8 Man Football in PA?

Last night’s 81-0 Frazier win over Geibel had to be unsettling for both Frazier and Geibel’s players, coaches, and fans. No coach plans to throw up over 60 points. It takes a course of things to go mightily wrong for a score to get that lopsided. And even worse for Geibel is that they play a strong Tri-County South team in Beth Center next week.

There’s a shift going on in sports at the high school level and that shift is less kids playing them. In football alone, since 2010 there are 10,000 less kids nationwide football. And what you’re seeing locally is schools like Geibel having no more than 16-18 on it’s roster. I saw West Greene in a scrimmage and they had no more than 18 playing. They literally had more coaches on it’s sideline than they did players. ┬áJust two years ago, Cornell folded its program due to a lack of players, and Imani Christian followed suit a few weeks ago.

From the outside looking in, it’s very easy to say that schools like Geibel, West Greene, or Avella should merge or co-op with another school.

What can the PIAA do to help these struggling programs?

I propose two ideas; either create a Class B for enrollments below 120 boys, or create 8-Man football.

8 man football is played in states like Texas, Kansas, Missouri, and other plain states, so why not here in Pennsylvania?

What 8-man football does at least is provide a division for schools that struggle to get enough kids out for football like Geibel, and allow schools like Imani and Cornell to restart their football programs. It also allows for even smaller schools like a Wilson Christian Academy, or Quigly Christian to start up a football program.

8-Man isn’t an ideal situation. But seeing teams get 80 points thrown on them isn’t ideal either. The team that wins, by such a large margin, isn’t getting anything out of winning that overwhelmingly. And I can’t think of how a team that loses by that large of a margin feels.

Lets get these schools in their own division somehow and allow them to rebuild their programs.