High School football documentary "A Coach in the Deep East" provides interesting view on the power of coaches to mentor young athletes

October 22, 2014

Too often the narrative we hear today about high school sports concerns elite -- some might say "pampered" -- recruits, and their potential college choices in the NCAA cattle-call. In other cases, we might hear about the latest wave of athletes transferring to far off high schools to form prep "super teams."

But buried underneath those headlines is the fact that the majority of today's high school athletes will not earn a Division I athletic scholarship, and only a small percentage of those who do will play professionally.

Nevertheless, although sports participation might not produce an athletic career, it does not mean that playing sports does not have certain benefits.

At a minimum, athletics provides young people with structure, discipline, and a level of physical and mental well-being that is invaluable in helping individuals mature into responsible adults.

In fact, no less an authority than the United Nations has recognized the value of sports in fostering a healthy society, as the U.N.'s Sport for Development and Peace program has actively promoted athletics as a vehicle for development in many countries.

Closer to home, sports can have a similar type of effect in many struggling California communities.

Grit Media recently has created an interesting documentary film series on Castlemont High School's football team, a school located in the rough neighborhood of East Oakland, California.

Known as the "Kill Zone," East Oakland is an area that has seen its share of violent crime, but Ed Washington, a new coach for Castlemont's football team and a relatively young man himself, is trying to change this area and inspire his students one step at a time.

The series tracks Washington's journey as he mentors his athletes and tries to bring stability to their lives.  Episode I in the series can be viewed above, or by going to http://bit.ly/coachindeepeast1.

Editor's Note: The video deals with serious subject matter and may contain profanity

By Staff of TheDailySportsHerald.com

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