'Educational' football brings Missouri team to Pulaski Academy | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

'Educational' football brings Missouri team to Pulaski Academy

Posted By on Wed, Sep 30, 2015 at 8:10 AM

JENNINGS SCHOOL DISTRICT
  • Jennings School District

A big feature in USA Today provides
a little uplift in the story of a Missouri high school football team that came to Little Rock last week for a thrashing by Pulaski Academy but got some education in the process.

Jennings, Mo., a next-door neighbor to Ferguson, wound up with an open date arising from the unrest there. It hooked up with PA, the long-time football power for a game that happened to fall on the 58th anniversary of the desegregation of Little Rock Central High School.

The team watched films about the Central crisis, had lessons on the story and took a quiz on events.

Before Friday’s game, [Coach Mark] Harris took the team on a tour of Little Rock Central High School.

“We try to use football as an educational tool, and that’s my biggest thing as a coach … I’m trying to teach them to use football and those long days as training for life,” Harris said. “For us to be able to come down (to Little Rock) and experience where history was made and play a football game, it’s a win-win despite the score.”


The teams also got together off the field. Said PA Coach Kevin Kelley:

“Their coach was up front and said, ‘We’re the closest school to Ferguson, and I don’t want to alarm you with that, but we’re trying to teach our kids and be proactive in that area, and show them that it doesn’t have to be that way,'” Kelley said. “When you start thinking about the Ferguson thing and the racial tension and that whole episode, it’s a chance for our kids to interact with guys who went through that. It’s a real life situation and a learning experience for both our kids.”

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