For those that know me, you know I am an avid high-school sports nut. I would much rather be shooting pictures from the sidelines than sitting in a meeting. This past weekend brought the end to another great winter sports season, and again I am impressed by the products of our school systems. Both academically and athletically, our school districts are becoming a force to reckon with.
I spent most of Saturday at the Mat Classic held at the Tacoma Dome. It is the wrestling state tournament. It gives me the opportunity for bonding time with son James, but it also provides some insight into each participant. The tournament allows me to observe the relationships of teen-agers and their parents as they compete.
So what did I observe? Parent participation. I truly believe that those who are successful athletically and academically have a support structure in place. And for those who think kids today are going to heck, you obviously aren’t around kids very often. All the kids I have had the pleasure of watching through their school careers have been courteous, respectful and determined.
One family that epitomizes the level of support that successful kids have is the Pedeferri family of Cedarcrest. I have watched older brother Eric grow up and head to college, now working to become a firefighter. I felt his pain after losing his bid at becoming a state champion three years ago. I watched as Aaron recorded his second straight state title, a feat as unique as they come. But after the match, he showed nothing but humility in answering questions.
Walt and Margaret have done a great job with their kids, and I thoroughly enjoy knowing them. But beyond the Pedeferris, it’s great to know the community is fostering good family relationships.
It’s also great to see how the Upper Valley school levy passed with flying colors and the Lower Valley levy passed on its first introduction. Maybe Lower Valley attitudes toward funding schools are changing for the better and are less focused on the bitter feelings of a past school placement issue.
OK, enough with the glory discussion. I’m as tired of the rain as anyone else and look forward to shooting sports pictures on a few sunny days. Congratulations to Aaron Pedeferri, two-time state champion of wrestling. Hopefully we can watch a three-peat.