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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Future of NCTL football up in the air

We will start posting some stories today from our Fall Sports Preview.

Paul Adams wrote this story on the future of NCTL 11-man football


THUMB AREA — As the 2011 football season is set to begin this week, there is a cloud of uncertainty surrounding the North Central Thumb League.
What is certain is that for 11-man football, the NCTL will be down to four teams following the conclusion of this season.
Memphis is set to become a member of the Greater Thumb Conference for the 2012-13 school year. With Akron-Fairgrove, Carsonville-Port Sanilac and Owendale-Gagetown committed to 8-man football, that leaves Deckerville, Kingston, North Huron and Peck as the only remaining 11-man teams.
The NCTL has been around for decades and it has produced numerous playoff teams. 
Now, the league, with a storied history, is at a crossroads. Will it be able to survive with just four 11-man teams, or will what remains go the route of 8-man football?
At North Huron, coach Travis Fischer said his school has made the commitment to playing 11-man football.
“I’m an old school guy, it’s 11-on-11,” said Fischer. “My varsity year, we had 13 guys and one guy got hurt, so we finished with 12 guys. Those are memories I will never forget.
“I will fight to keep us 11-man as long as possible.”
The last year the NCTL was at full strength was 2008. Following that season, Akron-Fairgrove, Owen-Gage and CPS all decided to play 8-man football.
Dryden left the league after the 2009 season to become a member of the Genesee Area Conference. Dryden was replaced by Deckerville in 2010. 
Still, there was pressure on the remaining schools to fill their schedules. With only four league games, NCTL teams must find at least four games for an eight-game schedule. 
In the case of North Huron, it has had to do its fair share of traveling, playing games against the likes of Mio and Whittemore-Prescott in the past. This year, the Warriors will host Tawas. 
The Warriors have scheduled bigger Thumb teams, as well, playing Brown City, Harbor Beach and Ubly, all from the Greater Thumb East. 
“The last three years we’ve been 4-5 because our schedule has been brutal,” Fischer said.
Meanwhile, Deckerville has been able to keep a couple of its GTE rivalries intact, playing Marlette and Ubly this season. 
The Eagles are playing Almont in the season’s final contest. Almont has an enrollment of 670 compared to Deckerville’s 199.
The Eagles open the season hosting Mendon, a perennial state title contender for each of the last four seasons. Mendon has an enrollment of 242 and has lost just four games in the past four season. The Hornets won a state championship in 2007.
Kingston has faced similar scheduling challenges, playing Big Rapids Crossroads Academy, Arenac Eastern and Saginaw Buena Vista this season.
“It’s getting harder and harder to schedule games,” said Kingston coach Lane Walker. “Trying to find schools our size to play is tough while avoiding two- or three-hour bus rides.”
Walker remains optimistic about the future of the NCTL, though.
“I think the league can survive, but we need to find another school,” he said.
Both Fischer and Walker have heard that Mayville has expressed interest in becoming a member of the NCTL, but that is only a rumor at this point.
One option would be for CPS, which has 21 players on this year’s roster, to bump back to 11-man football.
The Tigers won an unofficial state 8-man championship in 2010.
Coach Tim Brabant said there is no possibility of his school coming back to play 11-man football again. 
“We are never going back. The kids like this, it’s a lot more fun,” said Brabant.
CPS is part of the Mid-Michigan 8-Man League.
When asked about the future of the NCTL, Brabant said there is always the possibility for the existing members to drop down and play 8-man.
“We have a league that is open for them,” he said. 
Even though CPS had success last year, going 10-0, it was the first winning football season for the Tigers since 2005.
In 2009, the first year of 8-man, the Tigers were just 2-7. They are 0-9 in 2008, their final season as a member of the NCTL.
“It was the best option for the kids,” Brabant said about making the move down. “Playing 8-man was the best choice for us.”
Fischer doesn’t hold any ill will to the teams that left the NCTL to play 8-man football.
“I understand for some of the schools (playing 8-man) is a huge benefit,” he said. 
“Everybody has to do what they feel they have to do. But to me, I think every team that went to 8-man probably should have.
“I don’t feel that there’s anything wrong with 8-man football. It’s a viable option.”
Fischer does feel that 8-man football, which now has a Michigan High School Athletic Association sanctioned playoff, should have some participation rules, though.
“I think the state should have a rule, where if you have X amount of kids come out, you should have to play 11-man,” he said. “If you are under X amount, then 8-man is a wonderful option.
“If you have a roster over 15 or 16 kids, there’s no reason not to be playing 11-man football.”
Fischer and Walker both have the privilege of coaching where they played.
They each have a tremendous amount of respect for the NCTL’s past, and hope for its future.
“I know we’re not as big as other schools, but I feel that the NCTL has had some damn good football games over the last few years,” Fischer said. “I would hate to see the NCTL dissolve. It would break my heart.”
Added Walker: “I have faith in the NCTL. It’s a great league. I don’t want to see it die.”     

