Happy President’s Day!
Did you know that seven US presidents played high school football? Below is an alphabetical list.
Joe Biden – played soccer at Archmere Academy in Claymont, Delaware. According to media reports, Biden was a catcher and halfback on the team. During his senior season, our current president made the school’s undefeated third team, finishing with a perfect 8-0 record. He led the team in scoring with ten touchdowns (60 points).
Dwight D. Eisenhower – played football at Abilene High School in Abilene, Kansas. Below is an excerpt from President Eisenhower’s website about his time playing football for the Cowboys.
Ike attended integrated schools, but when some of his football teammates refused to line up in front of a visiting African-American player, Eisenhower volunteered for the position and shook the player’s hand after the game. As a boy on the wrong side of Abilene’s class-dividing rails, Ike knew all too well the undermining indecencies of prejudice.
Gerald Ford – played at South High in Grand Rapids, Michigan where he was the team captain during his senior season. According to his bio, President Ford was All-City and All-State as a center. He received a college soccer scholarship to play at the University of Michigan. President Ford had offers to play football professionally, but he chose to go to Yale to study law instead.
John F. Kennedy – attended Choate School in Wallingford, Connecticut. At 16, President Kennedy played on the junior varsity team as a left end and tackle. However, illnesses prevented the 35th president of the United States from making the varsity team. He went to Harvard University where he never got beyond the JV team due to illness and injury.
Richard Nixon — attended Whittier High School in Whittier, Calif., for his final two years of high school, but the exact nature of his time on the football team is a little fuzzy. CalHiSports.com, which does a great job with California high school football history, indicates that President Nixon did not play on the team, but instead was a “sports commissioner” for the school. Other media reports state that he played on the high school football team at Fullerton Union High School before transferring to Whittier High. At Whittier College, Nixon was a bench warmer at 5-11, 175-pound offensive tackle or guard.
Ronald Reagan – played high school football at Dixon Union High School, a co-op team, in Dixon, Illinois. The 40th President of the United States played offensive line at guard and tackle. He went to Eureka College where he was on the team for three years but didn’t see much playing time.
Donald Trump – attended the New York Military Academy in Cornwall, New York. He only played football for a year. Trump also played soccer and baseball. His classmates say he was a very good baseball player.