This child, (protecting his identity unless you link below) weighs 297 and is 6 foot-1-inch tall. That sounds like awesome measurements for an offensive lineman! I bet, iffin’ I was a betting woman, that the college and pro coaches are salivating at this very minute! However, this kid is only twelve years old and just wants to play football on his local peewee team.
At first glance your heart and yes, my heart, goes out to this situation and the child’s family. But there is indeed a dilemma here to allow him to play for peewee. Say what? What about all the other kids on the team whose weight is only 135 pounds or less? Doesn’t the youth peewee program have an obligation to protect those kids? To ensure their families the safest play possible?
And what about the rules? Why have rules if you aren’t going to follow them? Why have scoreboards? Why not just play football without any so-called rules? Oh yea, rules of the game are in place to equal the playing field and give the game some assemblance of order & honor.
According to the Fox News report, in this case the rules stated that if a child is in 7thor 8th grade and weighs over 135 pounds, they are not allowed to participate in this particular peewee league. As an active member in our local peewee club, previously serving on the board and a mom of former peewee players we had, on occasion, our own struggles with the weight issues. We encouraged our parents with children who didn’t match our organizations’ weight requirements, to sign their sons up with the middle school programs they attended. Age 12 seems to be that magical number where your child can usually play for the local peewee team or for his middle school team.
It’s a dicey subject either way, but as past president of our youth program, the safety of all children under our care was crucial. I took it very seriously and tried to avoid any mishaps, and cannot imagine these folks being any different.
Look at it this way, the kid is getting great publicity, he’s already had offers to play with other teams and his desire to play football will be realized, maybe even more so with kids his own size. How much competition (translation = improvement, sharpen his skills), could he achieve by knocking down all the other lightweights in his peewee division? In other words, he’ll get better by lining up with kids who are his size. God has a way of turning bad situations into good ones and for His Glory. I’m certainly praying for him and his mama and not making light of the matter, at all. I know this has been hurtful.
As for the firing of this coach? He’s a big boy, he’ll figure it out. However, Mister League President, Ronnie Henderson, you should be ashamed of yourself, ole boy. Are you telling me that the likes of Coach Marc Wright aren’t the kind of character-building men you want around your league’s youth, because he was defending his player!? Isn’t that how we’d like all our coaches to be? Loyal to the kids you are coaching and in charge of? You could take a lesson here, Ronnie Henderson. You are the one who cowered to the uproar, calling Wright out of line? Dear sir, you are out of line for firing him! If only all coaches were as loyal as Coach Wright.
Think those two “F” words can’t coexist? Faith and football ~ I’m not too sure how to separate the two.
As a single mama of two boys, my faith was challenged in several ways, on several days! The rivalry between the two kicked in around the tween years. But what was most challenging was keeping my faith through the recruiting process when they were being vetted to play college football!
Whether you’d like to face it or not, the months leading up to signing day can be exasperating, exhausting and exciting, all at the same time. Keeping your faith in a tough sport can be, well, tough. Some days, I would’ve loved to have shown my derriere and let a few coaches have a piece of my mind. I could’ve given some of those fellers, especially the ones who sat on my sofa, a taste of some home-baked peach cobbler peppered with Tabasco sauce! Those tale-tellin’ varmints! Maybe I should’ve peeled their heads like a peach, after all!
There are so many unanswered questions during the recruiting phase that for me, I had no other choice but to turn to the Lord and seek His wisdom and His word. For insistence ~ are the recruiting coaches shooting straight with you? Is your son on a programs’ wait-n-see list and what exactly does that mean? Does the college in question have the kind of degree your son is looking to major in? Where can you ask the honest questions and find the honest answers without jeopardizing your son in some way?
I looked in libraries, bookstores, and online for any kind of help that would shine a light on the college recruiting process. All I found was recruiting from college to the NFL. There are tons of web sites that offer services to help get a kid recruited to college, most for a fee. But I wasn’t looking for that kind of information. I wanted to hear or read from someone who livedthrough it. Not from a star players’ family that most books represent, like quarterbacks, wide receivers, or running backs … you get my point. Just an honest, behind-the-scenes look at how it happens! What happens, what to expect, and why college coaches do what they do! I couldn’t find a thing, so I turned to my faith in Jesus.
Why is that? Sometimes, I dare say most times, we go looking all over the place for answers when the answer is through God’s word and our faith muscle. He really does give us the desires of our heart in His season. Of course, I detail our story to help other parents and players ride through this process with more insight and hope in Helmet Kisses … How to Survive College Football Recruiting without Losing Your Lipstick or Your Faith!
As for the boys being recruited to play football, faith was our game plan and that played the biggest part of it all! Yes, Faith and Football are two of the most powerful positive “F” words that I believe go together like peaches and cream!
This is what is so GREAT about the GREATEST game on earth! With so much negative press lately about football, here are two examples of what makes this sport shine above all others. It’s the heart, y’all. The heart of the gridiron goes way beyond any scoreboard or championship or scandal. It’s as big as the sport itself. And, big is good.
Did you know?
In the college ranks, we refer to some programs as “brainy schools” or “acadameia-maineia” schools (teams like Duke, Tulane, Notre Dame, Vanderbilt). Student-athletes who sign with these schools to play football, not only are required to have scored higher on the SAT or ACT than the NCAA guidelines for collegiate athletes, but their high school grade point average (GPA) must be higher as well! Once on campus, they have to maintain an even higher GPA throughout the four years of eligibility than most other student-athletes in the same arena. In other words, these players hit the field as well as the books and exceed the NCAA requirements. My hat’s off to ’em! Win or lose on the field of football, these kids are leaders. Period.
