At California high schools with large Asian immigrant enrollments, football is fading. The students are small, and their parents prefer they play badminton or tennis. The LA Times reports on the San Gabriel Valley, where San Marino High used to be a football powerhouse. Now 70 percent of students come from Asian families.
“For Asians, it’s never been about football,” said Alex Chen, a sleek, 5-foot-6, 130-pound senior taking a break during a recent practice. “It’s always been about other sports like tennis or volleyball.”
. . . “We’re outsized and out-strengthed,” he said. “Asian parents don’t support sports, especially at San Marino. It’s always been about education.”
. . . “I may be the shortest quarterback you’ve ever seen,” he said. “I can’t even see over the [offensive] line sometimes. I’m not going to lie. It’s just a blur.”
His teammate Jeff Chung, at 5-foot-11 and 160 pounds, concurred: “Sometimes he throws the ball, and I can’t see him. It’s like it came out of nowhere.”
The football coach at Mark Keppel High (71 percent Asian) recruits from the basketball and badminton team. “They can play a corner,” he says.