Ghidotti High School and the Sierra Academy of Expeditionary Learning held their first annual sports banquet on Monday night in Nevada City.
On the plus side, it was an upbeat affair with about about 80 people in attendance, including student-athletes, coaches, teachers and parents. It opened with heartwarming remarks from the administrators and coaches.
Awards were announced for student athletes, outstanding seniors, varsity letters, and “unsung heroes.”
Coaches awards were announced for girls cross country, boys cross country, co-ed soccer, girls basketball, boys basketball, and co-ed volleyball. A new mascot, the “Firewolf,” showed up. The athletic director is an outstanding individual.
The celebration also included dinner for the kiddos. It was a “full-court” effort; my wife Shannon baked a pile of brownies for dessert, for example. They were all gobbled up.
This gathering was redolent of the Sunday night football dinners that my in-laws hosted for our nephews and their teammates of the Nevada Union football team at their home when we first came here. It always was a full house.
Our family was a major contributor to those gatherings — not just with our weekly attendance but with our own contributions to the dinner menu.
On the downside, it is unfortunate that in such a small town the high-school sports programs have become segregated. For example, Ghidotti students weren’t able to participate in Nevada Union sports starting with this year’s freshman class. The background on this is here.
Self-made “rivalries” or segregating like this can be counterproductive in a small town — just like the longstanding Grass Valley versus Nevada City rivalry (something I never understood, either).
It is a small-town mindset and undermines our ability to compete with the rest of California, where many of our students will go to college and — if recent trends are an indication — find jobs.
Our magazine hosts an annual college scholarship for graduating seniors who are interested in journalism. We have awarded the scholarship to students at all three high schools: Nevada Union, Bear River and Ghidotti.
We’re remaining upbeat about this transition — seeing the glass as “half full” — but it is another reminder that we need to work together, not against each other, when it comes to education and economic development.