It’s a common proverb that may go back to the late 16th century.
"Curiosity killed the cat."
In other words, learning new information can lead to more harm than good.
When it comes to Western Reserve Academy, having an inquisitive mind is not only encouraged, but also required.
Curiosity is an urge to explore new frontiers and seek novelty. This yearning for higher knowledge encapsulates the residential campus located on, appropriately enough, College Street.
Those who make their home at this picturesque preparatory school may have considered Dorothy Parker’s advice when they took their first glimpse of this immaculate 193-year-old institution.
"The cure for boredom is curiosity; there is no cure for curiosity," the 20th-century writer once said.
Jimmy Moynahan is not one who lacks a curious cerebrum.
The Pioneers’ 25-year-old head football coach spent time at a much larger version of Reserve when he was a teenager.
Moynahan graduated from Boston College High School, a college preparatory secondary school founded in 1863.
Moynahan, who teaches Latin at WRA, knows future NFL prospects probably won’t be terribly interested in suiting up in Hunter green and white colors on Friday night or Saturday afternoon.
It’s a safe bet Moynahan will likely tutor the next U.S. representative rather than a Hall of Fame left guard.
Think Mark Hanna instead of John Hannah.
"When you come to WRA, what always comes first is its fantastic academic program," Moynahan said. "In addition to academics, football is a great tool to get into the college of your choice."
Much like Reserve, that "great tool," which involves carrying a pigskin, has created its share of U.S. representatives, senators and governors. Football also promotes leadership, goal-setting and time management.
WRA specializes in these life skills too. Of course, it also features relics such as the Loomis Observatory to go along with the massive John D. Ong Library to enrich its gridiron gladiators’ experience.
"Where our program continues to grow is its great use for our students," Moynahan said.
From a competitive standpoint, the Pioneers face the kind of challenges that may seem outlandish for other schools.
Due to its diverse student body that includes young men and women from more than 20 states and several countries, WRA is not allowed to participate in the Ohio High School Athletic Association playoffs.
Reserve also will play just nine games during the regular season. To make matters more complicated, the Pioneers have just 34 players on their roster.
And to top it all off, they will spend a majority of their time away from the familiar scenic gates at Chapel Street.
"There is going to be quite a bit of travel," Moynahan said. "Most of our away games are at least two hours from home. We’re going to play other boarding schools."
These frequent long bus rides do have their benefits, though. The players will get a chance to enjoy new scenery other than the exquisite Brick Row Legends located on their temporary 190-acre home.
More importantly, each athlete will have more opportunities to arouse his curiosity. And those opportunities expect to be more beneficial than harmful.
Or, as inventor and political theorist Ben Franklin eloquently put it: "An investment in knowledge pays the best interest."
"We just need to pay attention to the little things and get better every day," Moynahan said. "We’re not looking at wins and losses. We’re trying to focus on improving right now."
Reporter Frank Aceto can be reached at 330-541-9444, firstname.lastname@example.org or @FrankAceto_RPC.