Jason Whitlock wrote a wonderful column for The MMQB on the importance of high school football. While I don't subscribe to every campaign Whitlock launches himself on, this column was really good.
Specifically this part:
High school football is a force of good. It’s a unique game that can be played by fat kids, skinny kids, tall kids, short kids, fast kids, slow kids, smart kids and dumb kids. Unlike most sports, there’s a position and role for every kind of kid. The physicality of football provides an outlet for young men to work out their aggression. Participation in football is an important rite of passage and male-bonding experience. For men of faith— from Larry Willen to Tony Dungy—football is a ministry, an avenue to teach biblical life lessons through competition.
The lessons and skills that football teaches -- teamwork, coachability, sacrifice, toughness and the simple ability to pick yourself up when life knocks you down -- are unlike any other endeavor available to young men from all walks of life. I know I wouldn't be the same person I am today if not for football, and if you're reading this then you probably wouldn't be, either.
I could go on and on about this, but instead I'll just direct you to Whitlock's column. He did it much better than I could.