Pacific Grove students have never been known for their optimism. That may be why a recent survey shows that P.G. students count the recent Shoe Game loss as one of the top moments of their high school career.
Beating out other categories like watching paint dry and not getting into the college of their choice, Pacific Grove students selected the 48-37 loss against perennial powerhouse Carmel as their favorite memory.
It was noticeable at the Shoe Game how content Pacific Grove students were with the score; while Carmel students chanted “P.G. can’t hang” or “Shine our shoe,” students from P.G. could be heard saying, “Not everyone’s a winner!”
According to Pacific Grove senior Joshua Nortenberry*, this slogan embodies the high school experience at P.G. for him and so many of his classmates.
“Growing up, my father always told me that I wasn’t good enough, and I soon came to believe it, so watching this game really comforted me,” Nortenberry says.
Other students look at the loss as preparation for life in the outside world.
“I know that we all have our failures when we grow up, and I appreciate how P.G.HS tries to give us a taste of that early on,” freshman Jessica Nordstrom adds.
Most students reported that they are happy the shoe is where it belongs.
P.G. faculty member Franklin Robertson, the man tasked with keeping care of the shoe for its short stay in the butterfly city, often noticed how the trophy just seemed out of place.
“I’d go in to dust it every once in a while, and it just called out to me,” Robertson recalls. “It had that look—like one of those kids at Stevenson who was only there because his parents didn’t want him at home on the weekends.”
When taking photos with the trophy two years ago, the shoe appeared unphotogenic and disinterested, drawing comparisons to Ryan Reynolds at Taylor Swift’s Fourth of July party.
“I’ve never known that a trophy was capable of this level of anthropomorphism, but this spray-painted cleat juxtaposed on a wooden frame exuded a sense of pining,” former P.G. photography student Alyssa Sinclair remembers. “I feel happy for the shoe now that it’s back home.”
The students aren’t the only people content with the results; parents are also supportive of the game’s outcome.
“This is why we moved to P.G.,” Pacific Grove PTO secretary and parent Stephen Bloomberg says. “If I thought my kid was a winner, I would’ve sent him to Stevenson.”
*All names, quotes, and events are purely fictional. Except for the Shoe Game. We won that.