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Eight-man Evolving

By Troy Treasure

  The Schuyler County R-1 Board of Education voted Thursday, Nov. 21 to switch to eight-man football beginning in 2020.

  North Shelby made the move in 2016 and hired Seth Bass as head coach. Bass indicated additional changes could happen across the eight-man landscape.

  “I really think Schuyler’s decision is going to have a huge impact on Knox (County) and then if the Knox domino falls, it will be interesting to see what Paris wants to do from there.

  “We’ve talked with some local schools about possibly forming a conference if we could get enough interest. I don’t know if anything will come of that.”

  Keytesville might find such a conference attractive. The school announced recently it is moving to eight-man next year. Other Missouri schools making the switch are Archie, located south of Kansas City; Jasper in southwest Missouri and Santa Fe (Alma), west of Kansas City.

  “The only thing I can say for sure is there’s a whole lot of moving parts,” Bass said. “We’re up to 32 total teams in the state for next year now with Schuyler and I would expect us to be between 35 and 40 when all the dust settles.

  “It’s had exponential growth. I think we had 21 teams in 2015,” Bass added. “People are finally starting to get the message that it’s still football and it can not only help save your program but can give it a chance to grow again.”