Four Years Is Not Enough
Once again, after a successful season, Shadle Park was defeated by a Big 9 school in the first game of the regional tournament. This reoccurring event has led many to believe that the four year football program puts GSL students at a disadvantage compared to other districts. A junior high school football program would not only increase the competitiveness of the students but also have more important consequences. As far as football goes, the GSL has become the laughing stock of the state. No team in the entire GSL has entered into the state tournament more than ten times. Shadle Park has only gone to the state tournament a few times in the school's history. So why is the GSL performing so poorly in relation to the other school districts? The GSL students lack experience. The GSL has no football program for junior high students, while its competition, the Big 9, does. The majority of the GSL cannot play football until their first year of high school. The Big 9 districts fund and support junior high football programs in their schools. This gives the players of the Big 9 a two year advantage over the GSL schools. Players need more time to attain the knowledge and skills needed to play the complicated game of football. Learning the plays alone can take most of a player's first season. Beginning this challenge in high school when competition is at an extreme can be very discouraging to new players. The GSL must start up a publicly ran junior high school football team so that it can regain its honor and enter its position as a strong competitor. Improving competitiveness is not the only advantage to beginning a football program two years earlier. Junior high is a time when many young people reach a crossroads between the innocence of elementary school and the complicated choices that come with the independence of high school. These are the years that young people begin making life changing choices in...
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