the middle of a beautiful sunny day? Well, first you'll get some major joking and messing around. But after that, you'll usually see and hear the boys begin fulfilling the traditional desire to play America’s favorite sport: football. But here at Texas Boys State 2017, we didn't see or hear a football game, but rather from the game of Speedball. Why? Well because we “Learn By Doing.” Let me explain:
On Wednesday evening, Texas Statesmen were on their 3rd day of Texas Boys State's
annual Olympiad tournament, ranging from sports such as dodgeball, basketball, and track. But suprisingly, not football. Instead it was replaced with Speedball: a free-flowing game where players can use both hands and feet to enhance teamwork and include all physical strengths. This is a sport of sports as a combination of ultimate frisbee, lacrosse, soccer, and even football. It's the flexibility of athleticism that caught the eye of our Texas Boys State admins. If the program should follow the program's motto, then it should live up to the encouragement of all Statesmen through participation.
Although it’d be nice to watch some of the best athletes around the state compete in the
American sport, football just doesn't help everyone in the program have a chance to be included. By placing Speedball on the list of sports, statesman who are not in the political realm can participate as well, whether or not football is their main sport.
The Press Corps sat down with the Assistant Director for Recreational and
Extracurricular Activities, Tim Bort, to help summarize the decision to replace 7 on 7 Football with Speedball, and he defined it as “the ‘Heinz 57’ of sports.” In other words it has higher variety of skill than in most sports. Speedball includes the runners, the kickers, the throwers, the catchers, and all else in-between. And that's the kind of diversity that Boys State wants. But here's the catch: it's not like the program is banning football entirely. As Bort stated earlier, it is a sport that is non-restrictive in sense of regulations or ability; it’s an all-inclusive sport; a sport for all genre of athletes. Footballers can play; baseballers can play; soccer players can play. This is why our admins would rather have a more friendly and diverse sport for the Statesman than football so that they too may find their role of fun at here Boys State.
Written by Johnny Samaniego