Scouting Report: Boarding Schools with Football
Quietly, boarding schools offer football experiences akin to that of small New England liberal arts colleges- tradition rich experiences and programs across all levels of play.
The season runs from early September and the final regular game of the season played in early November. The later half of many a school's schedule features traditional rivalry games and perhaps a playoff or championship game appearance.
Surveying Boarding School Football Programs
Trinity-Pawling School is an all-boys private school located in Pawling, New York. The school boasts a strong football legacy. Competing as a part of the competitive Erickson Conference, which includes other independent schools- Kent, Avon Old Farms, Hotchkiss and Taft, Trinity-Pawling's football program offers both Varsity and Junior Varsity teams. By focusing on team work, hard work and sportsmanship, the teams have won numerous championships, including the Erickson Conference Championships and New England Championships in 2005 and 2007.
Athletes train and play on two football fields, as well as the School's state of the art weight-training center. Many Trinity-Pawling players have gone on to play at the collegiate level, including Stanford, Boston College, West Point, and Sacred Heart University. Trinity-Pawling football alumni include former NFL players, Charles Spencer (Houston, Carolina, Jacksonville) and Chukky Okobi, (Pittsburgh, Arizona, Houston).
At Hargrave Military Academy, a boys private boarding school in Chatham Virginia, athletics are a natural part of a cadet's development. Hargrave offers three football programs at the Post-graduate, Varsity and Junior Varsity levels. Athletes compete in the Virginia Independent Conference as a division II team. Regular competitors include Christchurch School, Blue Ridge School, The Potomac School and Nansemond-Suffolk Academy.
Cadets train on professionally-graded football fields and have access to a state-of-the art fitness center. Many athletes continue playing at the division I collegiate level. Additionally, Hargrave has helped to develop a considerable amount of student-athletes who have gone on to play at the professional level, including Jyles Tucker (San Diego Chargers), Torry Holt (St. Louis Rams), Jared Gaither (Kansas City Chiefs), Willie Young (Detroit Lions), Brandon Lang (San Diego Chargers), Curtis Brinkley (San Diego Chargers), Brandon McCrae (St. Louis Rams), Andre Brown (New York Giants) and Wilson Raynor (New York Jets).
Cushing Academy, located in Ashburnham, Massachusetts, is a co-educational boarding school and among the oldest in the United States. Student-athletes enjoy a robust program in which new sports can be discovered and established skills can be honed. The football program offers both Varsity and Junior Varsity teams. Athletes practice and play on turf and under the lights of Quimby Field.
Many Cushing Cushing graduates continue playing on the collegiate level. Alumnus Kenny Gamble, won the Walter Payton award while at Colgate and played for the Kansas City Chiefs.
Kents Hill School, Kent Hill, Maine, has a long proud tradition of high school football, dating from 1893. Kent Hills School football competes in the Evergreen League, alongside Portsmouth Abbey, the Hyde Schools of Maine and Connecticut, and Dexter School. Kents Hill and Hebron Academy are engaged in one the longest active football rivalries in the country. The rivalry began in 1894. Each year the two schools play for the coveted Headmaster's Chair.
Athletes practice and play on the school's Harold Alfond Athletics fields and have access to the Harold and Ted Alfond Athletic Center which features a fitness center. Kents Hill players have gone on to play at collegiate football programs at the Division I, IA and III schools, including Rutgers, University of Maine, Boston College and Bowdoin.
The Army and Navy Academy is located in Carlsbad, California and offers a boys-only military educational experience. Participation in physical activity is a mainstay of cadet life, featuring daily physical training and a variety of interscholastic sports in which to participate. Army and Navy offers Varsity and Junior Varsity football programs and competes in the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) and Coastal conferences. Army and Navy Academy plays California Military Institute, The Webb Schools, Rock Academy, and San Pasqual Academy.
St. Andrew's-Sewanee School is a private, coeducational, Episcopal boarding school in Sewanne, Tennessee. SAS athletics strive to help students build character, develop self-esteem, and learn the value of team work, discipline and sportsmanship. The School offers both Varsity and Middle School football programs.
SAS plays 8-man football, having switched from the larger school 11-player football format. An American small school/small town tradition, eight man football allows smaller schools to maintain strong competitive programs and football opportunities in small school settings. The size of the 8-man playing field is often smaller, which advances the tempo of the game and often results in higher scores. In 2011, SAS won the Division II of the Middle Tennessee Athletic Conference.
Athletes practice and play on the SAS football field, and have access to the Wood-Alligood Gymnasium's weight room. SAS belongs to the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association and plays in Division IIA for independent schools.
These six schools offer football programs covering the spectrum of competitiveness and opportunity. Each school and their programs share a dedication to cultivating well-rounded and engaged students for whom athletics are an important part of their school experience.