It may be time to drop high school football | December 7, 2012 | Mountain View Voice | Mountain View Online |

Mountain View Voice

Opinion - December 7, 2012

It may be time to drop high school football

by Gary Wesley

I read online that the first-year varsity football coach at Los Altos High School was let go after an 0-10 season. Mountain View High's team was 3-7 but it beat Los Altos 55-8.

This year, Mountain View was routed by more than 20 points by every above-average opponent including Milpitas 42-7 and Palo Alto 56-28.

It may be time to let go of football entirely. Football players suffer more and more serious injuries (including concussions) than participants in any other sport. Especially vulnerable are players with little training compared to their opponents.

Not all schools offer all sports. Very few high school players receive college scholarships in football, let alone reach the big-time entertainment business called the NFL. Parents (mostly fathers) who want their sons to play high school football can send them to another public school (such as Homestead or Palo Alto) or to a private school such as St. Francis, which is located in Mountain View. And homecoming celebrations could be tied to another sport such as basketball.

Without football, the Mountain View Los Altos High School District can end the talk of double-crossing neighbors by adding lights to the stadiums. In securing passage of two bond measures, the district assured residents that no lights were planned. (By the way, night home football games for Mountain View and Los Altos have always been played at nearby Foothill College, which has no close neighbors.)

This year is not 1960 or 1970. Times have changed. We know now that football is too dangerous for high school students. In these times, students need to prepare for a future that involves competition of a different sort from all over the world.

Physical activities and education are vital. Group sports can promote camaraderie and cooperation; however, there are many group sports other than football.

I suggest that students learn social dancing in the high schools. It would serve them well in life. Students who think they may face ridicule if they actually learn to dance should be offered self-defense training. Indeed, self defense should be a staple of physical education. But it may be time to say goodbye to football as a team sport in this district. Other districts may follow suit, or just continue to live in the past: it's their choice.

Gary Wesley lives on Continental Circle


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Posted by member
a resident of The Crossings
on Dec 8, 2012 at 10:42 pm

Out of your mind! It is completely inappropriate that adults put down those who work hard to help the boys of our community to become men on and off the field. 1. Do not speak of what you know not of. 2. If your child has never played football prior to high school and are afraid of injuries DO NOT allow them to play! Injuries happen to kids on and off ALL sports fields. (including normal life)

In regards to the comment about scholarships obviously again clueless!!! Are you trying to dumb down football players intentionally? You would be quite surprised of how many football players actually go to college and play football on scholarship... not just sports but academic scholarships! I personally know many football players current and past that go to college on sports or academic scholarship.

If find it funny that those who complain about the sport always seem to know the spread of the games and the players stats. IRONIC! Watch NFL much?

What has Mountain View come too? It's getting to be an embarrassment to be associated with people that live in this town. Between the "Lights at MVHS" argument and the "McKelvey Park lawsuit" I am completely fed up with this community! People here don't want our kids to be athletic at all it seems!!! Your all out of your minds!

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Posted by Michael
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 10, 2012 at 11:45 am

Extremely unfortunate article. As a high school student, Gary, it is appalling to read your diagnosis for my school. I'm not entirely sure if every adult in the Mountain View area thinks they are living in a retirement community, but as they demand the respect of everyone around them, I think it's fair to ask for a little respect from them.

The people that live here seem to forget that there are families, students, children, and athletes who would like to engage in a vibrant, active community. As if it isn't bad enough that every student at Mountain View suffers from a lack of school spirit due to the absence of lights for our football field, we now have people advocating to let go of our team. As for the injuries, you trip getting out of bed in the morning. Just as no one forces you to do that, no one is forcing anyone to play football.

It's painful to read such a tasteless article. Mountain View High suffers from extreme, constant academic stress, and a strong football team is an invaluable asset to a high schools morale. It saddens me, Gary, that you would propose to take away a school's football team, when people like you in our community should be promoting the camaraderie that a sport like that offers, not only to the players, but to the school and the community itself. You should be ashamed.

