With the 5A football state championship title still fresh on the minds of students and staff, the atmosphere throughout the school and surrounding community is full of excitement and pride. The eyes of Kansas schools, the media and patrons of the community are heavily geared toward us now that we have an athletic state title under our belt. This attention is, at first thought, positive, but only if students use it to their advantage and continue working hard in and out of the classroom, keeping the school in a positive light.
The state title undoubtedly draws attention to the football program. But this is about more than just football. This accomplishment sets the bar for other teams and activities. The pressure for teams and activities to perform well is at an all-time high; in turn, these expectations can make the school perform stronger academically and athletically if reached. This winning mindset can be used in more than just football to make our school even more reputable.
An overwhelming amount of families and residents of Shawnee supported the success of Mill Valley throughout the season, especially in the postseason. Around three-fourths of the attendees of the state pep rally were non-students, and over 3,000 fans were in attendance at the state title game cheering on the Jaguars. A football state championship only adds to the pride of being a Jaguar — imagine the continued extent of pride from the community if state championships happened more often. Moreover, Jaguar pride should be kept regardless if teams win or lose.
The student body prides itself on its school spirit, as it should; however students must be conscious of the fact that people outside of the community are now paying closer attention to the school. Knowing this, students should more carefully consider how they represent themselves in their actions in the student section and outside of school. While the student section generally keeps things fun, exciting and appropriate, straying away from booing and chanting profanity — both of which were heard at the state game — will make a stronger first impression that will leave spectators spreading good word about our student body.
More than just during athletic events, the reputation of the school remains important throughout the classroom. With the prestige earned in previous years, the school can expect to get more recognition from outsiders when accomplishments like the Kansas State Board of Education’s Governor’s Achievement award are achieved. The general public knows who we are and it is crucial that we take advantage of what may come our way because of the recognition.
Mill Valley is no longer an unfamiliar name throughout Kansas, and the days of being confused for Blue Valley are numbered. Students must take this with pride and continue to represent the silver and midnight blue in a positive manner.