The Impact of Football in the Classroom

How the start of football season brings KHS students and teachers together


Bob Parks

KHS students watch the football game against North Warren in the student section. The theme for the game was a blackout and many students attended.

The football season is in full swing at KHS. Whether it is a home game that students and teachers attend or a professional game, many students and teachers at KHS watch football every week. These games and events go beyond just the collision of the pads on weekends as they make their way into the classroom.


Many students and teachers at Kinnelon High School enjoy watching football on the weekends and the KHS football team on Friday nights. “I think it just brings us all together,” says junior Derek Smith. “No matter what type of week, good or bad, I always know I can go to the game on Friday and have a great start to my weekend. It is nice to see everyone supporting the same cause.” 


These conversations go beyond one-word answers. In fact, they can even last for hours. Students, especially on the football team, like to talk to teachers about upcoming games and how practice was. Considering everyone lives in a similar area, everyone has the same favorite teams. When teachers and students have similar interests, they both relate to one another every week.

“I love how my teachers and I like similar teams,” says junior Nick Canariato. “It is nice to bond over something with someone I usually do not have much in common with. Casey DeWaal and I talk about the status of KHS football and the Jets all the time; it puts me in a better mood for class.” Cannariato will continue to engage in conversation with his teachers.

The American Physiological Association took a deeper look into student-teacher relationships. They found that the better a relationship a student has with their teacher, the easier it is for them to learn in the classroom. A positive consequence is an increase in participation and a boost in grades overall. Having a common ground between students and teachers would help their relationship as well.


The impact of football season goes beyond the field. Physical education teacher Jim Soules has been teaching for 26 years and has built hundreds of relationships with students. “Year after year students and I talk about football,” Soules said. “Even from the first day of school we talk about it; it is a nice way to get to know them.” Whether it is fantasy football advice related or just a summary of the week’s previous games, Soules will continue to build relationships with students.


At the beginning of the school year, students can be weary of going up to teachers. Meeting someone for the first time can be tough, especially with the age difference. However, when students and teachers have common ground, they are more comfortable approaching each other. 


“I like talking with my teachers about football because it builds a sense of trust and shows I am a good kid,” says freshman Luke Piccola. “Teachers do not necessarily know me yet but when we talk about a game over the weekend, it makes me feel more comfortable. This leads to me asking questions in class.” Piccola looks to continue to watch football and use it together to know his teachers better.


Football is more than just a game in the KHS community. Whether it is Friday night lights or just an NFL game on Sunday, the impact goes into the classroom as a bonding experience between students and teachers. Not only are there clubs that have jobs during these games but there are plenty of ways to be involved even if football is not your thing. Students and teachers will continue to attend and talk about games in years to come.