Such is the case with 18 members of the Greenbrier High School boys soccer team – who were suspended this week after officials learned they were involved in an alcohol-drinking episode on a recent road trip to Jekyll Island.
No one was physically injured in this incident, and we’ve seen a lot worse behavior. But it’s a tragedy nonetheless, as it has eviscerated the Wolfpack’s undefeated, Class AAAAA No. 2-ranked team. And the guiltless seven players have been impacted by the others’ foolhardiness.
Worse still is the fact that the temporary 10-day suspensions are certain to be expanded upon for some of them after next week’s disciplinary hearings. Some already have been assigned to the district’s alternative school – and that appears to be the least that will happen.
Worst of all is the fact that a momentary act of sheer stupidity will likely haunt these young men for a very long time. They will know they fouled up big-time – and they will always wonder what might have been in their high school athletic careers.
Youthful indiscretions, as we are wont to call them, have forever been with us. And so have the consequences.
Even so, today’s youths are egged on not just by their peers, but by omnipresent entertainment media that seemingly celebrate aberrant behaviors. Today, kids are lucky enough to have the depravity delivered straight to their smart phones.
Very few of those movies, TV shows, videos and video games ever depict the disastrous consequences of imbecilic actions. Fact is, youths may get the misleading message that “everybody’s doing it,” or that it’s no big deal and can be laughed off. None of that is true.
We also have long been bombarded by the liberal drivel that there’s such a thing as “victimless” crimes. Ask the seven innocent members of the Greenbrier soccer team about that. Unwise, illegal and even mere self-destructive acts never affect just one person.
If young people learn nothing else about this incident, may they remember this:
There is always collateral damage.
Would these young men have considered simply running off the field in the middle of a game and abandoning their teammates to face the opposition alone? Well, that is the result of their actions. Participating in a group drink – where several of them apparently also smoked synthetic marijuana – did none of their teammates any favors.
If you can’t toe the line for your own well-being, at least do it for the person next to you.