Oakland Mills students stick it to Long Reach principal after football bet

Long Reach High Principal Josh Wasilewski stood tall with his arms spread out at the Oakland Mills High School cafeteria, waiting for students to come in for the first lunch shift to not only eat, but also to tape him to the wall.

Ahead of Oakland Mills’ homecoming game against Long Reach on Friday, longtime friends Wasilewski and Oakland Mills Principal Jeff Fink placed a friendly wager: Whichever football team lost, that principal would go to the winning team’s school during lunch and students and staff would pay $1 to buy a piece of duct tape and stick it onto the principal.


By the end of the first lunch shift, Wasilewski was covered in orange, black and purple duct tape. Orange for Oakland Mills, purple for Long Reach and black for both schools.

Wasilewski was wearing a full body smock that was decorated by some of his students. A lighting bolt, representing the school’s mascot, and the phrases “Lightning Pride” and “LRHS” were drawn on it.

Long Reach students were able to participate by donating online.

All of the proceeds, expected to be counted Friday, will go to the Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center in Columbia. Grassroots is a multi-service crisis intervention center that provides “24-hour crisis intervention services, emergency and traditional center and community education,” according to its website.

“Grassroots does so much for us, for our community,” Wasilewski said.

Fink said Grassroots is a “really good organization,” so he would have happily been taped as well.

Cathy Smith, the Grassroots change matters outreach coordinator for schools, said the event is a great reward for students to see sportsmanship, advocacy and giving back come together.

Oakland Mills’ soccer teams, football team, the school’s boosters and the Howard County Education Association, the teacher’s union, donated money for all soccer and football players and staff to be able to participate. Remaining funds went toward all student participation.

During the lunch shifts, players from the football team took a photo with Wasilewski.

Kai Castle, senior quarterback for Oakland Mills, said the team was not going to let Fink down,

Castle said the event is great for the school environment and that all students enjoyed it.

As for winning the homecoming game, Castle said, “It felt great.”

“It was a big crowd, and everyone was rooting for us.”


The two principals came up with the idea of a wager over a year ago, with Wasilewski suggesting the loser gets taped.

As for next year, Fink said they will think of something new. To which, Wasilewski said, “How can we top this?”