A good friend of mine actually wrote this (Eric Dailey). A very good read:
High School sports are becoming evermore competitive. According to Indiana High School Athletic Association (IHSAA) a student who is nineteen (19) years of age on the scheduled date of the IHSAA State Finals in a sport shall be eligible as to age for intershool athletic competition in that sport. For football, a fall sport, a student may turn 20 in the spring of his senior year. For any sport there exist a significant difference between mental and physical maturity from the ages of 17 to 20. As parents of athletes, we must determine the best course for our athletes. Keep in mind this is a highly personal decision and there are rarely consistent viewpoint. However, the outcomes can be highly consistent.
Physical and mental maturity can be the difference from the varsity starts and varsity stats your son or daughter accumulates. Most recruiting services state that Division I, level athletes are performing greater that their peers in their second year of High School. My experience as a parent reflects this analysis, and I must mention my son, Madison is physically gifted and falls in the younger student category for his class. However, I have witnessed some outstanding single varsity year starter performances from his younger 2018 teammates. For example, take Eric Dailey one of the Royals cornerbacks. He spent most of the year leading our conference in tackles. After 10 games Dailey was number five in tackles for the state of Indiana. (MaxPreps, Indiana, 6A, Cornerback). Important to know he won’t turn 18 until the week before he graduates. The Royals and big school recruiters would both benefit from another year of Friday night lights. However, keep in mind that additional years of varsity play incur a risk versus reward benefit. Can the athlete take the pounding? If not, they’ll likely be too banged up to be the same playmaker at the next level. That’s my point folks! Do what you feel best for your child.
Keeping your kids at home an extra year prior to first grade doesn’t necessarily make them a Baker Mayfield, age 22. But a commitment to academic excellence will ensure them eligibility where time and circumstance meet.