As an eighteen-year-old female who does not attend Sikeston Public Schools, rarely do I read the Sports section of the Standard-Democrat. However, yesterday, I skimmed the Sports section out of mere curiosity and read Chris Moore's column.
Last night's district soccer game of Sikeston vs. Notre Dame was very exciting for me. Why, you ask? Because it was a game of my own hometown vs. my high school. I am a senior at Notre Dame, and I have been questioned numerous times of our "recruiting program," each time silently laughing at the ignorance of my interrogator.
I can tell you there is no "recruiting program." It makes sense that most kids whose parents pay the money to send them to Catholic elementary schools will pay the money to send them to a Catholic high school. There is a very small handful of Notre Dame students who attended public elementary schools. So what would possess them to pursue a high school education at Notre Dame? Academics. Notre Dame has the best and most challenging academics of any high school in the area. It is a regional high school (hence the name "Notre Dame REGIONAL High School") and therefore attracting students from numerous towns. Notre Dame's excellence in academics, community service, and religious spirituality has earned it the title of one of the Top 50 Catholic High Schools in America for the second year in a row. If that's not a reason to draw in students, I don't know what is.
I am close friends with many Notre Dame athletes. Their plans, and their parents' plans, to attend Notre Dame were almost a given from a very early age. So unless Notre Dame coaches (whom I also personally know) were recruiting from the sidelines of second grade soccer fields and elementary school basketball courts, any idea of a "recruiting program" is absolutely foolish and arguably formulated out of jealousy and intimidation. Notre Dame is home to many extremely talented athletes, with most of them being outstanding scholars as well, drawn to Notre Dame for its stellar academic program and because of their families' expectations.
I have many, many close friends who attend Sikeston Senior High, but I cannot help but feel the need to defend my soon-to-be Alma Mater. I hope this helps clear your fallacious notion, Mr. Moore, but I know my words are falling upon deaf ears. I could also go on about the glorification Sikeston has displayed the past year over their previous district championships, but that is another matter for another day. It was districts, sir, not state. Let's put this in perspective, now.
Oh, and one more thing. The soccer players do not use peroxide on their hair. They use bleach.
Madeline G. Story