This letter explains my family's first experience with youth football in Tehachapi. We were pleasantly surprised at the organization and professionalism from the voluntary staff this season. Those who think that football is too dangerous or somehow not good for kids should know that the reward outweighs the risk like much of life!

Football teaches young men that they can do vastly more than they thought they could. That they are strong when they put others before themselves. When they do things that are very very difficult, but yet very possible, they learn to push their limits. They learn the difference between "hurts" and "injuries." A "hurt" sometimes just means taking five minutes to catch your breath, cry a little and get back out there. An injury may require you to take games off and contribute in different ways.

Some people are raising their children to be weak both physically and emotionally. And if you're as sick of this as I am, then coming onto the football field will put you around like-minded people. Our children need to be pushed, be challenged, they need to get emotionally vested in things and cry if they lose... that's healthy.

What's not healthy is the child who lives other people's lives in front of a screen and never gets hurt while he is wasting away. A coach gets them used to a boss (good or bad), teammates as coworkers and victories, and losses encourage and challenge. Sportsmanship built with blood, sweat and tears!

Darrel Sipes, Tehachapi