Opinion: Prep Pride greater than criticism


September 18, 2015

Can you feel the hate? Read the letter to the editor in the local newspaper, look at our city, talk to students from other schools — it’s unavoidable. Every place that you go in Erie you are likely to encounter some people who will take any chance that they get to bash and scrutinize the name of our great school, Cathedral Prep. But why?

Why is it that Prep evokes so much hatred and animosity from some people within the community for which we do so much? Are the thousands of service hours each year, incredible alumni, and strong faith of our school not enough? Are these good deeds really conducive to being one of the most hated schools in the area, if not the state? The answer to those questions is up in the air.

However, one fact holds true in every situation. When people think of Prep, they think of champions. Prep’s history features decades of consistent greatness on the field, in the classroom, and in the community that will continue for many years to come. The brotherhood is second to none and the school spirit is top notch. We love our school more than any other school could ever hate us. That’s what really matters.

Prep students and alumni know that when you walk through the doors of Cathedral Prep you are filled with pride and tradition. No student from any other high school will ever feel or be able to understand what Prep pride means. They hate us because we’re great, and they hate us because we know it.

Fellow Prep students, every time you wear your orange and black, no matter the occasion, wear it proudly. Walk with your head high and your confidence higher and remember what a remarkable thing you are a part of. Nobody can ever take that away from you. Let the others talk. Let them write their letters to the editor. Let them badmouth us. Don’t take their bait. Don’t respond to hate with hate.

Instead, when we come out on top, simply smile at them, say nothing in return, and in the same breath continue to do more for the community—the same community that we all share—than any other school will ever think of doing. Men of Prep, we are the future. We will continue to set an example for everybody around us. Keep winning, keep achieving, and never let it go unknown that you attend the greatest school on earth, Cathedral Prep. Roll Ramblers!

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8 thoughts on “Opinion: Prep Pride greater than criticism

  1. Dan Geary says:

    Words a former boss of mine said to me 30 years ago at Classy 100….”Humble in Victory….Proud in Defeat” A proud graduate of Cathedral Prep.
    Dan F. Geary
    Captain Dan
    Class of ’67

  2. Larry Piotrowicz says:

    This type of behavior among Erie area residents has been in evidence for years and has always mystified me. This latest letter writer, a Strong Vincent fan was apparently paying more attention to what the Prep cheering section was doing than to the actual game in which his son was playing.. But he is just the latest in a long line of supporters of other schools: General McLane parents who don’t understand the concept of irreverent humor from the cheering section. Central parents/fans who are indignant that the Events Center, in its first season, didn’t have a section marked “Visitors” , so they didn’t know where to sit (Really? Would somewhere in the stands be too easy an answer?) . Back in the 50’s and early 60’s, numerous letters to the newspaper lambasted Prep students who LOOSENED THEIR TIES while walking around Downtown or riding the bus home. Much of Erie was up in arms in the 60’s when Prep students marched en masse to the newspaper’s offices in support of the football team to protest a local sportswriter had predicted that Prep would lose a crucial game. I could rattle off another dozen instances of such anti-Prep reaction.

    The bottom line is that this has been going on for a long time. I have finally come to the conclusion that it is fueled by simple jealousy. These folks are jealous because they didn’t go to Prep, that their son didn’t go to Prep when they wanted them to, that Prep has resources, both in academics and athletics, that other schools do not have and will never have (wait until other school supporters see the basketball facility at the CPVEC). They are jealous because Prep has had so much success in athletics, like being the first team from Erie to win a state championship (basketball in 1980)They are jealous that Prep has a camaraderie amongst its alumni that is akin to a fraternity, even among guys like me that graduated 45 years ago and kids that I know that are attending now (all my former players know what I’m saying).. So, follow the words of the good Captain, Dan Geary, when he says “Be Humble in Victory and Proud in Defeat”. When a late second field goal at the gun beats McDowell yet again, smile broadly, but be a good winner. After all, we’ve been there before. Get used to it because you’ll be doing it for the rest of your life.

