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Remembering “fallen” Panthers: Class of 2018

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“There are only two types of people in this world.  Those who go to Elder and those who wish they went there.”

You have probably heard this quote at the beginning of freshman year during an inspiring talk by either Principal Ruffing or Coach Espelage.  This quote is true in many aspects of my life.

During my tenure at Elder I have known many people from other schools, even rival schools, who told me that they wish they went to Elder, but felt like it was too late to make the change.

Now with that being said there is always that select group where Elder just isn’t the right fit for them.

It is know that Elder holds its students to a certain standard academically and it will not change for any student.  Academics are taken very seriously around these halls and you can tell when people transfer in and start struggling right away.

With this being said, the senior class has survived the past three years and we are down to the last go around.  Sadly, there are a couple people in the Class of 2018 who have not made it all the way to senior year before moving on with different plans in life.

These two members of the Class of 2018 walked in freshman year with the dream of graduating from Elder, but life had different plans for them.

Ben Collett (Ken Bollett)

Collett was a well known guy around Elder and made lots of friends in his time here.  He was involved in football and was just the difference maker the program needed until tragedy struck.

Collett injured his shoulder and needed to get surgery.  Out for the season.  What a crushing blow to a future all star in the football program.

After a couple disappointing football attempts and struggling academically (especially after finishing the 4th quarter of Spanish 1 with a very low mark during his sophomore year) it was time for a change.

Ken transferred to Taylor High School to become a yellow jacket and so far he has been really successful.

“Taylor is really easy,” said Ken Bollett, “Pep rallies are trash though and so are the sports teams, but not having to wear a uniform is a plus.”

According to Collett’s mom, she told me that Ken is a honors student now at Taylor and thinks he has the best of both worlds with still being able to go to all Elder sporting events and going to a school where he thrives.

It’s obvious that Collett is doing better than he was at Elder and he is happy where he is, but does he have any regrets?

“Sometimes I still went to Elder because the pep rallies are a lot better and I miss being with my friends,” said Collett. “Also I wouldn’t have to worry about Flaherty kicking me out of the cheering section.”

Jacob Melvin

Melvin hailed from the powerhouse of the Westside, St Dominic.  He was involved in cross country and track during his time here at Elder.

He was at Elder for two years and mysteriously left to become home schooled and it baffled us all because it was so unexpected because it looked like Elder was his thing.

I caught up with Melvin to see what he is doing now-a-days.

“I’m currently taking classes at Cincinnati State,” said Melvin. “I’m also working part time at Robert Jones Plumbing.”

Melvin has moved on and it seems that he is preparing really well for the future.  The man is our age and already taking college classes and seems to have a good job that could last him a long time.

But with every big decision is always regret to a certain aspect of the problem.

“I really miss Elder a lot especially certain days like before big football games,” said Melvin, “but I had a really good time there and I was ready to move on with real life.”

These two are missed by the Class of 2018 around these halls, but seeing them on weekends is always a joy to spark conversations about the good times we had here at Elder.





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Remembering “fallen” Panthers: Class of 2018