The most precious thing about high school sports, it's often been observed, is the personal investment that's involved. The athletes you're watching are not just faces on trading cards or video games, they're your friends, neighbors, sons, daughters, nephews, nieces.
This is also the worst thing about high school sports.
Picked up the paper this morning to find that Bishop Dwenger had lost to Lowell, 24-21, in the Class 4A semistate last night. But the hurtful part was that the Saints missed a 47-yard goal -- barely -- that would have tied the game with no time left.
The kid who missed the kick?
Who happens to be my neighbor. And the guy who cuts my grass in the summer. And a really fine young man from a great family.