    Roll, Ramblers

    Larry Piotrowicz
    Class of ’70

  3. Joe Zaczyk says:

    This is a letter I sent to Fr. Scott Jabo, Bill Flanagan, Trevor Murnock, Timothy Dougherty, Chris Hagerty, and Kathy.Grisier following a Prep basketball game:
    I attended the Prep-McDowell playoff game last night at the Hammermill Center.
    I was scandalized, appalled and embarrassed by some of the “cheers” coming from Prep “cheering” section.
    The first time that the McDowell cheer leaders (all girls) led a cheer from the center of the gym floor,
    the Prep boys, who are supposedly being taught higher moral standards than at public schools, “cheered”, in front of thousands of parents, grandparents, children etc., “We want sex, we want sex, we want sex…”.
    The next time the McDowell girls led a cheer, those Catholic High School educated boys “cheered”, “Close those legs, close those legs, close those legs…”.
    Later in the game, the whole cheering section ( a few hundred boys) took off their shirts. Nor sure why. At least at that point I saw Fr. Jabo send a message up to the boys to put the shirts back on.
    I observed some others of you standing around doing nothing about the very boorish behavior being observed by a few thousand public school grandparents, parents, students, and children etc.
    I wonder what their perception of Cathedral Preparatory School, a supposedly Catholic School, is.
    I wondered what kind of culture is being created when cheer leaders, representing Prep, feel it’s OK to lead such sexist, embarrassing, not children/parent friendly, “cheers”, when Prep Administrators are a few feet away in a very public arena.
    My two brothers went to Prep. My two sons went to Prep, along with many other relatives and friends. I have long been a Prep advocate and always felt a sense of pride that Cathedral Prep held their students to a higher standard than other High Schools. It seems that the only higher standard being held at Prep these days is wearing a tie.
    After I observed what I observed last night, I would seriously reconsider sending my boys to Prep these days. Why would I spend thousands and thousands of dollars for a phantom “Catholic” Education. Collegiate Academy or other alternatives would definitely be on my radar screen.
    To be clear, I do not blame the boys. “Boys will be boys.” My wife and I raised 2 boys. We know what they will do. We had our share.
    However, it is the job of the parents, the administration, to set high standards and expectations and maintain them, not stand idly by, as I witnessed last night.
    I write this not to be critical but to make you aware. I would like to feel proud of Prep again, not embarrassed.
    If you have already been made aware of similar concerns and don’t really consider it a big deal, that is your professional prerogative. I have no vested interest. I am not a Prep Administrator or employee.
    There is no need for anyone to respond to this. “Actions speak louder than words”. Just thought you might like to know.
    Sincerely,
    Joe Zaczyk
    As noted in a FB posting, maybe there are Prep “haters” because of hypocrisy and hubris.

    1. Scott Peterson says:

      Mr. Zaczyk –

      I simply wanted to let you know that, as the letter writer who sort of set this whole thing off, I think it’s terrible that the McDowell cheerleaders were treated like that. The only thing I can tell you is that we live in video world. If you or any other fans see behavior that reflects poorly on Prep try to get it on video so you can show the administration of the school. If they are present and doing nothing as they were at the game you attended send it to the Bishop or perhaps the media. There is a tendency, as was the case with Father Detisch’s response to me in the paper yesterday, of completely ignoring the root cause of much of this: the decidedly un-Christian behavior and chants from the student fans. Anyone yelling “we want sex” and “close your legs” is showing a callous disrespect for women. It doesn’t matter how many times they prayed that day, it’s still a sin. As Captain Dan said, humble in victory and proud in defeat. It’s hard to think these things apply to Prep because they so often cross the border into disrespectful territory.

      I hope someday that Prep becomes a school the whole community can root for when they excel. But until they stop burning bridges locally with that sort of behavior it’s hard to get behind them, even when they are representing Erie downstate.

  4. Kevin Slagle says:

    The reason so many people hate Prep is constant un-sportsmanlike behavior by their fans. Between the rude chants, arrogance of alumni, throwing batteries at the opposing bands, yelling during the national anthem, or their fan section almost knocking over fans and running wild in the parking lot to mock their opponents after a win. Anytime you leave a game against Prep, be prepared to walk through a crowd of no class students having no concern over the other fans around them.

    The other reason is the obvious advantage. They are conducting a division 3 college program competing mostly against school that are limited by whose in their district. When you can pick and choose your athletes, you have an advantage over a school that can’t go outside their district. The actual location of the school is inner-city, and yet not one inner-city public school in the state could compete against them, so it is obvious how much recruiting is going on.

    There is such an arrogance from Prep fans that anyone that didn’t go to Prep, wishes that they could’ve have gone their, or that they couldn’t get in.

    The “pride” you are talking about is actually arrogance in most situations.

  5. Zach Brown says:

    it’s hard not to be cocky when you’re as good as we are #CP

  6. Austin Braendel says:

    We are better than McDowell

    – Austin Braendel ’16

  7. Garrett Heidt says:

    What they said ^^

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