We write regarding the recent news that the Piedmont High School Football program faces an uncertain future. Upon hearing such news, we felt the need to speak out and advocate for a program that shaped not only our time at Piedmont High School, but our development as young adults. Without question, our time spent on Witter Field will influence the rest of our lives.
From a basic standpoint, the football program provides incredible social benefits for students at Piedmont High School. Students form close friendships with others with whom they might not otherwise come in contact. On the field, all players are equal and working towards a goal, regardless of background or friendships outside of the field. The team also provides the opportunity to form friendships across different grades. Not only were we the beneficiaries of mentorship, but we were able to reciprocate as we grew older, forming positive relationships with younger teammates.
The Football Program also provides a fantastic opportunity to develop healthy habits and discipline. For many of us, joining the football team was our first real introduction to working out in a gym or a weight room. Not only did we learn how to physically engage in this activity, but we learned the value and importance of working hard and setting goals. This exposure taught a love for exercise and being fit that many former players have carried into their present lives, helping them to become healthy and productive adults. Additionally, football provides a release of tension from schoolwork and other stresses and serves as a structured and productive use of free time. Many players see an improvement in grades in-season, between the positive effect of physical activity and added structure and discipline in their lives.
Without question, our time spent on Witter Field will influence the rest of our lives.
Finally, the Piedmont Football Program serves as a tremendous way to teach and learn life lessons, ranging from the value of hard work to the importance of quite literally picking oneself up after being knocked down. Football is a special sport in which the actions of every individual matter, and players learn the value of contributing to a team effort and embracing one’s role, whatever it may be. There is also the opportunity for leadership, in both formal and informal positions, and players spend many hours around coaches, many of whom become role models in their lives. In some cases, football even serves as an avenue through which students are able to attend college, directly shaping their lives.
In conclusion, we are certain our lives would be drastically different without the Piedmont High School Football team. Not only did it improve our high school experience, but through the sport and our team, we learned numerous life lessons. We hope this letter will spark discussion in our community and will lead to reconsidering the potential termination of the Piedmont High School Football Program.
On behalf of former, present, and future Piedmont High School football players,
Jack Elvekrog, Hunter Settlemier, and Marshall Petty
Football Captains, Class of 2019