I loved to play connect the dots when I was a kid.
I sorely lacked artistic skill, but I knew my numbers and could draw a relatively straight line, so I was able to formulate pictures as such.
Some Chesterton basketball followers are doing the same thing now, coming up with an image by linking dots that don't necessarily belong together.
Trojans sophomore Chris Palombizio announced this week he is transferring to Traders Point Christian Academy. Last month, there was the news that classmate Matt Holba will be moving to the Indianapolis area and will attend Guerin Catholic. In 2010, Mitch McGary left Chesterton for Brewster Academy in New Hampshire.
We all know what he did in the NCAA tournament.
Link those to Chesterton resident Ryan Fazekas playing for Marquette in Michigan City, and skeptics are drawing lines that lead to a picture of Trojans coach Tom Peller wearing goat's horns.
I can see how people might come to such a conclusion, but perception and reality are two distinct things.
It's easy to lump all of these circumstances into one group and determine that one person is at the root of the situation, though it's not that simple of an equation.
Had McGary stayed at Chesterton, he would have been academically ineligible. That's not Peller's fault.
Players abandoned ship as a result in the next few years. That's not Peller's fault.
Fazekas chose to play at a smaller, private school. Look around the area and the state, it's happening a lot. That's not Peller's fault.
Holba's family is moving. That's not Peller's fault.
The Palombizios determined Chris's fortunes would be better suited somewhere. Look around the area and the state, it's happening a lot, too. That's not Peller's fault.
Peller certainly doesn't need me jumping to his defense. I just don't like seeing people reach a verdict when they think they have a smoking gun.
Chesterton has another strong group on the horizon. I've already heard talk that families are looking at sending their kids to high school somewhere else because they've formulated an opinion about the coach.
I've heard the reasons why people think there needs to be a coaching change and it's all the same old stuff.
Sure, everybody wants to win. They wouldn't keep score if that wasn't a big part of it. Should Chesterton be more successful? I don't know. But the solution isn't as cut and dried as some would make it out to be.
If I may, here's a suggestion.
If you're a parent with a player in the system and you have concerns, ask to meet with the coach. I'm sure he'll be glad to sit down with you. If you're still not happy after that, then choose as you will.
If you're someone in the community with nothing more to go on than half truths and shreds of information, don't go connecting dots and starting fires.
This doesn't have to be a marriage that ends in allegedly irreconcilable differences, and right now, that's the direction it's headed.
Come on, Chesterton. Don't be that place.
This column solely represents the writer's opinion. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.