Alex Brasky | @BataviasBestHS
Wednesday, August 15, 2018 | BataviasBest.org
Two historically proud HS Football programs are headed to eight-man football this season, as the merged Oakfield/Elba team has seen a drop in numbers from last season and their administration has decided now is the time to make the move.
“I think it’s a great opportunity for our kids,” said OA/E head coach Mike Cintorino. “It’s a change and that’s scary for everyone involved. But football, whether eight-man or 11-man, is partly about teaching young men how to deal with adversity and adapt. That’s what we’re doing (here).”
The hope for the future is for the program to return to the 11-man game, but Cintorino says he and his staff are simply focused on this season, and the challenge which it presents.
“For this season our focus is eight-man and doing everything we can to be successful there,” he continued. “We always have an eye toward the future (and returning to 11-man). It’s always our goal to grow the program.”
This will come as shocking news to many, as the local area has seen these two schools previously won championships when they were once individual programs. However, with the current state of football, this is the world we live in.
Numbers are going down, and changes will continue to be made.
I guess we’ll just have to get used to it.
Other Section V teams to make the move to eight-man this year include Marcus Whitman, CG Finney and Holley, although teams from Sections IV and III will also be competing against the four Section V schools.
Practices for eight-man teams will begin next week.