Private, football-focused high schools in Canada

This was news to me. Canadians paying anywhere from $9k to $23k per year to attend a Canadian high school with a high-end football program. They play American rules and travel to compete against US high school teams. Stated goal is to get scholarships to US colleges.

https://www.thestar.com/sports/2017/02/03/two-football-recruits-following-north-south-pipeline.html

https://www.thestar.com/sports/football/2016/10/23/football-north-giving-players-southern-exposure.html

My reactions:

  1. Really?

  2. I suppose hockey parents go all out to position their kids for the pros, so why not football too.

  3. Return on investment doesn't seem so great. Only two of 47 students in the one program succeeded in getting US scholarships this year. (Not all of the 47 are graduating.)

  4. A football scholarship can't be the end game here, since you could save the cash and just send your kid to a Canadian university. Clearly the NFL (and its unlimited riches) has to be the ultimate objective. Making the odds of true success even lower.

  5. At least the kids are getting good coaching. Staff at the one school includes Larry Jusdanis and Adam Rita.

  6. The program faces high attrition rates. Presumably there can only be ~25 starters (if you include kickers and a returner / fair-catcher). Imagine paying that much money to sit on the bench.

  7. While not the goal of these programs, the likely outcome seems like just one more avenue for redirecting some of the best and brightest Canadian talent away from the CFL.

  1. Really?

  2. I suppose hockey parents go all out to position their kids for the pros, so why not football too.

  3. Return on investment doesn't seem so great. Only two of 47 students in the one program succeeded in getting US scholarships this year. (Not all of the 47 are graduating.)

  4. A football scholarship can't be the end game here, since you could save the cash and just send your kid to a Canadian university. Clearly the NFL (and its unlimited riches) has to be the ultimate objective. Making the odds of true success even lower.

  5. At least the kids are getting good coaching. Staff at the one school includes Larry Jusdanis and Adam Rita.

  6. The program faces high attrition rates. Presumably there can only be ~25 starters (if you include kickers and a returner / fair-catcher). Imagine paying that much money to sit on the bench.

  7. While not the goal of these programs, the likely outcome seems like just one more avenue for redirecting some of the best and brightest Canadian talent away from the CFL.

I'm not saying it will make a huge difference. Maybe just a couple Canadian kids a year that end up in the NFL instead of the CFL because of a more level playing field with their American peers. If more of them get into US schools, and are more advanced in their skills when they get there, then they are more likely to catch the interest of NFL scouts. The "one that got away" could be the next Andy Fantuz.

These kids will get exposure from down south that they normally wouldn't at a traditional school.

This approach has worked wonders in basketball and the similar results should happen with the football one. The kids will experience a level of coaching and competition that just isn't available at normal schools.

One of the major stumbling blocks in the CFL having a true Canadian star QB has been development. For those who think that having a star Canadian QB is important, this type of school would be a perfect remedy.