GREEN BAY, WI – The other day I was Assistant Referee for a state quarter final and overheard a conversation that really got me thinking. The conversation was this:
“We don’t need football players. We need the kids who don’t play the major sports- the ones who want to play sports but never really can.”
Two thought immediately popped into my head:
1) At the high school level, the politics in sports is obsessive.
2) They are missing the bigger picture. No, they don’t need football players… they need athletes.
The major issue in High School sports is the unwillingness to have athletes play more than one contact sport. If I look at my high school, all the football players participated in track; there were a few crossover athletes but not many. When looking at why this was, the football coach actually pushed for the team to participate in track. Now, the politics involved to keep kids out of playing rugby by a football coach was always interesting, considering the fact that of this particular football team, I can think of only a handful that went on to play in college. Essentially, high school sports don’t lead to much for most people. So why the political nonsense behind the scenes?
Then there’s the bigger picture… At the moment, American Rugby needs athletes. It doesn’t matter where they come from. Let’s think about what happened in the past when someone said they didn’t need professionalism… they wound up with two different sports. Albeit it’s a different issue, but to say we don’t need athletes, where most of the players end up not playing football after high school, it’s an excellent opportunity to develop upon. Indeed, many football players don’t continue beyond 8th grade or freshman year of high school, and rugby could definitely benefit from those kids playing.
So why not mix Football and Rugby? They are related, after all.
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