67 comments:

Anonymous said...

Excellent article, Paul, up to a point.

That point is that the demise of 11-man football in the NCTL will also affect the GTC. No longer will many GTC schools play historical and close by rivals. GTC members, especially East division schools will have to travel to distant, unfamiliar venues to fill the holes left by NH, Peck, Kingston and yes...even Deckerville.

Its time to end this silly nonsense. Its time for the schools in the Upper Thumb to form a single conference. Mayville to the NCTL? In all sports? Membership raiding between the two leagues is ridiculous. Who benifits? Certainly not the students or coaches.

Call it the Greater Thumb Conference/North Central Thumb League. No need to retire the historical NCTL moniker. It makes a lot more sense to call the GTC's third division the NCTL rather than GTC-D or GTC-Central or whatever. NCTL carries over a lot more meaning and nostalgia.

With Memphis joining the GTC next year, the NCTL will be what it should be. All 9 of the Class D schools in Huron, Sanilac and Tuscola counties together competing for sport championships. For sports where there are enough schools sponsoring squads...Volleyball, Boys and Girls Basketball, Baseball, Softball and Track & Field...the change would be virtually unnoticed.

But where do NCTL schools go to compete in sports where they have few if any teams? The GTC. Apparently its not too much of an issue in Wrestling or Soccer.

If the two leagues do not resolve the current 11 man football issue by forming a six team NCTL division, all upper Thumb area schools loose. Time for pro-active rather then re-active solutions to scheduling and competing for League/Division titles.

An example of what a GTC sport divisional breakdown could look like.

Boys Cross Country

GTC Div 4
Ubly
USA
Mayville
Deckerville
CPS
Brown City
Akron-Fairgrove

GTC Div 3
Vassar
Sandusky
Reese
EPBP
Marlette
Bad Axe
Cass City

Does either league even have Cross Country league title meets?

A league merger would benefit all schools in the area and nip future problems before they become a crisis.

The proposed 6 team NCTL football division from last year needs to be approved. It failed to pass in the GTC by not carrying a 2/3 vote. For those not familiar with that proposal, this is how it looked.

GTC West
Vassar
Reese
USA
BCAS
EPBP
Cass City

GTC East
Bad Axe
Ubly
Harbor Beach
Sandusky
Marlette
Brown City

NCTL
Memphis
Peck
Kingston
Deckerville
North Huron
Mayville


If this proposal isn't passed very soon, the end of 11-man Class D football in the Thumb is inevitable.

Chiuk Czlek

Adam Filkins said...

It's a shame that a school like CPS refuses to look at the possibility of playing 11 man football again. I have to say, I was a bit disappointed that they posted a sign for a non sanctioned championship.

I hate to be brutal about this, I know that the kids and coaches worked hard. That being said, there were only a handful of teams, and there was no governing body to award the championship.

I also believe that their selfishness could destroy the league that has been their home for a long, long time. Is playing 8-man football with a roster of 21 (larger than many GTC Schools) really important enough to ruin the league for all the other sports at CPS?

I think it is time that the school take a real look at the overall impact of the decision to leave football 3 men short. It could leave all their sports on the sideline.

ChadWingert said...

I have to agree with you Adam. Eight man football should be the last option at every school.
There are, in fact, schools in the GTC who have less players than a team like CPS. But, it sounds like the Tigers coach and program has made up its mind.
But, with all of that being said, I'm glad that eight-man teams around the state will get the chance to play for a state title, in an organized playoff format.

Christian Selich said...

Nice article Paul

John Creguer said...

