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Public school teams that should be playing 8 man football


nolebull813
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These teams should crank up 8 man and have a chance at something more than dead last place. Someone should petition the FHSAA to sanction 8 man public school football. Here is a list in no order 

 

North - Hamilton County, Graceville, Bronson, Bell, Vernon, Trenton, Franklin County 

 

Central - East Ridge, Teneroc, Brandon, Leto, Gulf, Anclote, Freedom, Lake Weir, Avon Park, Windermere, Dunedin, Cocoa Beach, Colonial, University, Fivay, LBV, Liberty, Pine Ridge

 

South - Southwest, Varela, Cooper City, Mourning, Northeast, Taravella, Marathon, Labelle, Sunset, Spanish River, HML, Reagan 

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This idea is fantastic. So many benefits, no negatives. 

These teams have less than a zero percent chance at winning a state championship in 11 man. So by going to 8 man and playing against teams who mirror you, the competition is leveled and everyone has a shot. 
 

And for 11 man it would be a vast upgrade because you would be essentially trimming the fat and only having the meat. Gone are the 60 point wasted games. It would force 11 man teams to only play better 11 man teams 

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I know there are a lot of coaches/former coaches on this board that may think otherwise about this "fantastic" idea. Some of you guys treat HS football like the end-all/be-all of the high school experience. I don't tend to be combative simply because there's no point in getting into a pissing contest through a message board, but this is actually a terrible take. 

The system is broken. It will always be broken. When they fix it, it will break again. But some of you treat HS football in Florida like it needs to be run like the NFL. There will always be schools with more resources, history, success than others; lumping teams and programs together and saying "you're not good enough" is insane to me. 

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6 minutes ago, Coach said:

I know there are a lot of coaches/former coaches on this board that may think otherwise about this "fantastic" idea. Some of you guys treat HS football like the end-all/be-all of the high school experience. I don't tend to be combative simply because there's no point in getting into a pissing contest through a message board, but this is actually a terrible take. 

The system is broken. It will always be broken. When they fix it, it will break again. But some of you treat HS football in Florida like it needs to be run like the NFL. There will always be schools with more resources, history, success than others; lumping teams and programs together and saying "you're not good enough" is insane to me. 

Do you think going 0-10 and 1-9 with mostly blowout losses is better than competing in 8 man and actually winning something? Or at least the better opportunity to win something? Most of these teams are just punching bags for the other local teams in the area. 
 

And why is 8 man such a bad thing? It’s just 3 less kids on the field. You can have a QB, a RB, 4 lineman and 2 receivers. What’s the big deal? 

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Just now, nolebull813 said:

Do you think going 0-10 and 1-9 with mostly blowout losses is better than competing in 8 man and actually winning something? Or at least the better opportunity to win something? Most of these teams are just punching bags for the other local teams in the area. 
 

And why is 8 man such a bad thing? It’s just 3 less kids on the field. You can have a QB, a RB, 4 lineman and 2 receivers. What’s the big deal? 

I think the better option would be for teams to have more freedom to create regional leagues on their own. They could still be part of the FHSAA "umbrella," but kids could still play 11-man football. 

 

I would propose a plan where teams opt-in annually and you have a "State Series" and a "Regional Series." You can't win a State Championship if you're in a FHSAA Region, but you can still give kids a tangible prize to work for every year. 

So, those teams you proposed could make up three "regions" and still play 11 man football. No reason to go to 8-man

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2 minutes ago, Coach said:

I think the better option would be for teams to have more freedom to create regional leagues on their own. They could still be part of the FHSAA "umbrella," but kids could still play 11-man football. 

 

I would propose a plan where teams opt-in annually and you have a "State Series" and a "Regional Series." You can't win a State Championship if you're in a FHSAA Region, but you can still give kids a tangible prize to work for every year. 

So, those teams you proposed could make up three "regions" and still play 11 man football. No reason to go to 8-man

They would have to cut classes from the “state series” in that case. So it would all have to be done simultaneously, and locked in for 2 or 4 years. 
 

But it could be named something else kinda like the SSAC. That conference was created for the exact same reason but for privates. It was for small privates who have zero chance of winning in the FHSAA playoffs. So they compete for the SSAC title. 
 

So what you are suggesting could follow the same model as the SSAC for publics as well

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And SSAC teams have jumped in and out of the state series as well. So you don’t have to be doomed forever to that league. If you start to be a power in the “public school SSAC” then you make the jump back to the state series in the new cycle. 
 

