The songs. The homecomings. The Proms. The friendships. The cheerleading. The college pursuits. The first loves. The buddies in the locker room. The playoffs.
There are certain things we never forget about high school. Yet, in the case of Notre Dame Prep football players were robbed this year of memories that go with playing in the playoffs due to the misdeeds of adults.
When violations by the school’s program became obvious the Arizona Interscholastic Association came down with a harsh punishment. No playoffs for perennial prep power Notre Dame this year. Parents were enraged and organized efforts to appeal. It almost worked. The coach was fired. Other steps were taken. But the scalp that many thought would demonstrate sufficient remorsefulness was that of school President Jim Gmelich. Yet, he refused to resign. The Diocese and Gmelich placed themselves about the kids.
It wasn’t just self-absorbing. It was obviously deficient because everyone knew at the time of the appeal that Gmelich was a dead administrator walking. So why not just do the right thing and resign then so graduating seniors and the rest of the team didn’t have to suffer? Because the spoiled souls thought they could survive the soiling.
But of course that wasn’t to be. Just last week Gmelich was gone as the President of Notre Dame Prep.
Some 25 years ago Bon Jovi’s “Never Say Goodbye” was one of those songs all high school Proms played. It’s too bad Gmelich adopted that slogan at the time of his crisis rather than do right by a football team who still have a prom coming up in the new year but will never be able to get this past season back.