Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas), the No. 1 team the past two seasons in the Super 25 football rankings, isn’t part of the Clark County school system, but many of the Gaels’ opponents are.
Gaels coach Kenny Sanchez said the difficulty in filling out his schedule would be the least of his problems with the platform a candidate for the Clark County (Nev.) School Board of Trustees is running on: banning tackle football in the county’s public schools.
“The percentage of the kids who get hurt compared to the percentage of kids who play is very low,” Sanchez said. “You would be taking away scholarships from kids who otherwise couldn’t afford to go to college. (High school football) is also a mentoring program that encourages kids to engage in academics so they can play football. It also teaches a lot of life skills. There’s a lot that you would be taking away from kids if you didn’t have football. It’s not just a game where you’re running around hitting people. It’s way more than that.”
Clark County School Board candidate Russell Davis’ proposal also calls for banning heading in soccer and instituting concussion protocol training for all coaches and staff involved in athletics. He also said the district’s teams in all sports will not play private schools in Clark County or public or private schools outside the county that do not follow the district’s standards for safety and concussion management.
Sanchez, who coached the Gaels to their seventh consecutive state title in football last season, said that nobody is being forced to play football and that there are plenty of activities that can potentially be dangerous.
“It’s not mandatory that you play,” Sanchez said. “If you’re afraid of injuries, don’t play. Cheerleading has more blown-out knees and concussions than football has. Are you going to rule out cheerleading now? Can you not ride a bike anymore? What’s next, soccer? Where does it stop?”