Chuck, yes cross country has their own league meets, the nctl has their own, the gte and gtw compete amongst each other and divide the scoring at the end according to conference at the end of the race day. In the GTE there is Ubly, Marlette, Sandusky, Mayville, and Brown City. The GTW had Vassar, USA, Cass City, Bad Axe, Lakers appeared with a program last year, and Reese. The cross country league meets were very lopsided i must say, for the Boys, the GTE dominated the GTW in terms of placing, the top 7 earn first team all conference and 6 out of 7 last year were from the GTE, but now flip to the girls and it's the opposite, the GTW dominated with 6 out of 7 coming from the GTW. I agree, a super conference needs to be done, not split it all apart to 8-man schools and disintegrate upper thumb schools and having them scramble to schedule games that are 2 or 3 hours away. Cross country manages because we go by 4 divisions, realignment would make very little differnce becasue it is competition we compete against all fall and spring, we are all from the same area.

Lance Adams said...

I am having a hard time understanding all of the negative things that 8 man football brings out in people in this state when they don't agree with it. Small schools across the nation have used 8-6 man football teams as an option over no football, and make no mistake that is where CPS football was heading. People see 16-20 kids on our sideline and they say we have too many people to be in 8 man football, no one cares to learn that more than half of them are underclassmen. That’s right, CPS has no JV, so what you see on the sideline consist of a lot of kids who are not physically ready for varsity football. My kids are on the CPS team and I go to a lot of the practices and I can assure you that we have less than 10 kids ready to play at the varsity level. So what is being selfish about letting the sport not only become safer for the underclassmen, but more fun as well. I am not saying that 8 man football is better than 11 man, but I will say it was the greatest thing that happened to CPS since I have lived here. GO TIGERS!!!

Anonymous said...

What should happen is this. For Football only, have N.H, DVILLE join the GTC. Also, having Memphis in the league is ridiculous! Basketball and baseball games during the week. Plus, Memphis is still bigger than a majority of the schools.
Football Conference Should look like this
Red Division
1- Laker, Bad Axe, Harbor Beach, Ubly, North Huron
Blue Division
2- CC, USA, Reese, BCAS, Vassar
WHite
3- BC, Marlette, DVILLE, Sandusky, Mayville
there might be somebody I am missing but can't remember. 3 Divisions.
If you look at the divions. 1 Laker, HB and Ubly have each won a conf. championship in last 10 years. #2 USA, Reese have each one a few
#3 Dville and Sandusky have each won a title
EVEN SNEVEN.
But get Memphis out of the league! To big to to far.

John Creguer said...

How about this, 2 divisions, one north thumb, one south thumb
Greater Thumb Conference North:
Ubly, Harbor Beach, North Huron, Lakers, Bad Axe, North Huron, BCAS, Deckerville, USA, Cass City. Then in the south you could have: marlette, mayville, brown city, sandusky, reese, vassar, memphis, kingston, peck. 2 super conferences with 9 teams a piece and they could go on a rotational basis and not necessarily get all of their league games in per year, sounds farfetched but hey its just an opinion for something that needs to be seriously considered in the next few years

Anonymous said...

for John Creguer.

Really not much for league/division honors. 10 teams at a meet and then split honors. NCTL championship apparently amounted to a glorified tri-meet. It doesn't have to be Div3/Div4. A GTC-Northwest and GTC-Southeast will do. But give trophies to deserving athletes and deserving teams against at least 7 other schools.

Anon #before me.

I don't quite get your babel about Memphis. I'm happy to see them in the GTC. The GTC-East needs them...to fill openings on sport schedules. GTE teams would much rather play Memphis (in a conference tilt) than try and fill their schedule with a more meaningless non-con game with a school most likely further away than Memphis.

Chiuk Czlek

Anonymous said...

John Creguer,

Glad to see someboby thinking.

Personaly I hate 9/10 team leagues... even more than 6 team leagues. Programs tend to stagnate. Outside competition is needed to keeep a conferense fresh.

Chiuk Czlek

Cliff Amey said...

I have to take exception to Adam Filkins commements regarding C-PS being selfish. We made the decison to go to 8 man because, by and large, we could not compete any longer in 11 man. We were fielding teams of 12-14 players (9-12 graders) and absolutely getting pounded by strong football rich schools. We, along with Akron and Owen Gage made the call to go to 8 man and I will concur with Mr. Adams and Coach Brabant we have made the best call for our current and future players....and we are never going back to 11 man.

So on to being selfish, why is Akron and Owen Gage not mentioned as selfish? Why not mention Port Hope and Caseville? Yep, they once had football teams and folded them down. Why? Because they could no longer compete in 11 man football. It's my understanding that Caseville may restart a 8 man program in the near future.

