Brave student has learned from mistake

Most people would not associate "team-spirited" or "fanatic" to be words with a negative connotation.

Those who stand out for pumping up the crowd even when their team is losing, let's say 0-17, like in the Evans-Lakeside game last Friday night.

During the fourth quarter, junior Chris Elrod charged the field, took the football and ran to the other side, while Lakeside High School assistant principal Tom Riddick took him down right before the police reached him to escort him from the game in handcuffs.

When asking around school, most people view Chris Elrod as being a legend after last Friday. For example, Cameron Sims, a senior at Evans High School and a firsthand witness of the dash, said "...I can't believe he did it but I'm glad he did because it made my senior year."

There are others who believe Chris' actions brought shame to Evans High School, especially because it was during a game honoring Ryan Clark, a former Virginia Tech student and Lakeside Alumni. Noah Mazzola, a recent alumni of Lakeside High School, thinks Chris should've chose a different game to do his prank.

"My brother graduated in 2000 and was Ryan's friend. Virginia Tech came and now they are going to think negatively of our community."

I think some people are taking it too personal. Ryan was described as an outgoing guy with a great sense of humor. I think he would've laughed if he was there.

People need to realize that Chris did not run onto the field with the intentions of causing chaos and disruption.

"I didn't mean to make Evans out in a bad way," said Chris, 17.

His punishment includes four days of out of school suspension, a $500 citation and has a court date Oct. 14. Many students not only from Evans, but Lakeside, Greenbrier High School and even some former high school students are part of Chris' student originated and student based fan club on Facebook "CHRIS ELROD IS THE BEST!- group admiring one individual braver than the rest."

As of Wednesday, there were 380 members. Some of the members of this group are trying to raise money for the $500 fine that Chris has to pay. Many Evans High School students are especially mad about Chris' other punishment; he is not allowed at any school related sports events, including pep rallies.

I think that's ridiculous. Chris has learned from his mistake, and he realizes that his actions have consequences. Excluding Evans High School's number one fan is going to hurt the school, not teach a lesson to the student body. Football games will never be the same this year.

Suzanne Ozturk is a senior at Evans High School.

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