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— Shades of Ramsey

While in my press box vantage point, I could see the Ramsey clan sitting just below it with “Grandpa” Ramsey watching his grandkids play.

One grandson, Tyler Ramsey, was the starting tailback for the ’Hawks with two other grandsons, Caleb and Eathan, starting for the Pioneers. Also in the stands were his granddaughters, Jessica and Jennifer Small, the Ramsey boys’ cousins, who have been outstanding athletes for the ’Hawks for the past several years.

My knowledge of the Ramseys goes way back into the ’80s when the elder Ramsey was the elementary principal for Decatur. I taught junior and senior high school classes with Daniel Ramsey (current Gentry coach), Josh Ramsey (current Pea Ridge School Board member) and Valarie Ramsey (Small) in attendance. Also in my classes was David Ramsey, the oldest of the Ramsey kids.

The Ramseys later moved to Pea Ridge where Mr. Ramsey was employed by the Pea Ridge School District for a time.

Today is Youth Health Day

Today is National Youth Health Day with the stated purpose of promoting education and preventions efforts that encourage healthy lifestyles. Tomorrow, Oct. 15, is National Coaches Day, to recognize the contributions of high school coaches (and junior high ones, too, I would think).

Friday is National Fan Appreciation Day, obviously a day to appreciate the fans who support the youth sporting programs. Saturday has been designated as National Community Service Day/Participation Day which encourages folks to help fund and to work to support youth programs.

Anything that helps get the American youth to a better place physically is well worth while. The Greeks taught that you really couldn’t have the best mental fitness without the physical side also being taken care of.

Football still rules the U.S.

As far as high school participation goes, more kids play high school football than any other sport. In the most recent count, 1,112,303 students played football, over double the next most popular sport, track and field, which had 558,007 participants.

When you combine both boys and girls sports, boys football still has the most students playing. Track and field for boys and girls has a total of 1,015,878 participants, ahead of boys and girls basketball which has a total of 989,954 players.

Among girls, the most popular sport in the U.S. is track with 457,732, just ahead of basketball’s total of 444,809.

In terms of schools, more schools play basketball than any other sport with over 17,000 schools playing either boys or girls basketball. Track and field ranks second with nearly 16,000 schools suiting up for that sport. Baseball/softball holds down third place overall with over 15,000 schools playing the diamond sport.

Texas has the most athletes in the country with 781,000 Texas youths suiting out in something. The national average of high school students participating in sports has risen to 55.2 percent of the enrollment, up from 54.8 percent.

Sports, Pages 11 on 10/14/2009

Print Headline: Ridger Sports: Football still #1 sport in America

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