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Castlemont football provides positive impact on youth

Ed Washington, the head coach of Castlemont’s football team, has always made his community in Oakland a priority. He wants the youth of Oakland to have mentors and resources that will help them make good life choices and realize their potential. He believes that football is the way to do this.

There has been a shooting in Oakland almost every day of 2021, and much of this the involves youth between the ages of 13 and 22. In January, Oakland recorded 15 homicides, which was its most in nearly 20 years, according to KRON 4. Washington realizes that having no high school sports is a reason for this, that these kids have no outlets or coaches that they can talk to.

“These kids are looking for attention that they would get from being a part of something bigger than themselves,” Washington said. “This means that they do not have the outlets or resources necessary for their success.” 

Washington got into coaching football not necessarily because he wanted to coach the sport, but because he wanted to help the youth of Oakland. Being from Oakland himself and being an alumni of Castlemont, Washington is fighting for a better environment for young kids in Oakland. 

With the recent announcement that California high school football teams will be allowed to hold games, it is great to see that Castlemont will get the opportunity to get out on the field. Coach Washington also believes that the team will surprise a lot of people this season.

Washington expects junior running back Josh Jones to really stand out this season. Jones has been getting interest from Fresno State, San Jose State and Texas Southern. In two years, Jones will be seen playing at the collegiate level somewhere.

Another player expected to stand out is junior linebacker Jaylen Mcgary. Mcgary attended Berkeley High School last year, so this is his first year playing at Castlemont. Mcgary is about 6-0 and weighs about 205 pounds. He is also getting interest from Fresno State, San Jose State and Texas Southern.

“[Mcgary] is literally a game-changer,” Washington said. “He is a 4.0 GPA kid and he has great character.”

Washington decided to coach Castlemont football because he wanted to give back to the community that raised him. With California high school football now being able to play, Washington is ready to make a difference in the Oakland community. Castlemont also believes that it is ready to turn some heads and surprise their competition this season.

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