|Football co-oping for next year a nonstarter|
|Written by Wauneta Breeze|
|Wednesday, 19 October 2011 19:49|
By Tina Kitt
The Wauneta Breeze
It’s back to the brainstorming stage for Wauneta-Palisade administrators and board members after an inquiry into a possible co-oping of high school football programs with Hayes Center was declined Monday night.
A phone call was received at the WP school office during the district’s regular school board meeting informing WP Superintendent Stan Sibley and WP board members that the Hayes Center school board had decided to continue with their program as is at 8-man.
Low enrollment and football participation numbers had WP officials exploring options ahead of the Nov. 7 NSAA deadline to declare intentions to co-op football programs.
Now it’s back to the drawing board.
This year the effects of low team numbers are apparent as the Broncs suit up 13-15 players each week, depending on injuries, illness and eligibility, badly outnumbered and outsized by the other D2-8 man teams on their state-assigned two-year schedule. The team is still looking for their first win this season, with sine of the team’s players on the field throughout the entirety of each game.
“I’ve worked the numbers over and over,” noted board member Bill Bischoff. “We can probably get along okay next year (at D2-8 man) but year two is not going to be possible.”
The school district has until Nov. 30 to notify the NSAA of any intentions to seek a change in classification from 8-man football to 6-man.
A handful of area schools play 6-man football including Hitchcock County, Maywood and South Platte.
“The administration at Hitchcock County tells me it has been a very positive move for their district,” said Sibley.
Board members and administrators discussed the benefits of having current WP football team members attend an upcoming 6-man football game if possible. Board president Jon Anderjaska noted that Hitchcock County is likely to be among the top eight of Nebraska’s 18 6-man teams, qualifying them for playoff games in November.
As former teammates on a co-op junior high team, board members noted that it would be a positive to allow the WP team to attend a game as a show of support for the Hitchcock County team as well as getting a feel for the game.
Extensive discussions will be needed over the next six weeks with the coaching staff involved in weighing options. NSAA football schedules are set on a biennial or two year basis. Board members noted that while high school enrollment is expected to dip at Wauneta-Palisade over the next few years, by the time this year’s fourth and fifth graders hit high school there will be substantially more boys to field a larger team by then.