Pitching with Pritch

8-man vs. 11-man

Another busy week in and out of sports. Congratulations to the volleyball team picking up a couple of wins last Friday night and building some momentum going into the subdistricts on Monday. 

The Plainsmen made the cross-state trip to Clearwater and will be playing again this Wednesday against West Holt. Good luck! 

Last week’s paper had a good article about the situation that the Perkins County football program will find itself in with the decision on eight-man or 11-man football participation for the Plainsmen.  

I have to admit that personally I hated to see the move to eight-man a few years ago, but I also understand the numbers game that goes with sports teams. Numbers are always important and I think in football they play a really big role in the program. 

You always like to have numbers out in any sport and don’t like to be the small squad. I know when I was coaching at Imperial, my third year there I think it was, we went from Class C to Class B. 

We were the smallest school in Nebraska in Class B. We still had good numbers out for each sport, but on a state level we still had the fewest total numbers to pick our teams from and that was a disadvantage.  

In our current situation, I think safety becomes an issue. There are a lot of other problems built in when you only have minimum participation. But you really don’t want to have to play freshmen against seniors if you can help it.  

If we do exceed the number of boys in school that is determined by the state as the division line and the choice is made to stay in eight-man, you don’t have the chance to play in the state playoff system. There are schools now that are in that situation.  

As I understand it, you can still win the district championship, you just don’t advance.  That isn’t the worst thing in the world. It isn’t what you would like as a player or a coach, but it still might be the best direction for the school. 

 The decision time is getting near and it will be interesting to see if the NSAA can come up with any other options.

Huskers Win

Didn’t think I would ever get real excited about Nebraska beating Purdue in football but it was nice to get a win on the road. The way they got the win actually made you think that maybe there is still some hope for the Huskers this season.  

There were some positive things in the game. Tanner Lee lived up to all the hype he had been getting in preseason.  It was nice to see him not add to national leading 10 interception total and instead see a 431-yard passing effort and a drive to score with just 14 seconds left in the game. 

My fear was Purdue still had 14 seconds on offense.  The win kept the Husker’s bowl hopes going for at least another week and that is a positive.  

On the other hand I thought the offensive line took a step back. Our total rushing net yards of 40 is not very Nebraska-like at all. That was against a Purdue defense that ranked 12 in the Big 10 in rushing defense.  

The defense did a better job and actually made the big stand that forced a kick that gave the Huskers a chance for the winning drive.  

Being 4-4 and winning on the road was a positive. Now let’s hope we can get over that .500 mark with a win this week.

This is the last column for a little while, as I am going to take care of some medical issues and hopefully when this goes to print I will be recovering and feeling great.  Until then, Go Big Red!

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