I think it works for everyone. It makes the state series more competitive with the cutting of classes, and it makes the new league more competitive because all the teams are on an even scale 

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1 minute ago, nolebull813 said:

They would have to cut classes from the “state series” in that case. So it would all have to be done simultaneously, and locked in for 2 or 4 years. 
 

But it could be named something else kinda like the SSAC. That conference was created for the exact same reason but for privates. It was for small privates who have zero chance of winning in the FHSAA playoffs. So they compete for the SSAC title. 
 

So what you are suggesting could follow the same model as the SSAC for publics as well

It would be similar for sure. But your plan is cutting a bunch of teams as it is. I think doing regional/state declarations annually (teams must make a decision by a hard deadline like March 1st) would give the FHSAA plenty of time to adjust districts. If they stay under the FHSAA umbrella, Regional Champions/Regional teams would also already be reporting all the same data/forms to the FHSAA so it wouldn't be a difficult change (theoretically). Again, giving kids a way to compete and participate is the whole point of high school sports - not to "make the best possible state championship matchups." It seems like the mindset of some people is to only care about the powerhouses and the little guy can just sort of go away. And we wonder why kids/coaches/etc are leaving/quitting the sport. 

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1 hour ago, nolebull813 said:

These teams should crank up 8 man and have a chance at something more than dead last place. Someone should petition the FHSAA to sanction 8 man public school football. Here is a list in no order 

 

North - Hamilton County, Graceville, Bronson, Bell, Vernon, Trenton, Franklin County 

 

Central - East Ridge, Teneroc, Brandon, Leto, Gulf, Anclote, Freedom, Lake Weir, Avon Park, Windermere, Dunedin, Cocoa Beach, Colonial, University, Fivay, LBV, Liberty, Pine Ridge

 

South - Southwest, Varela, Cooper City, Mourning, Northeast, Taravella, Marathon, Labelle, Sunset, Spanish River, HML, Reagan 

 

I feel a 8 man decision would be the death of many of these programs. Kids simply would use their "school of choice" decision to transfer somewhere else. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer scenario. No matter what any one thinks or says. Football is a 11 man sport for the kids. They do not watch 8 man football on Saturday or Sunday. They will not believe that they could be recruited to play for a 11 man team on saturday. So the result would be even worse for those programs that you suggest

2 years ago it was brought up by a bunch of independent fhsaa teams, that wanted to start an independent league within fhsaa and play for a so called independent championship. That idea was immediately shut down citing the bylaws. These are mostly all of the teams that we are speaking of and the ones that you suggested. Some of them went back into districts because of the suburban-metro-rural classifications now. Some of them feel they might have a fighting chance with this scenario. Only time will tell. 

 

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29 minutes ago, Beek said:

 

I feel a 8 man decision would be the death of many of these programs. Kids simply would use their "school of choice" decision to transfer somewhere else. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer scenario. No matter what any one thinks or says. Football is a 11 man sport for the kids. They do not watch 8 man football on Saturday or Sunday. They will not believe that they could be recruited to play for a 11 man team on saturday. So the result would be even worse for those programs that you suggest

2 years ago it was brought up by a bunch of independent fhsaa teams, that wanted to start an independent league within fhsaa and play for a so called independent championship. That idea was immediately shut down citing the bylaws. These are mostly all of the teams that we are speaking of and the ones that you suggested. Some of them went back into districts because of the suburban-metro-rural classifications now. Some of them feel they might have a fighting chance with this scenario. Only time will tell. 

 

What’s the bylaws against going independent?

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Somewhat rhetorical question for the crowd:  when we hear the phrase "School Choice," we've come to learn that means "the student gets to choose what school they want to go to."    Well, with respect to the debate in this thread, why can't "school choice" mean that a school gets to choose whether they want to play 8-man, 11-man or no football at all?  Or why can't a school choose whether they want to compete for a state championship or just play the equivalent of intramural sports against like-minded schools?  

One poster suggested that kids would choose to leave schools that play 8-man instead of 11-man.  My guess is those same kids already are leaving schools that play 11-man, but play it very badly, for schools that play 11-man, but play it better.   At least, that's what the kids who prioritize their high school football experience are doing. 

I need to give this topic some more thought . . .

