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9/28/2012 6:01:00 AM
Kingman letters: Get more JV players in the game

I thought it might be refreshing to start a discussion about something local - something that isn't politics, for a change. How about high school football? Or, specifically, junior varsity football.

Now for a complete disclosure: I do have a family member on the Kingman High School JV team and no, he isn't a starter. And no, this isn't meant to be a complaint because he isn't playing much during the games! I merely want to start a discussion.

I have attended several of the home games and one thing I've noticed in each of those games is that the coach only plays about 12 or 13 players, with approximately 30 more players waiting patiently on the sideline. This happens even when the game score is completely out of reach for a comeback. It seems that the coach could be making much better use of the time remaining in such a game by letting some of the benchwarmers get some actual game experience. Athletes learn so much more by playing in a real game rather than just the practice sessions.

There are several other benefits that come from using the bench in such situations, such as protecting your main players from injury when there's no hope of a comeback - and the coach might even discover a "diamond in the rough" player who is presently riding the bench! Also, it would boost the morale of the players on the sideline, which would result in much better practice sessions.

It just seems that the coach is missing a great opportunity to improve the quality of his team by not using more of his bench, especially when the score allows it.

Now, one more question - if there isn't a high school rule against it, why not use the offense/defense teaming like colleges and the NFL do? Specially selected players for offense and different players for defense? He would have better-rested players on the field, which could tip the advantage in our favor, not to mention gaining more players with better game day experience and higher levels of player enthusiasm.

So, does this sound like something that should be tried or not?

David Gaither

Kingman


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Reader Comments

Posted: Monday, October 15, 2012
Article comment by: Roy Leggett

I am worried about what is happening at Hualpai Mountain Elementary. At the beginning of the year the school sent letters to all the parents saying do not let your kids bring anything to school that they do no want stolen, as there was a problem with theft. My grand son has had several items stolen and the school does nothing. This past week someone stole his wallet and when he tried to tell the teacher and brushed him off and told him to be quiet and get on the bus. From what I understand you can steal anything you want and the school just turns their head. What kind of picture are they painting for the kids? I'm not saying the teachers should now have to spend their time being detectives but when a kids wallet is stolen that is serious and I think someone should look iinto it. I do not want to get the police involved in this but enough is enough. One more item stolen and I will get the police involved and someone will be charged with theft.

Posted: Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Article comment by: Think Tank

"Now for a complete disclosure: I do have a family member on the Kingman High School JV team and no, he isn't a starter. And no, this isn't meant to be a complaint because he isn't playing much during the games!"

Translation: This is exactly what I am complaining about!

"I have attended several of the home games and one thing I've noticed in each of those games is that the coach only plays about 12 or 13 players, with approximately 30 more players waiting patiently on the sideline."

Yes, that is how football works. Only 11 players are allowed on the field at a time and the other 42 or so are on the bench (in the NFL their are 53 man rosters, not sure about high school).

I understand you want to see you child do well and I understand you would like to see him play but like others have stated that is earned on the practice field. If you watch the NFL it is the same thing. You also rarely ever see backups at the high school level because of the extreme drop in talent level. While everyone in the NFL is at least a competant football player who can keep a 21 point lead this is not the case in high school. Again, I understand your feelings but it doesn't change the fact that high school football is played to win and those coaches are likely looking to get a better coaching job which only comes from winning and winning big.


Posted: Sunday, September 30, 2012
Article comment by: Tim Kowalski

Former bench warmer,very good letter.

Posted: Sunday, September 30, 2012
Article comment by: Tough one

This a tough topic - and one that is brought up all the time in high school sports - where there is no longer an "everyone must play" rule. I think you make a point that when the game is a landslide that second string players should get to play, but like others have mentioned, in a tiny town like Kingman (and in much larger areas) you will never have a talented enough team to have two separate offenses and defenses.

Posted: Saturday, September 29, 2012
Article comment by: Tim Kowalski

A letter worth reading.

Posted: Friday, September 28, 2012
Article comment by: David Gaither

I totally understand playing the most talented players as long as the game score is close. I was a serious athlete up til age 40, so I do understand the winning attitude. However, what I have witnessed are a couple games where the score was out of touch for any reasonable chance of winning or in one case losing!

In my opinion, the coach wasted a wonderful chance to raise the morale of the sideline players, (and parents, too!) and also the chance to help inprove his backup players. I think at the JV level that should be a part of the program!


Posted: Friday, September 28, 2012
Article comment by: Bob Smith

If the score is completely out of reach in one direction or another, then putting second and third string players in the game is understandable. However, having completely different offensive and defensive players can be a problem in the High School setting if you are trying to win games. A team that is trying to win is going to have their best players in the game. Given the limited High School talent per team, this generally involves players playing on both sides of the ball. As players progress in to college and especially the NFL, the number of players goes down while the talent level goes up. This allows teams to have specific players for only one position. This is not a reality in High School ball.

Posted: Friday, September 28, 2012
Article comment by: former benchwarmer

As a former player in high school I was one of the kids who didn't play. I figured out that I lacked the skills to compete at this level and moved on. High school sports is no longer little league or pop warner. Coaches are trying to put out a competitive team. I guarantee the kids not playing would be if they showed the coaches in practice that they should be starting. Practice is where coaches evaluate what they have in talent. In football especially, you do not want to place someone in a situation where they lack the skills to defend themselves.

Posted: Friday, September 28, 2012
Article comment by: Richard Kale

I notice that were I lived before. I come to the conculsion that the coach want to just play to win, at any cost, which is not fare to the other players. If you keep playing only your better players, you have nothing for the varsity team when they move up. Just a thought.

Posted: Friday, September 28, 2012
Article comment by: tj denton

yes it should be! they seriously dont have a seperate defense from offense?? ive never heard of that!

Posted: Friday, September 28, 2012
Article comment by: A football Parent

I could not agree more. They wonder why they do not get enough players but it has to do with just this issue. How many boys follow their plans go all summer only to be left out. It is wrong.



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