CONFERENCE WIN … Stryker’s Gavin LaBo follows his blockers in the second half of a game versus Sandusky St. Mary last season. (ARCHIVE PHOTO / THE VILLAGE REPORTER
By: Nate Calvin
The Ohio High School Football Coaches Association (OHSFCA) will be hosting an eight-man State Football Championship as part of the 2023 football season.
Details of the championship are still in the planning stages and will be determined after the OHSFCA has a solid figure on number of schools participating in eight-man football according to a press release from the Northern 8 football conference.
“Eight-man football is an exciting game and is played in Ohio at a very high level. The OHSFCA believes that adding a championship in eight-man football will continue to move the game in a positive direction while provide great experiences and lifetime memories for the student athletics”, the release continued.
“We are really excited about this opportunity and view it as a big victory for small schools”, said Stryker head coach Kent Holsopple.
Currently Stryker is the only school in Williams and Fulton County that plays eight-man, but Holsopple hopes the creation of a sanctioned state tournament will encourage other schools to go to this format.
“We’ve worked really hard to tell people this is a viable form of football. Some schools have been hesitant due to a lack of a postseason.”
“Hopefully the backing of the OHSFCA helps with that as we continue to grow the sport. Ultimately, we want to get the OHSAA backing but this is a big step in the process”, added Holsopple.
Schools in Ohio with an enrollment of 160 boys or less can participate in eight-man football.
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