“They ran through the dark and they have run up hills with no one watching and they have run in places that others of us only have nightmares about,” President Thomas Hudut said in honoring the girls.
Last issue, The Chronicle gave a grade of F to the fact that water polo lost to rival Loyola for the fifth time in a row. Some members of the team protested, arguing that our assessment was unfair and did not reflect the intense preparation and hard work that had gone into their season.
Let us clarify here that our grade was not a condemnation of the team, but rather a commiseration in what was admittedly a tough loss for them. We on The Chronicle celebrate with our schoolmates when they triumph and agonize with them when they fall short. As in Hudnutâs speech, we stay with our teams when they run in the light and the dark. We apologize if any readers interpreted our evaluation as an attempt to single out or humiliate the members of the team.
Our school has a rich athletic tradition. Take the recent football playoff game against Oaks Christian. Our team had had a great season, upsetting high-ranked Alemany in a thrilling Homecoming game, but in the quarterfinal match loomed Oaks Christian, one of the best teams in the nation. The odds were against us and the game took place during Thanksgiving break, but the stands were still filled with black-clad Fanatics. Confiscated inflatable noisemakers filled several trashcans in the cheerleadersâ box. Our team put up a very solid effort but was eventually overpowered by the squad. The fans stayed until the bitter end and gave the team the ovation they deserved after their season.
Few things are more engrained in our community than the water polo teamâs rivalry with Loyola. Both squads are perpetually in the top tier of high school water polo and though supremacy may oscillate between the teams over the years, the games are always contested, emotional matches. Losses, especially in a series, resonate within the school community in a way that demands coverage within our pages.
Sports teams at Harvard-Westlake represent a major part of the school community, and often are a source of great pride. We honor accomplishments with confetti and cookies and leis, we congratulate team members the day after a big win, and we commiserate with our team members after a disappointing loss. If The Chronicle covers our victories, so must we our defeats. We do not do so out of spite, nor to pour salt on the wounds. However, as is so common in school, oftentimes the full story canâ t be summarized into one letter grade.