High school football began in the late 19th century, starting at the same time as a large number of college programs. During the late 19th and early 20th century, numerous college and high school teams played each other. As of 2015, football is one of the most popular interscholastic sports in the United States and Canada.
Pep rallies, marching bands, mascots and homecomings are some of the traditions of high school football. High school football is the first level of football where a player builds statistics to boost his chances of playing college football. In the American South, high school football is as popular as college and professional football. Adrian Peterson, Emmitt Smith, Peyton Manning, Herschel Walker and Jim Thorpe are among the greatest high school football players of all time.
The sport of football comes from rugby-style football, which during the mid-1870s took the place of a kicking game called association football. In both rugby and football, two teams compete for control of the ball, which can be kicked through the goal posts or run across the opponent's goal line to score. On Nov. 6, 1869, Rutgers University played Princeton University in the first American football game. Rutgers won 6 to 4.