The Keith High School Bears hold up their helmets at the end of a scrimmage this past spring. Local coaches said teamwork and the camaraderie of football are among the things they love most about the game. Practices begin on Aug. 6 for local Alabama High School Athletic Association teams. -- File photo

As practices near, local coaches express admiration for football

Published 12:31am Saturday, August 4, 2012

When it comes to the game of football, there are many different aspects that interest people in the sport.

The speed and physicality are among the things that bring in your average fan to the most popular sport in the country, but what about the coaches, what interests them in the game?

For most coaches, a love of the game from their playing days and the qualities football teaches are what makes them stay involved.

Leroy Miles, head football coach of Selma High School, said the life lesson of working together is the thing he enjoys the most about the game of football.

“What I like about the game is that it’s a team sport. It’s team oriented and, to be successful, you have to play as a team,” Miles said. “You have to play on a team as one, you all have to be on the same accord to win games and be successful as a program. You have to have discipline. It’s beautiful when everything comes together — the discipline is there, the fundamentals are there. To sum it up in a few words, it’s a team effort.”

While Dallas County High School head football coach Chris Littleton said he enjoys the competition on the gridiron, he too enjoys how football emphasizes teamwork, and he likes how the game parallels life.

“Obviously, the competition. I mean, I’m a competitor like most everybody else that gets involved in it,” Littleton said. “Competition’s a big deal, but more than that, it’s just the camaraderie of being a part of a team. That’s what I always enjoyed when I played and now coaching. Football’s a good example of life, really, in that in everything you do, you have to work with others, overcome adversity at times, enjoy victory together as well as suffering together in defeat. You’re not alone in anything you’re doing.”

For Keith High School head football coach Harry Crum, competition and the test of one’s character are among the reasons he loves football.

“I love football because of the competitive nature of it. It’s different than any other sport,” Crum said. “You have to be both physically and mentally tough. It’s easy for you, when the going get’s tough, to walk away, but if you can persevere and stick with it, that tells a lot about you.”

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