Jennifer Oswald, the mother of Irvine Beckman freshman football player Jake Oswald, sent an email providing insight about what football has done for her son from her perspective.
I think it's worth reading.
"In a time when youth football is under constant criticism, and players numbers are down in high school nationwide, I came across a demonstration of why parents still support the game and why kids love it!
"I'm a football mother, and my son (Jake), in his second year of playing, was injured last week during his freshmen game (Beckman vs University). Both highly rated academic schools in Irvine.
"I often get criticism for allowing my son to play such a dangerous sport. Yet while in the ER the nurses tell me that for as many football injuries that they get on Fridays, they get just as many on Sunday's for soccer.
"Anyway, it saddens me that participation numbers are decreasing. Since my son started playing youth football, his GPA increased, his personality changed into an outgoing confident young man, and his life changed as he felt he belonged to an organization that can truly not exist unless in the team environment.
"Jake had his surgery to put a pin in his elbow today, and it went great! And his team, 14-year-old boys with acne and baby fat still, awkward and all, put together this amazing video to cheer Jake up.
"To me, this video epitomizes youth football, and the benefits of playing. Where else can 14-year-old boys get this kind of love and support from their peers?
"I'm not sure if you find it as compelling as I do, but when the future seems to be getting more bleak for youth football, it's an incredible demonstration of the sports benefits, that go way beyond hits and injuries. It contributes to the creation of thoughtful, endearing and most importantly selfless young men."
The video above was created by Beckman student Jillianne Melle Fernando.