It’s a coup that the Gardner Edgerton High School football team will travel to East St. Louis to play in a regionally televised game. It’s exciting for the fans, and it’s another notch in the community’s belt. We look forward to watching this exciting match-up.

There will be more for GEHS students to experience at such an event. The East St. Louis City of Champions Classic was designed to give inner city athletes the opportunity to shine, and it’s nice that our suburban school gets to share in that spotlight.

It also presents an opportunity for our students to see a different culture – that of an inner city, large high school. And we cherish that local kids will get a chance to see life beyond the suburbs.

That said, we have significant concerns that the community at-large and school officials seem to be placing a higher priority in securing televised football games than in other areas like academics and the arts.

We recognize that may not be a beast of the school’s making. People are interested and entertained by our stellar football team and athletes. But we worry the bright lights and recognition in this one area creates a vacuum for the same things in other areas.

As we cheer the successes of our football team next season, let’s take extra care to consider the students involved in the myriad other activities and express our gratitude and appreciation for the things they do as well.

It’s always a great day to be a Blazer – not only due to the success of our athletic programs.