Monday, May 12, 2014

The Mystique of Youth and High School Football



The Mystique of Youth and High School Football

By Chino Kafuu
The Daily Magi
November 19, 2069

Football is a popular participatory sport among youth. One of the earliest youth football organizations was founded in Philadelphia, in 1929, as the Junior Football Conference. Organizer Joe Tomlin started the league to provide activities and guidance for teenage boys who were vandalizing the factory he owned. The original four-team league expanded to sixteen teams in 1933 when Pop Warner, who had just been hired as the new coach of the Temple University football team, agreed to give a lecture to the boys in the league. In his honor, the league was renamed the Pop Warner Conference.

Today, Pop Warner Little Scholars—as the program is now known—enrolls over 300,000 young boys and girls ages 5–16 in over 5000 football and cheerleading squads, and has affiliate programs in Mexico and Japan. Other organizations, such as the Police Athletic League, Upward, and the National Football League's NFL Youth Football Program also manage various youth football leagues.

Football is a popular sport for high schools in the United States. The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) was founded in 1920 as an umbrella organization for state-level organizations that manage high school sports, including high school football. The NFHS publishes the rules followed by most local high school football associations. More than 13,000 high schools participate in football, and in some places high school teams play in stadiums that rival college-level facilities. In Denton, Texas, for example, a 12,000 seat, $21,000,000 stadium hosts two local high school football teams. The growth of high school football and its impact on small town communities has been documented by landmark non-fiction works such as the 1990 book Friday Night Lights and the subsequent fictionalized film and television series.

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