A Los Angeles high school football coach has started a youth 7v7 football league specifically as a means to combat the decrease in tackle football enrollment at the high school level.
As reported by the Los Angeles Times’ Eric Sondheimer, Campbell High football coach Dennis Keyes has founded the Keyes 2 Success 7v7 football league to help younger players become better prepared for the rigors of high school football.
The league was born of Keyes’ concern that too many players spent their entire pre-high school career competing in flag football without any experience with the more traditional format and feel of tackle football.
“We have seen a significant drop in tackle football signups recently and young kids aren’t prepared enough for high school through simply playing flag,” Keyes told the Times. … “What I plan to accomplish through this league that will be different from simply playing flag football is to teach the young players how to play tackle football in a non-contact environment. Think spring ball for high schools.”
If Keyes is successful, his program will provide a viable alternative to players focusing solely on flag football, particularly as concerns over head trauma continue to rise.
Whether Keyes’ new league is capable of bridging the skills gap that continues to open is another issue entirely. At the very least, it’s a new approach that will open up an exciting form of the game for athletes and parents who may still be weighing whether to continue playing in high school.