JUNCTION CITY, KS. (KSNT) – Junction City head football coach Randall Zimmerman is entering his 30th season leading the Blue Jays.

“Coach Z” is known for handing out life lessons that go beyond the football field. Zimmerman aired his frustrations with how some high school coaches, administrators, parents and students see high school athletics in a recent interview with 27 News.

“Sometimes, we get this all mixed up,” Zimmerman said. “We think this is about sport. We think it’s about the sport of football. We think it’s about the sport of basketball. We are cheating our kids in the biggest way if we’re just coaching this sport.”

Coach Z is frustrated with people who don’t understand that high school athletics are an “extension of the classroom.”

“This is educational-based activities,” Zimmerman said. “It was put in public education to help with the, you know, the character-building skills and those kinds of things. We need as many kids as possible to be out for activities, sports and all those kinds of things.

“Sport is the nugget to get them out to teach them life skills,” he said.

Of the more than one million kids who try out for high school football every year, the NCAA reports just 7.3 percent of them will go on to play at any level in college.

“God-willing, 100 percent of them be adults,” Zimmerman said. “What kind of adults [do] we want to live around? We got to get this figured out as adults that are working with our youth.”

Zimmerman listed a few former Blue Jays that went on to play in college, then followed with saying, “It doesn’t matter.”

“It’s the kids that are in our community that are helping our community, helping our society,” Zimmerman said. “Kids that are in school doing different things.”

He mentioned former Junction City volleyball player Sarea White, who was recently accepted into Yale’s School of Medicine.

“[White] comes back in the summertime and comes in and, you know, talks about how she has been accepted to med school,” Zimmerman said. “That’s what this is about.”

He’s challenging coaches across the country to step up and make a better effort for the youth.

“We need to get this thing in perspective and stop letting this get out of hand for our kids because our kids deserve it,” Zimmerman said. “Not just our kids in our community, but our kids in every community. We need to do everything we can to draw more in.”

Watch the full interview with Zimmerman here.