Mt Pleasant News
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Neighbors Growing Together | Dec 17, 2017

New London to play 8-man football next year

Nov 28, 2017

By Grace King, Mt. Pleasant News

 

NEW LONDON — New London High School will be playing Class 8-Man football next year.

The New London School Board unanimously voted on the decision on Monday, Nov. 27, after a brief discussion with coaches of the benefits of switching from class A to 8-man football. The decision was made based off coaching recommendation.

“Ultimately, this is what’s best for the kids and our football program moving forward,” Coach Mark McSorley said. “There aren’t a whole lot of class A teams left around here, and I think within the next two years, all the smaller schools will be 8-man.”

At a community forum last week, district superintendent Chad Wahls listened to concerns from parents and addressed questions, along with McSorley, about what it would mean for New London to play 8-man.

McSorley said that playing 8-man instead of 11-man football will give the coaching staff more options when creating a lineup. “When you don’t have a very deep bench and one player goes down your next guy may not be the right guy to put in, but he’s the only one,” he said. “That’s not fair to the kids to put them in that situation.”

The coach said that in playing 8-man, athletes will actually get more of an opportunity to play and that practices will go better.

Although McSorley said injuries can never be predicted, Wahls is somewhat hopeful that playing 8-man will at least minimize those injuries, saying that last year, there were nine injuries out of 31 players.

The deadline for the decision is Dec. 4, which board president Lindsay Porter said didn’t leave a lot of time to answer all the questions people in the community may have, such as what class junior high will play and how they will move the field goals for an 8-man field.

“We sometimes are faced with decisions we don’t know necessarily what the best thing to do is,” Porter said. “I really put a lot of stock into what our coaches said and what their opinions were. The easy decision would be to stay the direction we are, but sometimes maybe the harder decision is the better one. As a parent and community member I will stand behind our decision,” she said before the board took a vote.

The board is looking into either moving the south goal post or purchasing a goal post that can be moved if junior high continues to play 11-man football, needing the full field. Whether or not junior high will play 8-man or 11-man will be determined by the coaching staff.

Wahls also said that playing 8-man football will give the JV team a better chance of playing games. “Right now, we have struggled a little bit to play games,” he said. “We will do anything and everything to try to fill those.”

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