Belichick: High School Football Paves Way For Pros
New England Patriots
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BOSTON (CBS) — Yesterday, the high school Super Bowls took place at Gillette and around the state. It was great day for family and friends and community.
Bill Belichick had a morning press conference and he commented on how excited he was for the high school football scene.
Q: Can you imagine how these kids are feeling playing out there on the Gillette Stadium field?
“Oh, yeah, absolutely. I was at the Rivers-Pingree game here a couple of weeks ago for the private schools, and it was awesome. It was a great environment. I’m sure it was a big thrill for, like I said, everybody involved. It was an awesome experience.
“I know people at both schools and talked to a lot of them and they were very appreciative of the Krafts for letting them use the facility for that game and how much it meant to everybody involved.
“It was a huge game anyway, but sure, to be able to play here, it makes it even [more] special for them. We all know that, really, the backbone of our game is high school football.
“Without high school football, you don’t have college football and you don’t have professional football. I’ll just say that, through the years, of all the kids that we talk to in the draft, in Indianapolis, visits and all that, whenever you ask a kid who had the most influence on them as a person and in his life, it’s usually one of two people: it’s either some family member – a parent or some other family member – or his high school coach. It’s usually one of those two. I know how important high school coaches are to the development of young student athletes at that point in their life and how it really formulates a lot of your life lessons that you need to learn.
“You learn them on the football field. You get down, you learn how to get up. You learn how to compete. You learn how to mentally deal with things that aren’t the most pleasant: losses or injuries or whatever setbacks you have. You learn how to deal with those things at that age and those are all things that we have to deal with later on in life.
“It’s a great environment to participate as a team and have that camaraderie and chemistry as a group of people all trying to accomplish the same goal. It’s a great venue for young kids that want to grow up and become men. It’s part of the steps that some of us have been fortunate to take.
“But the only playoff games that I’ve really participated in were in college, in lacrosse, which, again, there is just something about being in a playoff game – it is just different than a regular-season game. Of course I’ve had the opportunity here, but not as a player.
“As a player, you definitely remember those games. You remember the shots that you missed. I was talking about it with Paul Rabil about it a couple of weeks ago after the Indianapolis game.
“We were out there on the field playing catch and one of the things he talked about was the last shot he took as a college lacrosse player in the Syracuse game. How he shot it low, and they saved it, and maybe he should have taken a different shot. Those are things… You remember those games; they’re special.”