Persuasive Essay: Football


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     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 their search to identify who they are in this new world of leaving childhood behind. Many middle schoolers choose paths that do not lead to positive results. Some students during this time begin the illegal use of drugs and alcohol as well as other delinquent behaviors. Sports are a proven deterrent to these types of decisions. Studies reveal the number of athletes that become involved with drugs and alcohol is a significantly lower percentage than that of non-athletes.

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Athletes do not have as much free time as non-athletic students so they have less time to get themselves in trouble. Also, in order to be involved in a sport ran by a public school, each individual must sign a contract prohibiting them from being around any illegal substances. This contract proves to be an effective incentive for students to stay away from drugs. Coaches strongly advise early curfews, decreasing the night time temptations. Football teaches self-discipline, teamwork and concern for healthy lifestyles. Coaches expect a lot out of each team member and anyone serious about playing football rises to their expectations. This produces a more mature student ready to enter high school. When middle schools provide a football program they have an opportunity to redirect children’s lives into a path that leads to success.
     The schools in the GSL need to reevaluate the importance of beginning football programs during the middle school years. A junior high school program would greatly increase the chance of a Spokane school finally being able to beat out the Big 9 schools and win a state championship. School spirit and moral could also be greatly improved. More importantly, the instituting of a junior high football program could result in giving purpose to a child before negative influences take over his life.
     


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