As far as the health of the NCTL goes, well its as healthy overall as it has been. It's a class D league for class D schools and the decision for five former football schools to stop playing 11 man football has no bearing on its overall health....no more than some of the schools that don't field golf teams,track teams or cross country teams...Again, small class D schools have only so many athletes to go around. I'm not sure where Adam Filkins is going with the selfish/destroy angle, but football, is but one sport of many, and not all NTCL schools participate in all sports.

8 man football is here to stay and in my opinion is the future of class D football. Ask yourself this, why has the MHSAA gone from 4 divisions of football champions to 8 divisions of 11 man football and now one 8 man division? Beacause size matters! And as the thumb continues to shrink, the class D schools will be forced to switch as they will run out of teams to play. So with that, I see the NCTL becoming an 8 man league.

Anonymous said...

@ Cliff Amy

I am very disappointed in the choice Cps made about football. Having over 20 players but still playing 8 man? It really is sad that a program well capable of playing 11 man has to make it easier for themselves by playing teams that just started up their football programs and the school of the deaf. Then putting banners up like your state champions?? Com'on man its pathetic.

John Creguer said...

Chuck, as a former cross country athlete and being in the GTE we always had to compete against the likes of the powerhouse in our conference in marlette, a large class C to a little class B school dominating year after year against small C schools to big D schools. The way they have it set up now is not a bad thing (i'm talking in terms of cross country) however as programs continue to dissapear and as football is the primary sport in the thumb, the conference realignments will have a heavy influence on all schools and their sports, including cross country. North Huron, Lakers, Deckerville and Sandusky have resurfaced with cross country programs which calls for well deserving league honors to the athletes that earn them. Top 7 out of about 35-40 runners especially in a small area like the thumb is well deserving. however, schools like memphis, kingston, peck, and unfortunately harbor beach do not have cross programs anymore which calls for some sort of realignment, and i do agree, it should be more based on the division 3/4 logistics, not necessarily area. There are a lot of opinions out there and i respect each and every one of them.
In defense of Lance Adams and Cliff Amey, CPS had no choice to switch to 8-man football, it was THE best thing to do for their school and community. The obvious evidence shows because they are getting more kids out there (however, as Lance said, half the team is varsity ready, the rest are 9th and 10th graders, so don't knock their program for having 20 kids when not even 11 are ready for varsity) and they won a state championship and i hope to see them make a deep run in the playoffs this year in the 8 man league. It's not only good for the CPS school and community, but it is good for the thumb. Let's face it, the thumb is losing numbers by the day and we will all have to face the music sooner or later to decide if we can compete with outside competition in 11 man football or transistion to 8 man football and still keep the thumb tradition alive by maintaining an actual program. Again, everyone has their own opionions, and this is mine.

Anonymous said...

@ Lance Adams
Caro had no JV or Freshman team last year, does that mean they should have played 8-man? I'm willing to bet that there weren't many kids on that team who were "game-ready".

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous
Caro has 584 in the High School and they can't put together a JV or Freshman team? Bigger issues there I'm betting. 8man is limited to 225 and below.

Brandon Deacons said...

@John Creguer

You don't want to do a 2 super conferences, I live in Bay City, and right now, the biggest problem with teams over here like Essexville Garber, is they play in the Tri-Valley Conference that has a total of 23 teams and 3 seperate conferences its just to big to do that especially with the thumb teams I like the 3 6 team division idea. All I can say its going to get interesting in the next couple years!

Anonymous said...

The kids at caro are not the same kids at cps and what works for one school might not work for another. Caro is not class D either.

@ C’mon man its pathetic.

Those kids who played 8 man at cps had to play for something, there had to be something to win. How many kids do you know who would play football and not set a goal to win or to improve? At cps they set a goal to win the "state title" and they have as much right as anyone else to put a banner on the wall. They worked hard and won and succeeded at capturing that goal they set. What more can you ask? Im not saying that they should deem themselves State Champs or even give it a title, but they did win the league and no can argue with that. worthy of a banner if you ask me.

Dave Lester said...

As a coach in the NCTL i can see arguments from both sides on the 8 man vs 11 man. I find CPS's situation unique. For years they have struggled to field a team and compete in the NCTL. But the last couple of years they have been blessed with some very athletic classes and decent participation numbers. I agree with Coach Fischer on the number of athletes should dictate 8 man or 11 man. I would love to see the NCTL survive in 11 man football, but 8 man football may be the future of the NCTL. In a perfect world CPS will continue to get increased numbers and rejoin 11 man and teams like Mayville & Dryden would join the NCTL. Sounds like a longshot though. It will be interesting in 5 years where the state of football in NCTL stands.

