There once was a boy I knew who loved football so much that I never dared make him answer the question about which one he would rescue from a burning building, me or the quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys. I knew what his answer would be and I didn’t want to hear about my own fiery demise.
When we grew up (or at least got older) it was not a surprise to find this man not just at the front of an English classroom at our old school, but on the sidelines coaching the team he has always loved. You see, there may be only one thing this guy loves more than football, and that is helping kids. Our sweet pairing may not have lasted longer than a high school minute, but it didn’t take long as his mate to learn that his heart was unlike many others. He gives and gives and gives until he has nothing left. The young men on his football team are so lucky to call him coach. Because from him, they’ll get more than just lessons in football.
When Super Coach reached out to his high school classmates last year to ask us for help, I knew I wanted to do something more. See, my alma mater isn’t the place it once was. It is still situated in one of the wealthiest counties in America, but its student body does not share that same distinction. Springbrook High School is still an outstanding place to get an education, but the teachers there are educating a student body with 2/3 of its members at or below the poverty line. That’s a tough statistic to fathom and an even tougher one to fund.
While budgets get slashed across the board at schools all over our country, our coaches are asked to do more with less, just like our teachers. When all we talk about is common core and competing with a global tech economy, sports may not seem important to you. As someone who relied on sports in high school for discipline, focus, community and a sense of purpose, I am here to argue that sports are more important now than ever before.
Sports are an equalizer. Team sports provide kids an extended family to provide support and help push them in the right direction. Good coaches act as mentors and teachers and friends. In a place where two thirds of the kids come from homes where they may not be sure of their next meal, the football team can provide a way to escape a harsh reality just long enough to feel part of something bigger than yourself.
I am certain my friend is trying to create that for the young men on his team. Because as much as he loves football, he loves those kids more, and right now, he needs our help.
They all do.
If you want to make it possible for young men to just be young men for a little longer every day, please consider donating to the Springbrook High School Football Fund. Simply go to paypal and send your donation to AdamBahr at aol dot com. Coach Bahr will use the money to help defray the cost of school supplies, team meals and extra equipment that kids may need. The playing field can be a great equalizer, but only if the kids are properly prepared and suited up when they get there. Coach Bahr wants to ensure that is so. Please consider giving, every little bit helps.
P.S. Looking for more parenting guidance and tips for self-care? Check out From Chaos to Calm a guided training to help you feel better in this tough season.