EDITORíS DESK: Gold-medal intentions

       It's a nice treat for Coronado High School, having one of its graduates win an Olympic gold medal. Henry Cejudo's freestyle wrestling upset also gives school leaders a chance to puff out their chests a little. They didn't just coach him, they helped him earn his high school diploma. Which is wonderful. Teachers, coaches and administrators are busy people, dealing with numerous students. So when they can make a pivotal difference in one young man's life they deserve to be recognized. To his credit, Henry acknowledged after his victory the opportunity he had received and his good fortune to be an American.
       Sadly, there is a flipside. While we're applauding this rags-to-riches tale, thousands from similar backgrounds are dropping out of high schools and going nowhere. It could even be conjectured that if Henry Cejudo hadn't been good at wrestling, he might have been one of them. Coronado could argue this point - from all reports, he is an extremely determined person. Still, it's a curious reality how much a student with an innate gift (particulary in sports) can inspire educators to seemingly dig a little deeper.
       The last thing I to want is to take away from Cejudo's amazing accomplishment. Yet our rapture that he overcame a broken home emphasizes by definition the overall importance of strong families. Such was on public display elsewhere last week. Rock Ledge Ranch's Fiddles, Vittles & Vino featured two father/son bands (Sons and Brothers and the Ackermans). In conversations, Frank Wolking and Randy Ackerman revealed the kind of unconditional love we'd expect from the best of parents, and it was obvious that wouldn't change if their kids couldn't play a lick. No way we can always expect that from our schools, despite gold-medal intentions. Parents: We need you!... even if school sports programs tend to take you for granted (a story for another day).

- K.J.