August 16, 2013

Tidbits from the Seidlines…

  • If the Michigan High School Athletic Association sponsors a third annual “Battle of the Fans” competition – and it’s a good bet they will – Olivet High School needs to not only enter but also earn a visit from the MHSAA judges. The winter contest, which recognizes the best student cheering sections in the state, was designed for a school like Olivet. With our strong athletic programs, supportive student body and energetic staff, there is no reason why we can’t be successful in this competition. It is just a matter of getting organized and realizing that strong student sections are tremendous fun for those involved – and they also can have a huge impact on the contest being played. Hopefully we use the fall sports season to gear up!
  • As I was paying for food at a downtown Olivet restaurant today, a gentleman (who was sitting with his wife) asked me if I played football. I guess he saw my Olivet Eagles football t-shirt and was making a joke. After I told him “I wish my old bones could do that again,” we began talking about the town and his high school football days. Since he and his wife graduated from OHS, he remembered the old field and even the leather helmets they used during his senior year (1951). This was great stuff! I just wish the conversation would have lasted longer. Maybe next time.
  • Being new to OHS facilities, I’m a little paranoid about how things work, where everything is located, who’s doing what on “game day,” and the list goes on. Consequently, I met this afternoon with Brian Kleinfelt – the official voice of Olivet football, boys’ basketball, and girls’ basketball. This, too, produced some insightful dialogue. After showing me the ropes in the gym and stadium press box, he reminisced a little bit about some of the great Olivet athletic events over the years. The state championship in boys’ basketball in 2005 and the football team’s trip to Ford Field in 2010 were highlights. However, there was a special twinkle in his eye when he discussed the time Ted Nugent and his wife, Shemane, attended a big post-season game at OHS. It appears there’s a little rock-n-roll on Mr. Kleinfelt’s iPod.
  • One of the best programs I have experienced over the years as an educator is The Boomerang Project, which houses a transition concept for incoming freshmen and new students called Link Crew. So you can only imagine how excited I was to hear that OHS was starting a Link Crew program this fall. This is an outstanding move on the district’s part. With teachers Whitney Male and Hannah Witzke leading the way, the already-strong culture at OHS is going to get even stronger. Yes, Link Crew helps freshmen and other new students settle in, but it also develops leaders within the school as they mentor and serve as resources to the less-experienced Eagles. I can’t wait for Freshmen Orientation on August 22. Those shoulder rubs are pretty funny, to say the least.
  • There is a noticeable lack of “Olivet Eagle” gear to purchase in and around town. Maybe I’m just not looking in the right place. Regardless, our website will soon have a link to an on-line store where you can purchase Eagle gear. Everything will be done on-line and the items, if everything goes as planned, will be delivered to your doorstep. T-shirts, sweatshirts, hoodies, polo shirts, hats and other items will be available. Hopefully you like Nike gear, too, because there will be plenty of it.

— Matt Seidl