curricular.  You don’t even have to like one. But what’s important is to remember that your fellow classmates do care. It’s the achievements of our fellow classmates that we are celebrating by showing school pride- not an ego or an image. It goes beyond this. To offer praises to those who excel at a passion is not only a sign of respect, it is what unites a student body.

So to those 500 fans who dropped everything to rush to the game, we thank you. And to the fans who will drop everything again this Friday for the same reason, we thank you again. But to the football team, we hope that this display of pride reminds you that nothing in life is simply ever given away. That is to say, we hope you share the support you have been receiving on the field and off the field, as well. We hope to see your attendance at other sporting events, at the fall play, and at the fall music concert. Here is your opportunity to spread the wealth and the feelings that come in knowing you’re supported.

OHS fosters many unique individuals. About 1,400, actually. What connects us all should not be that we attend the same high school, but rather that we support everybody who does. We may have a ‘tradition of excellence’, but that does not mean we stop celebrating it. Although our achievements give our communty pride, how we handle this pride, how we share this pride, sets us apart from the rest.

We have some work to do OHS. Let’s stay prideful, my friends.

MagNet staff