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If you build it, they will come

Fielding a football team would be easier than most might think
If you build it, they will come

Greenhills has been without a staple of the normal high school experience for the entirety of its 56 year history; a football team. The argument as for why is confusing, as it seems to be a combination of different things like the cost of the sport, lack of student interest, or even not having enough students to field a team. Despite this, there are many other schools in similar situations to Greenhills who are able to field football teams, and successful teams at that. 

The editorial board wanted to make sure we had a spread of data by looking at schools that are bigger, smaller, more expensive, less expensive, and in different cities, to look at the demographics that “prevent” us from having a football team. 

Football is a very expensive sport. Yes, getting a football team started would cost a lot of money, however, according to CNBC and Daily Journal, high school football is a massive money maker for schools. The Daily Journal breaks down that it costs roughly $900 per player, roughly equalling $25,000 for equipment, a one time cost. Big numbers, high numbers, and “too much money” is what a lot of people would say. However, the average team rakes in around $3,000 to $15,000 per home game from ticket sales and concessions. Meaning that a school would make back the money in 2-9 games which is very affordable. According to CNBC, most high school football teams can sustain themselves after a year or two simply from money intake at home games, meaning Greenhills would not have to spend tens of thousands of dollars per year on the team. 

An example of this is Jackson Lumen Christi, as they have 72 students fewer than Greenhills and have nearly half the tuition cost. They have had a football team for decades, making it to 15 state championships and winning 12 times, an MHSAA record. We could do the same if we do the right things regarding student interest and population.

Student interest is one of the biggest reasons behind not having a football team. This is actually a lot more simple than it might seem. Why would we have students who are interested in football come here to a school that doesn’t offer football? Many people say that even if we tried to field a team, not enough people from the current population would be interested. This, we argue, completely misses the point. According to a poll of upper school students, a major 45 percent of the student body said they would want or would participate on a football team if Greenhills offered one. If we begin offering football, people who are interested in football will play, and more will come. Jackson Lumen Christi and University Liggett both have teams with smaller student populations and have teams because they advertise football. Greenhills could join them in football if the athletic department advertises plans for a team before adding one in order to draw football players to the school.

If football were suddenly offered here at the beginning of the school year, it is clear that a football team would just not work. There are no football players at Greenhills, and not enough interest to form a team. In the future, though, this is a possibility. The athletic department just needs to draw players to the school, so by saying that we will have a team at some point and getting the word out to prospective students, people interested in playing football will see Greenhills on the map. Once enough players fill the halls, a team could finally be fielded, and football could have a place here.

The future is impossible to predict, which would be a good reason for being hesitant to take action around a football team. The schools in our area that field teams, thought, are proof of a process that works, and one that could work for Greenhills. They all support football teams even though they make less money from tuition and have less students. If anyone wants a good look at how a football team could fit here, just look at all of the schools who are nearly the same as Greenhills and see the success that they have had.

 

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