The Duncan Banner
11-man football at Bray-Doyle is finished.
The collective breath of sighs signal the school will be returning to eight-man competition next year, but the groans say there is still a season left to be played. The problem is not enough players. The solution... still pending.
The OSSAA gave coach Lee Bluejacket the option to find eight-man teams to play against. The Donkeys found one, but the game isn’t going to be a walk in the park.
The defending state champion in Class C, Tipton (6-0, 5-0), was in a bind. It had an open schedule the next two weeks and jumped at the chance to fill it with an exhibition game.
“It means nothing to both teams,” Tipton coach Jim Kerbo said. “But we wanted to play, and they wanted to play.”
It was really that simple for both teams. Fortunately for Bluejacket, Tipton was there to fill that spot.
“It’s tough trying to find opponents, because this time of year, everybody is basically set with their schedules,” Bluejacket said.
Bluejacket is optomistic about the game as it gets him and the roster a head start on learning eight-man football. They are two different styles of gameplay and what better way to learn it than facing the state champs?
“We’re not afraid to take on the number one team in the state, because it lets our kids see how to play if you want to achieve that type of success,” Bluejacket said. “It will be a very tough game for us.”
For senior Rodney Hall, that doesn’t matter. The chance to play anybody at this point is special.
“I’m just happy to get to play another game, because I won’t get to play any more after these next couple of games,” Hall said. “I’m pretty much the leader, because I’m the senior captain. All the kids, they look up to me... I don’t want them to think I’m a bad person because I’m the leader, and the leader quit.”