Re: “Trouble downfield: Can football survive at Maine’s smallest high schools?” (Sept. 18):

As I read this article, I kept thinking about how football has affected our family for the past seven years. With two boys playing in Grades 7 and 9, the fall is football for our family.

I have heard the comments about the risk of injury associated with football, in particular, and I know it exists, but risks are always present and I have seen kids get concussions and injuries doing a variety of team sports and activities. We are fortunate that, in the past seven years, we have been injury free and have gained so many valuable life skills and lessons along the way.

So why do I, as a mom, love football? Because of the physical activity, the team environment, the experience and the coaches. At the start of the season, my son’s high school coach told us that his goal is to teach these young men about themselves, teamwork, commitment and character; and win some football games.

As a team, they practice a lot, they volunteer, they fundraise and they learn how to work together as a team on and off the field. Football is a game where everyone has a unique role and position that is critical to the team’s success.

Maybe as fans we only notice the quarterback’s throw, the receiver’s catch or the running back’s run, but it is the execution of all the players who block and tackle that make it happen. Football allows young people of various shapes and sizes and athletic abilities to participate, contribute and be a part of something bigger: a team!

And by the way, our smaller high school, with a total enrollment of 596, has a team of 62 players. Football is alive and well in our town.

Maureen Clancy

Cape Elizabeth