High school football is one of the most popular interscholastic sports. It began in the late 19th century; the same period when many college programs began. In the late 19th and early 20th century, many college and high school teams started to play against each other; what later came to be referred to as “Friday Night Lights”.
In fact, high school football is generally considered to be a 3rd tier, behind both college and the NFL. This is where a player accumulates the statistics and life skills that will determine his chances of competing at the college level, and ultimately the professional level.
While Florida, Texas, and California lead in producing top talent, another state that is notable for producing talented football players is Ohio, particularly northeast Ohio. For the past decade, Ohio has been injecting new blood into the NFL with its talented players. Great players like Desmond Howard of St. Joseph, Tom Cousineau of St. Edward and Stow’s Larry Csonka have all passed through northeast Ohio.
So, what’s the secret ingredient? According to team coaches from northeast Ohio, commitment and hard work are the first in line. The goal is to make sure that all players possess these two important virtues, because according to them, it is the key to enhancing their skills and abilities, both on and off the field. “One of my most rewarding experiences in life has been my time spent in coaching,” said Victor Bierman III, lawyer, Ohio business expert and former coach of Southern Hills Youth Football. “I have had the fortunate opportunity to coach and teach players, my son included, about valuable life experiences through the game of football for many years.”
Beaming with such talented athletes, high school football in northeast Ohio is fascinating to watch. The game is mostly enjoyed on Friday nights when the stadiums are well lit. According to Victor Bierman IV, a senior at Brecksville High School’s Class of 2017 and captain of the Bees Varsity Football Team, “Playing football has taught me a lot about hard work, dedication and leadership. I am very fortunate to have worked with great coaches over the years. I truly feel that an invaluable lesson I have learned as a player is how to help my team overcome adversity on the field when it really matters.”
A large crowd, including alumni, students and parents gathered under the Friday night lights for the Brecksville opening game against Padua on August 26th and enjoyed their first victory. With a current record of 5-0, the undefeated team is well underway for a championship season.
Image Credit: Chris Stoddart | Flickr