 

 

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45 minutes ago, Perspective said:

Somewhat rhetorical question for the crowd:  when we hear the phrase "School Choice," we've come to learn that means "the student gets to choose what school they want to go to."    Well, with respect to the debate in this thread, why can't "school choice" mean that a school gets to choose whether they want to play 8-man, 11-man or no football at all?  Or why can't a school choose whether they want to compete for a state championship or just play the equivalent of intramural sports against like-minded schools?  

One poster suggested that kids would choose to leave schools that play 8-man instead of 11-man.  My guess is those same kids already are leaving schools that play 11-man, but play it very badly, for schools that play 11-man, but play it better.   At least, that's what the kids who prioritize their high school football experience are doing. 

I need to give this topic some more thought . . .

 

 

Kids dont see division 1 or for that matter any college football on Saturday playing 8 man football. They all have dreams of playing college football. If your school only offered 8 man football it would predetermine that school to be a low level program who cannot get players recruited. As far as kids leaving. That is up to the program to fix itself and offer a product that will attract players and keep those who are on campus. Many schools of thought are keep replacing the coach until someone comes in and wins and magically the ship will be righted and the kids will stay and all will be right in the world. Those coaches seldom if never come. A prospective coach for a perennial loosing school is usually a brand new head coach looking to establish himself, a head coach on rebound or looking to move up the ladder who thinks he can come in and change the culture and fix everything. (those guys get fed up after seeing that changing the culture isnt going to happen. They dont want to hurt their employability further so the move on before their career damage is done). Or you get the washed out coach who is ending their career and will take the paycheck until the school fires them and moves on to the next guy. Please understand these are the stereotypes, not saying anything personally about anyone. 

So how do you turn around a program like these ones you mention? Going to 8 man football in my opinion is not the answer. 8 man football should be reserved for very low enrollment schools. I couldnt see any florida public schools fitting that model. i can tell you what we are doing here. But only time will tell if this is successful. 

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Beek, you make some very good points and I greatly appreciate your 'perspective.' 

If I understand you correctly, you believe that once a program goes to 8-man, there's no chance they'll ever make it back to 11-man because anyone who's serious about playing the sport, simply won't come there to play.  I wonder if there are any examples of 8-man programs that have had success, made the switch to 11-man, and then had success in 11-man?  

Another "I wonder" question:  are there any examples of kids who play 8-man being recruited/offered scholarships? 

Just curious.  

 

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6 minutes ago, Perspective said:

Beek, you make some very good points and I greatly appreciate your 'perspective.' 

If I understand you correctly, you believe that once a program goes to 8-man, there's no chance they'll ever make it back to 11-man because anyone who's serious about playing the sport, simply won't come there to play.  I wonder if there are any examples of 8-man programs that have had success, made the switch to 11-man, and then had success in 11-man?  

Another "I wonder" question:  are there any examples of kids who play 8-man being recruited/offered scholarships? 

Just curious.  

 

I believe that once a large public high school goes to 8 man it will be the death of their program. A small private school or possibly a very small public school may make that model work for them. Locally there is a 8 man school who lost their best receiver and qb to 2 different public 11 man programs. both of these kids are difference makers in their respective programs. In all honesty a bad 11 man program will most likely be a bad 8 man program too. Its not just missing 3 players on the field would make the difference. Keeping the school size perspective the same. A bad 8A public school going 8 man, may have success versus a small public school fielding a 8 man team most likely because its all they have. But what are you succeeding in?  Would make more sense for their being a lower tier regional championship as suggested for those teams who cant make it in the state series. Let the proper 8 man programs play 8 man programs and have a balanced series for them. 

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1 hour ago, Beek said:

Kids dont see division 1 or for that matter any college football on Saturday playing 8 man football. They all have dreams of playing college football. If your school only offered 8 man football it would predetermine that school to be a low level program who cannot get players recruited. As far as kids leaving. That is up to the program to fix itself and offer a product that will attract players and keep those who are on campus. Many schools of thought are keep replacing the coach until someone comes in and wins and magically the ship will be righted and the kids will stay and all will be right in the world. Those coaches seldom if never come. A prospective coach for a perennial loosing school is usually a brand new head coach looking to establish himself, a head coach on rebound or looking to move up the ladder who thinks he can come in and change the culture and fix everything. (those guys get fed up after seeing that changing the culture isnt going to happen. They dont want to hurt their employability further so the move on before their career damage is done). Or you get the washed out coach who is ending their career and will take the paycheck until the school fires them and moves on to the next guy. Please understand these are the stereotypes, not saying anything personally about anyone. 

