Suring School Board ponders 8-man football option

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By: 

Times Herald Staff

The Suring School Board needs to make a decision whether to continue the high school’s 11-man football team or switch to 8-man football starting with the 2019 season.

The Eagles posted a 4-5 record this fall, including a 3-4 league record in the MONLPC Small Division, a consolidation for gridiron purposes of the M&O, Northern Lakes and Packerland conferences.

Several members of those leagues with smaller enrollments have made the switch to 8-man football, including Gillett (5-4, 5-3) and the combined Lena/St. Thomas Aquinas Academy team (3-6, 3-5).

Superintendent Kelly Casper told the board at its Nov. 8 meeting that the decision will be a two-year commitment. The conference has set a deadline for January 2018.

The WIAA has also made comments of putting football teams into districts, which would make a change to everything that has been discussed and done in the past, Casper said.

Coach Mitch Taylor reported that numbers change throughout the year, with interest being high in spring but some students changing their minds by the time practice starts in August.

Taylor said he would really prefer to stay at 11-man.

Meanwhile, Shaun and Monica Wagner made a request at the meeting that the board consider offering cross-country teams for Suring students. Cross-country is a fall sport that is offered to both males and females. The WIAA deadline to register a new fall sport or co-op is Feb. 3.