Dear Saint Patrick – Michael Crawford ’19
Dear Saint Patrick,
When I came to Saint Patrick as a freshman I was young, skinny, and right in the middle of adolescence. I never got straight A’s in grade school. I always had two or three B’s, but Christmas Break freshman year all of a sudden I had straight A’s (except in Coach Bailey’s Health Class). For the first time in my life I had a 4.0 GPA and St. Pat’s has continued to challenge me academically each semester. I have done a lot outside of the classroom as well. As a freshman I played three sports – football, wrestling, and baseball. After freshman year, I stopped wrestling but I continued with football and baseball for the remainder of my four years.
Playing two sports throughout high school is the best decision I have ever made. I have made countless friends of my teammates, and got the chance to keep making friends every year when a new freshman class came along. As a freshman we looked up to the seniors and they were never too cool to talk to us. That was one thing I always thought was cool and I wanted to do the same. The Kairos retreat program might have been the best thing St. Pat’s has ever given me. I got to grow as a person when I was a junior on the retreat and then develop my leadership skills as I helped lead Kairos twice.
Another thing I love about St. Pat’s is that you meet kids from all walks of life. From the suburbs, to the lakefront, to the south side, downtown and, of course, the northwest side. If you saw a group of St. Pat’s kids walking down the street you would probably think they are pretty similar, but you would be completely wrong. Kids might not come from the same neighborhood, but that did not matter as we all got along pretty well.
One of the biggest lessons I have learned at St. Pat’s is you never know what someone is going through until they tell you. Always try to be a person people can come to, and feel safe about sharing their problems with. Sometimes it may be hard to hear what some people are dealing with, but if you take the time and put in the effort you can really help someone.
One of my favorite St. Pat’s memories came this year in our season opener versus Taft High School. The beginning of the game was kind of slow for me on both sides of the ball, but late in the first half I was supposed to run a backside post. I beat my man off the line and I was wide open. Jack (O’Rourke ’19) scrambled to his left and I stopped and turned to see him just as he chucked up a prayer. I ran to the spot and jumped as high as I could and felt the ball hit my hands. I crashed to the turf and still had the ball in my hands, and could hear the crowd roar. I don’t think I have ever had a cooler feeling in my life than running back to the sideline hearing all the Shamrocks screaming my name from the Stud Section.
In my four years at Saint Patrick, I found myself becoming more kind and accepting each year. I’ve learned that I cannot change the past but I can always change how I act now and in the future. I look forward to attending Loras College in the fall and playing football and want to thank Saint Patrick High School for helping me get there.
Michael Crawford ’19