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Posted by Coach
a resident of Gemello
on Dec 10, 2012 at 11:36 pm

What does the author of this letter think of the Mountain View Marauders? Is he even aware there is a Pop Warner league in this area? I am going to guess not because of the ignorance of his opinion. He cited MV/LA Varsity records and lopsided scores against local opponents as rationale to abandon the programs. Is he aware both JV football teams did well this season? MV played in the tough DeAnza division and LA had a great record in the El Camino. Lopsided wins aren't grounds for quitting, they're signs both programs need to take the sport even more seriously. There are athletes in these areas, they need to be trained properly and coached up by quality, knowledgable coaches. Disbanding the football programs at both schools because the competition is "too good" is the opposite of what sports are about. Everyone is entitled to an opinion but this guy is obviously out of touch with what youth sports, including football, bring to the development of adolescents.

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Posted by Oscar
a resident of Gemello
on Dec 11, 2012 at 9:05 pm

The column suggests that dropping high school football be considered and that other sports and activities be considered. Football surely is the most dangerous of sports offered to youngsters. It may be difficult to know the extent of injuries because boys are told by coaches to be "men," and even the NFL has spent decades lying about concussions (brain injuries), How about this: have the school district undertake a study of football injuries and share the information with parents. Sure, some parents will tell their boys to play football no matter what - but at least the district will have attempted to be honest with parents.

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Posted by Illuminated
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Dec 17, 2012 at 4:16 pm

This opinion piece is new low for those fighting like hell to keep lights from going up at MVHS. Really gross. I'm on the "Put the lights up" crowd now after seeing this story.

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Posted by Old MP
a resident of another community
on Dec 19, 2012 at 6:46 pm

The author clearly has an agenda to defeat lights at MVHS. Even Menlo-Atherton HS (located in the heart of Atherton) was able to negotiate a deal with the surrounding (and well-healed) neighbors in order to install lights on their field.

The author is obviously under-educated on alternatives. A resident of Mountain View or Los Altos cannot transfer/attend Homestead or Palo Alto HS. You have to live in the school district to do that. Homestead is part of the Fremont district and Paly is part of PAUSD. Yes, St. Francis is an alternative - but you have to pay tuition, it is not a public school.

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Posted by Daniel Eaton
a resident of Whisman Station
on Jul 24, 2013 at 7:53 pm

Just saw this article and it's a joke. Los altos class of 2012 I'm currently playing football at ucla. We went 1-9 my senior year. Web Link

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Posted by Oscar
a resident of Gemello
on Sep 21, 2013 at 11:45 pm

I just noticed the post by Daniel Eaton who reports that Los Altos was 1-9 in his senior season (2011) YET he is on the football team at UCLA. Daniel Eaton, according to on-line reports, was not recruited to UCLA and was not admitted based on his football talents or fantacies. One hopes that if Daniel ever does play (and practice is dangerous too) that he will not be badly injured. If Daniel is badly injured, maybe then he will comprehend the risks and irrationality of tbe sport. Or maybe even then, Daniel will imagine that it was worth the injuries because, well and by golly, it just was!

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Posted by Daniel Eaton
a resident of Whisman Station
on Jan 26, 2014 at 11:12 pm

@ Oscar, your right I wasn't/ am not on scholarship. However you are incorrect I was offered by numerous Division 1 schools as a preferred walk on including Ucla which is the school I ultimately picked, Ill have you know that even though I wasn't given a scholarship that, I was admitted to every school that offered me as a preferred walk on based off my football talents. In college sports there are tons of athletes recruited as walk ons and admitted through their talents. Id also like to respond to your comment "if Daniel ever does play" -- I did as a freshmen. I also broke my collarbone in high school, and this last season. It was worth the risk knowing that I can represent Mountain View/Los Altos my hometown and school and give other students a person to look to for hope that they too can make it based off their talents.

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Posted by Look past your nose
a resident of Bailey Park
on Jan 27, 2014 at 8:48 am

The 49ers had some terrible seasons too. So did Mitty who now dominates.
Are you the best in your company? Should they take action on your employment? Think it out next time.