Do they play the high school baseball All-Star game in October? Or the basketball All-Star game in August? What would happen if they did? I’ll tell you what would happen. It wouldn’t work.
The interest would be gone, a majority of the the players wouldn’t show up and the ones that did would be rusty. Would anybody care? At that point wouldn’t everybody already be thinking about next year?
Then why is the Hall of Fame Game (The high school All-Star football game) played in June? The season has been over for six months. Teams have already completed spring workouts and are well into the summer passing circuit. The coaches that have agreed to coach have to take two to three weeks off of practice time away from their own teams.
The argument that always comes up is that if the game was scheduled in January or February is that it would conflict with other sports. Okay that might be a legitimate gripe. If a player was involved in basketball or wrestling, he might have to do some juggling. But that’s the only argument. The pros outweigh the cons at least 2 to 1 when it comes to moving the game up.
“Oh they definitely should move the game up. The kids have so many things going on in June it’s nearly impossible to make the practices and that’s why you see players dropping out.” said a local coach that has been involved with the game.
“They have graduation, they have senior nights, they have baccalaureate and most importantly they have to spend time with their families. I mean you can’t tell Grandma and Aunt and Uncle that you have to go to football practice,” he said. “Mom and Dad are going to say ‘No. You’re going to stay home and spend time with the family.’”
The coach also didn’t like the idea that players are required to attend a certain number of practices to play.
“Sometimes it’s hard to get them to four or five but they are required to attend ten. It’s impossible this time of year. That’s why several players dropped out.”
Another problem with a June game is that players that have already signed to play college football are unlikely or in some cases forbidden to play in the game. Anybody see Taylor Lagace at the game? Ellis McCarthy? I didn’t see Kevon Seymour warming up on the sidelines. Chris Solomon?
Why didn’t they play? A better question is why would they? The chance of getting injured in a meaningless game and jeopardizing a college career isn’t worth the risk.
It might be still be an issue in January but at that point most players have yet to sign and if they do play they’re still in football shape. In fact the game might even serve as a showcase for players looking to play at the next level.
“You’re not going to see all the best players in the valley in this game because of the commitments to college. It doesn’t make any sense to play in June,” the coach added.
Rust is a factor as well. If you saw the game Friday night you could see that tackling almost non existent in some cases. Again it’s June. Most of these guys just want to put on the pads and helmets one last time but they haven’t put them on in half a year.
Because it’s football the fans did come out. The stands were nearly filled to capacity at West Covina High. Guys like De’Shawn Ramirez (West MVP) and Jimmy Frazier (East MVP) put on a great show in a 46-34 East Victory. East quarterback Shane Virnala (Los Altos) and West DB Tyquwan Glass of Muir also had big nights.
Because it’s football it wasn’t a bad game. But a simple schedule change would make it oh so much better.
That’s my principle.
Tim can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org