The Aledo High School Bearcats didn't want to score 91 points over Fort Worth Western Hills on Friday night, nor did they intend to hold their opponent completely scoreless. When the team glanced at the scoreboard as time expired and discovered they'd done both those things, the pangs of remorse were acute.
"I'm upset about it," head coach Tim Buchanan told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "I don't like it. I sit there the whole third and fourth quarter and try to think how I can keep us from scoring."
Alas, when your team is No. 1 in the state, and you average just south of 70 points per game, and your opponent has been blown out in almost every game they've played, telling your team not to score is like trying to rein in a thoroughbred on the home stretch of the Kentucky Derby.
The parents at Western Hills could have used Friday's lopsided loss as a teachable moment, perhaps to convey the message that their kids will spend their lives beneath the heels of the rich and powerful, perhaps as a metaphor for the dangers of capitalism unchecked by sensible regulation to level the playing field.
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They did not. Instead, a Western Hills parent filed a complaint with the Aledo Independent School District, accusing the Bearcats of bullying. Under state law, the district will have to investigate whether the team's behavior meets the Texas Education Agency's definition of bullying, which reads like this:
Bullying occurs when a person is exposed, repeatedly and over time, to negative actions on the part of one or more other persons, and he or she has difficulty defending himself or herself. Bullying is aggressive behavior that involves unwanted, negative actions. Bullying involves a pattern of behavior repeated over time. Bullying involves an imbalance of power or strength.
Naturally, Buchanan denies anything of the sort. If the parents want to know what bullying feels like, he can show them bullying.
"In actuality, we probably could have scored a lot more," he told NBC 5. "We did try to keep it down. I was really fearful that we were going to score 100."