By Tim Linscott
Many had an opinion either way, but all agreed there is no clear cut answer.
Fans reacted to the Oct. 3 front page story in the Tribune in regard to the possibility of going to eight-man football instead of 11-man.
Student population numbers have given Perkins County Schools the option of staying at 11-man football or dropping to eight-man football. School officials are examining the pros and cons of moving down to D-1 or to stay pat. A decision by the school board must be made this fall.
A group that gathered last week at ‘In & Out’ for coffee felt there are no right or wrong answers, but the number of players say a lot.
None of the participants wished to be identified, but all gave an opinion.
“You want a winning season, go eight-man. You want tradition, stay 11-man,” one coffee drinker explained.
“If you get the numbers, stay 11-man. If the numbers will stay stable, stay at one class and don’t jump around,” another explained.
All agreed there are positives and negatives to staying at 11-man and to dropping down to eight-man.
“There are a lot of factors to consider,” a member of the party said.
The Tribune Sentinel posted a Facebook poll on Thursday, Oct. 3 and within 20 minutes 30 people had responded.
As of Tuesday, Oct. 8, there were 72 responses with 67 percent of those answering the poll wanting PCS to stay in 11-man football. Totals equaled 48 for staying at 11-man and 24 to switching to eight-man.
Former head football coach and athletic director at PCS, Chip Kay, explained that in the six years he was at Perkins County the notion of dropping to eight-man football was not considered. However, he knew there would be a day when that conversation would be had by the public and administration.
“What they are running into is not a surprise as many districts are facing this issue,” Kay said. “Looking at the numbers I knew there would be a day when this would be a possibility.”
Kay said that each community, school district and group of students are unique and all factors should be considered before making a decision to drop to eight-man or stay at 11-man.
“Every place is so unique and it is not an easy decision. One form (eight-man/11-man) is not better than the other,” Kay said.
Kay is now the superintendent at Shelby-Rising City, a district that has 85 students in grades 9-11 and is eligible to play 11-man, however, will be playing eight-man this year.