Jimmy Dean said...

The first ever 8-man football State Champ will be crowned in 2011. In Tiger land you will always be the first.

Lance Adams said...

My answer to the numbers issue that Caro had last year would be that it is not my place to judge them on what level they need to play football at. I would be willing to bet, that Caro’s coach would have preferred to have a JV and freshmen team though. The only way teams can build for the future is having their young players play against other players of the same caliber so they are not beaten up, not only physically but mentally as well. I will also address the issue some have seem to taken with CPS and the state championship from last year. First thing is that no system is perfect. The issues that the NCAA has ever year with the BCS rankings is just one example of how a governing body can go wrong, and it gets only worse as you drop down to high school governing bodies. The MHSAA tells high schools that it is fair to let USA compete against CPS in Cross Country and Track and Field, but not in football. What message does that send to every kid that runs but doesn’t play football? In the age of political correctness run amuck, and ever thing is supposed to be fair, how in good faith do we tell kids that football is more important because it makes more money. MHSAA now has 9 football state champs and only four in all of the other sports, so I ask, is this the people we really want running things at a high school level. The coaches and ADs from the 8 man schools got together and set their own guidelines, and they worked well for the most part. There was one team at the end of the season of 8 man football that was undefeated, and I am proud to say it was CPS. No one is challenging that the best two teams played each other at the end of the season like they do with the BCS either. I guess it is the Republican in me that believes people can govern themselves and don’t need someone with a title to sanction what they know is right. I know that some will never change their mind, and that is their right, but what is accomplished when you have to resort to saying things like CPS was selfish or pathetic. I would ask that people come to an 8 man game and just watch, and when you do, judge the game on its merits and not what you think it should be. People with axes to grind will never be able to understand what we accomplished at CPS and how great it was for the not only the school but the community as well. If more people are at games and supporting the team and everything is positive, what does it really matter how many kids are on the field?

Anonymous said...

Im gonna put a banner up on my front yard that says home of the 2010 state champion 3 man basketball team!

Adam Filkins said...

I figure since I started a stir, I should probably come back and give a little more of an explanation.

Cliff Amey - about my 'selfish' comment. What I am saying here is that people in general are treating it like Football is the only sport that this decision has an effect on. Unless you completely put the blinders on, this is something that could essentially dissolve one of the oldest conferences in the area. If it forces the schools in the NCTL to look outside the league to fill their football schedule, the other sports will follow. How far will your basketball team have to travel to play schools it can compete against? Or are you going to be happy playing 1/2 your games against GTC schools?

And to say that CPS will never go back to 11 man football is a pretty bold statement. The MHSAA will put roster limits on 8 man teams, it's only a matter of time. So CPS will have to cut players to stay at that level - which seems to negate the benefits of high school competition.

So, to sum up, I don't hate 8 man football. I don't hate CPS for being good at it. I don't disagree that at one point, the move was needed for CPS. I know that the move was needed for Owen-Gage and Akron-Fairgrove. I do not take away from the hard work that the coaches and players put into an undefeated season - a feat that is not easy no matter how many players are on either side of the ball. My entire point is that CPS's decisions may have a greater impact on the entire NCTL than they realize. Sometimes, you have to take one on the chin for the greater good.

Anonymous said...

I'm gonna change the rules to all the sports I'm not good at. For Golf, I'm gonna golf using a volleyball and a 5 gallon bucket and use a mini basketball and an 8 foot rim for hoops. I hope Verona Hills will put a sign up for me that says "First ever Volley-Golf-Ball-Bucket Champion".

Anonymous said...

There were 16 schools in the STATE who played Eight Man Football in 2010 and they all got a shot at being the top team. Two teams played in the final game, both undefeated , with no other undefeated teams remaining and CPS won. That is why it IS a STATE CHAMPIONSHIP. Think of it this way . When Major Baseball crowns the WORLD SERIES Champions this October is it really a WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP? Where was Mexico Or Japan? At least ALL the teams who play Eight Man Football were in the mix. There was an organization of those schools and MHSAA rules were followed. Squeeze some more sour grapes about CPS but while you do it give CPS the praise for having the COURAGE to do the right thing in the face of all the doomsday critics. CPS led the charge and for that challenge to the "old boy" mentality they are assailed. It is the price you pay for being different. As the Cardinal Mooney Coach said after winning their first Eight Man football game this week "I WILL NEVER GO BACK TO COACHING 11 MAN FOOTBALL AGAIN THIS IS TOO MUCH FUN!" Come on let it rest, Eight Man is a great game, played all over this country and the world. It is the future for High Schools of 200 or less. I predict that Harbor Beach, North Huron, Peck, Deckerville, Kingston , Caseville and other High Schools under 200 will someday be playing Eight Man in this area and to make everyone happy we call it the NCTL home of the FIRST State CHAMPIONSHIP with a BANNER flying at CPS to prove it..... forever.