I’ve known parents whose kids are walk-ons, and as long as that college tuition is being covered by the walk-on’s family, most programs pass on handing out scholarships. This week, Vanderbilt Commodores’ Head Coach, James Franklin, surprised his senior player with a scholarship and that, my friends, speaks volumes about this man’s character. However, there’s no doubt the kid earned it in the classroom and on the field! Congratulations, Marc Panu!
In other recent news, we come to the New York Jets, Tim Tebow. Man, how do you describe Tim Tebow? Christian, unselfish, great athlete, great attitude, class act, impeccable character, big heart. That boy’s heart is so big that he stoops to shake the hands of little kids and grant their wishes. (Check out the Tim Tebow Foundation.) That’s what it’s all about folks, humility in a big-headed sport. Awesome, Tim Tebow! Can you imagine how grateful the Shirey family must be?
Two dazzling examples of how great some people behind the gridiron sport really are! And, the true measure of how a football man’s heart goes beyond the GREATEST game ever played.
Friday Night Football Begins Soon! Are you ready? Come on y’all, break out the pom-poms and shakers, and go support your local high school team, even if you don’t personally know one player!
As you might guess, I’m a strong advocate of supporting the hometown teams. After all, high school football is not only as exciting as some college teams but what a way to stretch your entertainment dollars! Where else is the action so packed for so little cost? So, hop-on up to your favorite nesting site in the bleachers and get ready to cheer! Don’t forget to pass the hot dogs!
There’s honestly nothing quite as savory as biting into a big juicy hot dog in the stands and rooting for the home team on a cool fall evening! Especially for those of you who have sons participating on Friday nights, I imagine many of you are wondering if it’s all worth it. All the blood, sweat, and anguish you’ve seen your son go through, not to mention the parents’ booster club fees. (It takes a lot to run high school football programs.)
The players have practiced through the miserable heat. All summer long, they’ve been faithful to their best love in the entire world ~ the weight room! They’ve done so many reps by now they can execute and perform them in their sleep! The players are ready. The coaches are ready. The cheerleaders are ready. The fans are pumped. But, what about the mamas of seniors? Are they ready? Are they ready to watch their sons play the last season of football?
I’ve been in your shoes, assuming you wear high heels, and I know what it’s like to see the last high school season slip away right before your eyes. Of course, we want our sons to go on with their lives, attend college, build their own careers, live productively, and not be a bunch of bums. But, I’ll tell you right now, I didn’t want to see those high school years end. No sir, not this mama! Many mamas, I guess, can’t wait for their kids to get out of the house and leave for college. Well, that wasn’t me!
High school football is the last stop for the games’ innocence. Once a player graduates and leaves the ole alma mater for another field, their lives change completely. And so does yours. Some purdy big surprises are on the horizon once your son leaves your nest. Some of which have nothing to do with football at all. College football really is a whole new ball game on many levels.
But as for right now, if your son is playing high school football, I’d love to hear from you! Join me for a round of braggin rights and let me know about your stand-out player in the comments. Tell us the name of your son, his position, his school, and his stats – and anything else about his football career you wish to share. If we get several, we may post some of the comments in a later post.
We’ll come back to the question of whether or not mamas are ready to send sons off, the conflicting emotions and what some of your suggestions are on how to cope with this last senior season.
Let’s get ready for some FOOTBALL! GO TEAM!
This question is sure to be debated till the end of time. Why, I’m almost sure of it! What’s the real score here? Or, in this case my honest, mama-to-mama opinion?
I’ve heard it all… from, “little boys” bones aren’t quite formed enough to break easily, so they can go at-it without too much injury.” To, “ah, it ain’t gonna hurt em, it’s good for a boy to get ruffed up and knock heads.” Just between you and me ~ neither of these statements is very accurate.
First of all, knocking heads isn’t the way to go. Wasn’t there a band by that name back in the 80’s? Little helmets should be upright, eyes looking straight at the opposition team. (They’re too young yet, to intimidate eye to eye. If you can get them running in the right direction, then hey, you’re doin purdy good!) But, bad habits can form, from the commands to, “knock heads.” Kids do not need to bend their necks, lower their heads and hit! That’s no way to play, much less teach technique. Second, even children who are infants can break bones. In my ER days, I saw my share of broken bones in toddlers and babies.
Here are a few suggestions if you are seriously going to sign your son up for peewee:
- Make sure your son is the one who wants to play. Even if you signed him up just to introduce him to the sport, make sure he understands that after he is on the team and plays his first game, there is no quitting. However, if at practice before the first game, it’s clear that he doesn’t want to play, then that’s the time to pull him out. If you wait until after the first game, I believe it breeds a… “can quit anytime attitude.” Next year, if he doesn’t want to play, don’t try to force him. Let it be his decision. The first year is always the gauge and it doesn’t mean he should play every year from then on. Nothing wrong with taking a break.
- If your son has extra energy, peewee football is a great place to channel that liveliness. Better to be tackling dummies at practice, than tackling that new sofa in the living room!
- Peewee football is a great place to begin teaching little fellas the art of teamwork. The ability to view themselves as part of something big, like a team, is an invaluable lesson.
- Peewee football will build his self-esteem. It can add to his since of accomplishment even if he’s the slowest little guy on the team.
- Make sure if possible, that at least one of the coaches coaching your sons’ peewee team did play the sport, at least in middle school, at best on the high school level, even better ~ college. It’s hard to teach something like proper technique if you’ve never played.
- Make sure the equipment is in good condition with no cracked helmets. Pads bendable and squashy with a little give. A new pair of cleats that fit snug, whatever brand and style your youth club is recommending.
- Most importantly, let him have fun! And parents, remember, its peewee ~ sportsmanship is taught through your example!