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Students' actions sad exception to rule at Servite

Students' actions sad exception to rule at Servite

OCVarsity.com
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The school was right to take quick action after the incident with Mater Dei.

No family, no community and no school are immune to the dark side of adolescence.

Even a school like Servite, which rightfully prides itself for producing the best and the brightest citizens, has no vaccine.

As it does at a few home varsity basketball games, at last Friday's Mater Dei-Servite game the Servite Pit Crew, an assemblage of student rowdy rooters, held another contest to see who could be the most ignorant students. The winners this time were those who the school acknowledges made comments and sounds that were obviously racist. Mater Dei has two starting players who are African-American.

The experience here has been that Servite administration takes quick and correct action upon its students, school personnel and supporters when Servite's high standards are not upheld, and did so in this matter. Mater Dei does the same when anyone associated with Mater Dei is out of line.

As Servite president Peter Bowen, a Servite alumnus, said via e-mail, "The students were immediately removed from the game by administrators and disciplined. Servite is working to meet with and apologize to Mater Dei. On Tuesday, the entire school met for 1 ½ hours to discuss the incident, reassert true Servite Christian values and ensure this mistake is never repeated."

As a father who looked over his son's shoulder during four years of a Servite education not long ago, no young man of color seemed uncomfortable or excluded at the heavily-Anglo school. No non-white parent seemed to feel out of place, although it is impossible to truly and accurately see through the eyes of someone who comes from a different background or has had different experiences.

But I do remember one of my son's Hispanic friends, a football teammate and fellow Servite alumnus, who got a new motorcycle and the first thing the friend did was put a Servite sticker on it. That action spoke loudly. Like so many of "The Men of Servite," he loved the place and was proud of it.

The Servite Pit Crew for years has approached the boundary of good taste, and too often has crossed it. Last Friday was another of those times.

The school seems to be pulling its students in one direction. Perhaps some of these students are pulled in another direction outside of school. Maybe some are being raised in homes that are not well-rounded, open-minded or forward-thinking environments.

Servite has a vigorous formation program that builds what it calls "Faith-Filled Leaders." The school, though, can only do so much.

As the road captain says in the classic film, "Cool Hand Luke" - "What we've got here is, failure to communicate. Some men you just can't reach. So you get what we had here last week."

Taking a look around Orange County high school sports:

•Santa Margarita will begin selling tickets today at 3:30 p.m. for the Mater Dei-Santa Margarita boys basketball game there tonight. It is a 7:30 game.

•All-CIF football teams, which can be found at ocvarsity.com, are selected by a panel of coaches from each division. The CIF-Southern Section office is not involved in the player selection.

•San Juan Hills football coach Greg Gibson was surprised to see his name on the published list of 65 applicants for the head coaching job at San Angelo Central High in west Texas. Gibson said he and his wife had thought about relocating, a couple of months ago, but he never formerly applied at San Angelo Central and is staying at San Juan Hills, which plays its first full varsity season this fall but won't have a senior class until the 2010-11 school year. It is interesting, though, that this week the Capistrano Unified School District had to publicly address, and deny, rumors than San Juan Hills, troubled by construction and other types of challenges, would close soon.

•Athletes and their parents - especially their parents - should notice that Irvine lineman Nik Abele committed to UCLA, selecting the Bruins among other offers from Colorado and Utah. Abele is further proof that an athlete does not have to be at a Trinity, South Coast or Sunset League school to get recruited by the big college programs. Some years ago, Brethren Christian had three players from the same team get Pac-10 football scholarships and one of them, Reggie Davis, played with the San Diego Chargers.

Contact the writer: sfryer@ocregister.com


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