Anonymous said...

Fulton, Ubly, and soon Mendon think Deckerville should play 8 man. Due to the fact that Deckerville is a volleyball school, with two back to back regional championships, to footballs only one district championship.

Anonymous said...

CPS is kicking everyones butts now, what do you think will happen when Deckerville starts playing 8-man football? CPS will start crying AGAIN. NOWHERE TO RUN NOWHERE TO HIDE.

Ubly fan said...

Cps is safe as long as ubly is still playing football, as deckerville has never proven they can beat the true football factory of the thumb. Go Bearcats.

Hardy Richard said...

Ubly fan you just worry about who you have to play tonight. Lets see where both teams are at in a few weeks.

Anonymous said...

There is no way a coaching staff could switch back & forth year to year from 8 man to 11 man based on participation. CPS did the right thing & are doing it well. Success has a lot of influence on participation numbers. Do you think the roster numbers would have gone up if they hadn't won a game last year? Everyone wants to be part of a winning team, even if their playing time is limited.

ChiukCzlek said...

Ubly fan,

Sandusky

Need I say more?

Anonymous said...

Ubly fan - I believe Deckerville won in 2006. As far as "true football factory of the thumb" look at the Ubly record prior to 2001. They have their moment now just like USA did a while back & Lakers did in the 80's / 90's.

Ubly fan said...

State runner up


Need i say more?
Deckerville will always be known as the team that would'a, could'a, should'a.

And is sandusky realy talking about football? they are a girls basketball school, and a good one at that.

Anonymous said...

CPS NEVER cried, they took action and when the day comes and other schools see the benefits of Eight Man Football the Thumb will be Known for having started it all because of the actions of CPS. No crying necessary. It will be good for all concerned and the naive among you who hold on to the past will be doing just that living in the past as you do now. Ulby and Deckerville have had great success we all hope that will continue. They have made us all proud and continue to do so. For those who see a way to play football like Earl Campbell of the Oilers and Casey FitzSimmons of the Lions did then WHY attack it. Campbell actually played SIX MAN Football in Texas and went on to win a Heisman, FitzSimmons was on a State Championsip team in Montana. The University of Nebraska actively recruits Eight Man players across the Country because there is so much one-on-one blocking and tackling plus the wide open passing skills. Look up the history and future of Eight Man Football on the internet and see if it makes a difference in your vision. That includes the press reporters who are several pages behind the real world. The Iowa Athletic Association claims it was the best move they ever made to save football in small communities in Iowa. Heap a little praise on CPS for their courage.

Anonymous said...

More than a moment @ USA and UBLY....One was a State Champion and the other a runner-up. Deckerville puts all of it's eggs in the football basket and yet no State Championships.

Anonymous said...

So Lakers and USA and the Runnerup Ubly are the success stories and every one else is a loser. Oh my I am afraid there is only one loser here and that would be the humble soul from Ubly. You are a sad example of what is wrong with High School Athletics

Anonymous said...

Morons think that the thumb started 8 man football. It has been played in Michigan before - and it died out because it sucks. Heck - even in Disney movies football teams dress a donkey to play. And you guys have Cliff Amey to play the roll of the jackass...

Anonymous said...

I see that the Storied NCTL teams scored 8 POINTS LAST NIGHT in 11 man....Peck blown out,North Huron blown out,2ND TIER FOOTBALL FACTORY.....YEP, BLOWN OUT.....Now you know why those schools are so bitter at the schools that left for 8 man. No longer can they compete in 11 man and only hate on those that can see the trend.

Look again said...

Before we go and crown the "football factory" of the thumb lets look at consistency. I have nothing against Ubly, but where were they in the 90's and early 2000s? A runner up is great, but if that qualifies them as the best program in the thumb, I think you're sorely mistaken. Jordan Bitzer's teams at USA were better than any of the recent Ubly teams, and they in fact won a title, plus a runner up. People can bash deckerville all they want, but they are consistenly solid every year. All it will take is a few breaks in their favor, just like what happened to USA and Ubly.