So how do you turn around a program like these ones you mention? Going to 8 man football in my opinion is not the answer. 8 man football should be reserved for very low enrollment schools. I couldnt see any florida public schools fitting that model. i can tell you what we are doing here. But only time will tell if this is successful. 

Just because kids have a dream of making it to college football should not sway the decision whether a program needs to change course. Truth is 99.9 percent of the kids who play for these programs don’t play college football so the impact is practically non existent. There are kids who have dreams of going to college but get D’s and F’s. Everything isn’t for everybody. 
 

Going to 8 man isn’t going to sway anyone because like I said the kids playing for these teams don’t go on to play college football. 

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12 minutes ago, nolebull813 said:

Just because kids have a dream of making it to college football should not sway the decision whether a program needs to change course. Truth is 99.9 percent of the kids who play for these programs don’t play college football so the impact is practically non existent. There are kids who have dreams of going to college but get D’s and F’s. Everything isn’t for everybody. 
 

Going to 8 man isn’t going to sway anyone because like I said the kids playing for these teams don’t go on to play college football. 

Speaking from my perspective. The main attraction that my football program has is the fact we get kids recruited. In the 4 years I have been the head coach here. Every kid who wanted to play at the next level was offered something from a school. that encompasses 50% of our seniors. We all know that a lot of kids will hang up their cleats upon graduation. Those are not the kids who transfer. We work tirelessly with our athletes maintaining grades. Holding study halls and getting extra help for the players who are struggling academically. If they cannot maintain their grades they become ineligible for high school as a underclassmen and wont graduate as a senior. Being as most all of our kids are not D1, grades impact their recruitability. Most of the money they get is for academics. Not football. 

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48 minutes ago, nolebull813 said:

Just because kids have a dream of making it to college football should not sway the decision whether a program needs to change course. Truth is 99.9 percent of the kids who play for these programs don’t play college football so the impact is practically non existent. There are kids who have dreams of going to college but get D’s and F’s. Everything isn’t for everybody. 
 

Going to 8 man isn’t going to sway anyone because like I said the kids playing for these teams don’t go on to play college football. 

Pine Ridge (Volusia county) has been a (football) loser since it's inception decades ago. Participation numbers have never been an issue there. With over 2000 students going from an 11 man team to an 8 man team cuts out 6 positions. Like the "Coach" above said (more or less) winning isn't everything. Now 6 possible starters with backups ride the bench. How is that better for want-to-be-athletes who want the camaraderie and association of being on a team sport in high school. You just cut the dreams of a dozen sons because they didn't win enough. That's not what school's about.  

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13 minutes ago, Dan in Daytona said:

Pine Ridge (Volusia county) has been a (football) loser since it's inception decades ago. Participation numbers have never been an issue there. With over 2000 students going from an 11 man team to an 8 man team cuts out 6 positions. Like the "Coach" above said (more or less) winning isn't everything. Now 6 possible starters with backups ride the bench. How is that better for want-to-be-athletes who want the camaraderie and association of being on a team sport in high school. You just cut the dreams of a dozen sons because they didn't win enough. That's not what school's about.  

I don’t agree. Being on a team that is a punching bag for everyone else can’t be a great bonding experience. If the only thing you have in common is you both aren’t good at football then the bond won’t hold very long. Lol. 
 

i believe 25 kids bonding together while being successful is more productive than 50 kids getting their asses handed to them for a couple months. 
 

This would trim the fat and the other kids that aren’t meant to play can go find another extracurricular activity to partake in. This isn’t a charity. This is competition 

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1 hour ago, Beek said:

Speaking from my perspective. The main attraction that my football program has is the fact we get kids recruited. In the 4 years I have been the head coach here. Every kid who wanted to play at the next level was offered something from a school. that encompasses 50% of our seniors. We all know that a lot of kids will hang up their cleats upon graduation. Those are not the kids who transfer. We work tirelessly with our athletes maintaining grades. Holding study halls and getting extra help for the players who are struggling academically. If they cannot maintain their grades they become ineligible for high school as a underclassmen and wont graduate as a senior. Being as most all of our kids are not D1, grades impact their recruitability. Most of the money they get is for academics. Not football. 

What the hell are you doing?   It's almost like your trying to build a program and help make men out of boys.  B)

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