My turn: Lessons from defeat

The crushing defeat suffered by the Juneau/Douglas Crimson Bears last Saturday night should challenge the School District administration to review its policy on interscholastic football in Juneau.

My concern is not over a defeat, per se; it is for the safety of our athletes. Football is a game of controlled violence; it is inherently dangerous and therein is found much of its appeal.

Typically, a “team” is comprised of three teams: Offense, Defense and Special, each of which is made up of eleven players; in theory there are thirty-three positions on the team.

In the game against Murietta Valley, Juneau suited-up 22 players who were fit to play; of these, 4 did not finish the game. The Nighthawks suited-up 48 players. If you looked at the Juneau sideline during play; there were about as many coaches as there were players.

Simply stated, the Bears do not have enough players. Many of our starters play on all three teams, (Offense, Defense and Special). Given the repetitive high level of exertion required in this sport, players who are called upon to play on multiple teams become excessively fatigued, are more susceptible to injury and cannot perform at their best.

In my opinion, Juneau should not have two varsity football teams; there are simply not enough athletes to go around. Everything else aside, the risk of injury has become unacceptably high given the current level of participation.

• Isett is 32-year resident of Juneau, a former member of the JYFL board of directors and is the father of a former Crimson Bear and college football player.

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