Anonymous said...

I do not believe the NCTL schools who play 11 man football are bitter about the Eight Man schools, that is just the negative minded, humble Ubly fan talking and continuing to give the Bearcats a bad image. Try something positive once in awhile. USA was simply OUTSTANDING during that time frame.

Anonymous said...

I'm from Ubly and Ubly Fan shut up! Every team goes thru stages like it was said, I was part of the earlier tradition that help build what you guys have in no way did we ever act like that! So neither should you!!! The only thing you kind of have right is that the THUMB is a football factory! As for CPS, I think they should be in 11 man football, how many years did Ubly, and other schools while they were losing barely field enough players. There have been quite a few, so I don't think they can use that as an excuse why they shouldn't play 11 man football. In fact I just watched a team last night that was supposed to get blown out because they only have 12 guys on the team. They ended up winning against a team with like 30 guys by +20 points. Don't let the numbers interfere with what you can do between the lines!

Anonymous said...

THANKS!!! Finally a real Ubly Bearcat Fan speaks out. However, Eight Man is here to stay. Go watch a game and enjoy the excitement.

Anonymous said...

What do you mean football factory? If you mean victories then DVILLE, UBLY, USA and REESE with DVILLE probably edging out UBLY. But Ubly's run is pretty good. But, when I hear Football Factory I think of football players. The thumb does not produce 'great' football players that go on to the college ranks. What is produced is solid TEAMS.
When USA beat Deporres in the final- that was a statement!
But DVILLE has a had a much more consistent winning program that Ubly. Ubly has just dominated the league and district for so long.

Anonymous said...

CPS, whatever the reason never did well in football. So they resided to bring 8 man football onto the agenda. It solved their problems. A state championship?? OK...good for you. But really its a sham. I can see 8-man for schools with less than 120 total students. Owen-Gage, Akron-Fairgrove, Mi School for the Deaf.

Come on CPS, step up and play real football. Mayville does.

Anonymous said...

If enrollment is 225 or less any school should SERIOUSLY consider Eight Man, the blow outs, the injuries and the small numbers are what should be the consideration NOT the macho idea that 11 man is superior. It a different game not a bad thing, a different thing. Soccer has caused the numbers at Harbor Beach to drop and so they must pause to think about it and that does not make soccer a bad thing or is it just that FOOTBALL is where its at and any thing that is not the traditional way is wrong. It is the argument that cannot be won, Eight Man Football is HERE and it is not going away and as schools continue to get smaller in numbers it is a great way to continue to play. Schools under 225 in grades 9-12 qualify. The eight divisions in 11 man were contrived BECAUSE of numbers. So it is with Eight Man Football. Give it up, IT IS HERE!!!!! New Eight Man Conference: CPS, USA, N Huron, Peck, Harbor Beach, Owengage, Akron Fairgrove, Dkville. WOW 400 HUNDRED YARDS OF OFFENSE every game (each team), stands are packed, travel is reasonable and kids are having fun. Tell me what is bad about that. Oh I know YOU DIDN'T DO IT BACK IN YOUR DAY.

Anonymous said...

I wish we could get a blog post on Friday's scores instead of an NCTL 8 man debate.

Anonymous said...

football scores: CPS 49 Wyoming TriUnity 6.....Cardinal Mooney 52 Akron Fairgrove 30 any questions?

Anonymous said...

Paul Adams runs the Facebook page, Mike Bogan runs the blog. All of Friday's scores were posted on Facebook.

Paul P.

Cliff Amey said...

Adam,

Not sure that the Basketball situation is relevant, but I guess it depends on the year and the talent level of the groups on how far we would travel. Some years, class D teams can compete with class C teams and other years, not at all. Size matters, and for the most part the GTC is two to three times the size of the NCTL.

The idea of the the MHSAA will limit roster numbers is a stretch at best, they don't limit the roster numbers in the other 8 divisions. It will be as it is, based on enrollment. Now perhaps those numbers could change, but they will be changed based on enrollment, not roster size. We currently have 10 underclassman out 21 players on our team this year, with classes of 5 and 8 boys total coming up from the junior high. I don't see us cutting anyone anytime soon. Those numbers are total numbers of boys in the grade, not the number of boys playing football. It's going to be a struggle to maintain any form of football period in the near future.

In regards to the "Greater good" comment, Well when Memphis(326) goes home to their rightful place in the Class C GTC league, there will be 7 schools playing some form of football left in the NCTL. Three playing 8 man and four playing 11 man. Now, I don't pretend to be Nostradamus or Warren Buffett, but I don't see Peck with an enrollment of (160) in the High school going anywhere else soon or North Huron with an enrollment of (145) leaving either. Kingston is at (188) and Deckerville (199). Deckerville just came back to the NCTL for the reasons you mentioned. So with that, I don't see them leaving either. Remember its a league for all sports, not just one sport. So my take on the "Greater Good" is the good for all sports and no need to take "one on the chin" for one sport.

I have nothing but respect for those that continue to play 11 man football and for those coaches and programs that work so hard to compete. But, as the Thumb high school enrollments continue to slide (Roughly 25% decline in all thumb schools in the past five years) I see 8 man as a viable option as opposed to no football at all, as that is where we are at CPS(188).

For Anonymous, Hey I embrace that role so no insult taken if that was the intent? Mom always said I could be in the movies so if wanted to be and if the role of the donkey is for me.....I'll work really hard on being the best "Jackass" I can be. In staying with the Movie theme, I have a possible role that you may consider from the all time classic the Wizard of Oz. The cowardly lion, as at least, I sign my posts!

Anonymous said...

Right on Cliff....Great stuff!!!!!

Ubly fan said...

To whom it may concern;
First, of all I would like to address the people who told me to "shut up". If you look at your first amendment rights I believe that I can, and will say what ever I want.
Second,
It has came to my attention that the MHSAA was filming the Mendon skunking of Deckerville. Due to the lack of ratings and people turning the channel to the more exciting grass growing competition the MHSAA has now decided to cut its losses and offer the dvds 3 for the price of one. If you are so incline to by 3 dvds of this massacre, Ubly will throw in a free copy of last years 40-0 spanking of Deckerville by Ubly and a sham-wow. GO BEARCATS

Anonymous said...

How about some details on Friday night's games in the blog for the folks out of state? Who scored Ubly's touchdowns, stats etc?

Anonymous said...

Just a question here. Is winning 13 games in ten years @ Mayville "Real Football"? Is whats going on In Peck "Real Football" Or could it be that some want the pencil in win towards the playoffs? Think that maybe the North Huron Coach wants those pencil in wins from those that left? 4-5 from a brutal schedule or 7-2 playing teams that cant measure up anymore......There is a train a coming from the horizon, It's an 8 man train get on that train D schools or get pounded by class C schools.

Anonymous said...

The scores were all on our Facebook page. As for stats and such, I would suggest subscribing to our E-edition. We simply can't give everything away online. You will still get plenty of photos, scores and polls online. As I said before, I run the Facebook page, Mike Bogan is in charge here.

Paul P.

Anonymous said...

As I cruise threw Ubly I wonder "Are all the people of Ubly as stupid as the Ubly fan in this blog" and then I remember it was another Ubly fan who told him to shut up and stop the insults. So I am content to know that it only takes one to spoil the image of many. Shut up was a life line to the ignorant.

Jimmy crack korn said...

Ubly fan,
You must have alot of sham-wows. Is that what you get for being state runner up? You can keep mine and I'll take the 3 of 1 deal. It's going to be a long season.

PeterG said...

I have never watch 8-man football. But it looks like an exciting option for schools with low attendance numbers or trouble fielding a football team.

For what it's worth, here is the coach's comment from the Akron-Fairgrove/Cardinal Mooney game (from the Times Herald):

The Cardinal Mooney High School football team got off to a good start to the new season Thursday with a 52-30 victory over Akron Fairgrove.

It was the Cardinals first-ever 8-man football game.

“I would never coach 11-man football again,” Cardinals coach Tom Nowak said. “This is more fun. It was an even faster pace game than I thought it would be.”

JustChimingIn said...

Guys Here is a website that will tell you all you need to know about who has had the best Footabll records since 1950. Some interesting stuff.
http://michigan-football.com/f/totalcounties.htm

Anonymous said...

Eight Man Football this Thursday CPS (Defending State Champs hosting Cardinal Mooney) Get there early to get a seat.

Anonymous said...

Will the same number of seats be available, or will 3 out of every 11 seats be destroyed in the spirit of the game?

Anonymous said...

Same number of seats, just more excitement. Sorry you missed the game but sooner than you think it will be very close to you also. Get a grip EIGHT MAN FOOTBALL IS HERE TO STAY. You're going to love it.

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