Monday, September 18, 2017

REPORT: 6-Man Football May Be Returning To DHS Next Year


UPDATE: In the comments section of this post, DPS Superintendent Daryl Schrunk wrote: "On Tuesday, Sept. 26, at 6:30 p.m. in the school library, we will be having a parent meeting to discuss bringing football back to Dorchester. This Wednesday (9/20), I will be attending a NSAA meeting in Lincoln regarding football around the state. Also, I have visited with many superintendents around the area that are highly considering six-man football. The state could potentially have 40+ six-man teams for Fall 2018." Superintendent Shrunk notes that a decision will need to be made at or around the "October board meeting" since the DPS board will "need to approve the contract with Milford or commit to six-man football."  Superintendent Schrunk adds that he has "been in constant communication with the administration at Milford" regarding the situation, and that DHS has "been fortunate that Milford has allowed our students to play football. If we are unable to bring football back to Dorchester, we certainly would like to continue our football co-op with Milford so our students who wish to play football have that opportunity."

The Times has learned from reliable sources that Dorchester leaders are seriously exploring bringing back six-man football to Dorchester High School in time for the 2018 football season.

That's according to extremely reliable sources.

According to reports, school leaders are now gathering input from parents and students to gauge support for the idea.


One town resident and DHS parent told us that he supported starting six-man football next fall.

"The contract with Milford [allowing DHS to co-op with MHS for two more seasons] will need to be renewed or declined soon," the parent wrote in an e-mail.  "While co-oping with Milford was a worthwhile experiment, and a few kids were able to see the playing field, busing our football kids 15 minutes away has hurt our school pride and our sense of community.  Average and young Dorchester boys aren't going out.  It has hurt Dorchester's football culture.  It's time to get that back.  I want that for my son. He wants it, too."
The idea of six-man football at Dorchester is not new.  Sixty-nine years ago this fall, Dorchester resumed its football program (following an hiatus in the program following the 1930s death of a DHS player) with only eleven players going out.

In the late 1940s and throughout the 1950s, the Longhorns played six-man ball for ten seasons, getting better with every snap.  In fact, Dorchester's six-man teams of the 1950s were quite successful.   DHS alum Vern Johnson once told us that "the best six-man player DHS ever had was Jack Bruha, a two-year all-state player in the early 1950s."


DHS transitioned to eight-man football in 1959, when DHS went undefeated.  (Back then, Nebraska did not have a state playoff system for football.)  By 1969, Dorchester was playing 11-man football, a tradition that continued until 1991, when DHS reverted to eight-man ball and dropped in size to a Class D school.  Due to fewer enrolled boys and decreased participation rates, DHS ceased to have its own football team in 2013, when it decided to co-op with Milford.

A Times poll in 2014 found that nearly 70% of Times readers wanted to see DHS football return to Nerud Field in the form of the six-man game.  

There would be challenges to starting a six-man team at DHS -- the biggest being there are only a handful of Nebraska schools currently playing the six-man game.  Currently, 26 Nebraska schools play six-man ball, up from just 18 three years ago.


The six-man game is no longer sanctioned by the Nebraska School Activities Association, although that may change in the near future considering the large number of eight-man schools that are struggling to field a team.

Currently, a separate group oversees the scheduling, playoffs and championship for Nebraska's six-man football. That group of individuals and the membership have not indicated that they want the NSAA to take administrative control.

The nearest school to Dorchester participating in the state's Six-Man Football Association's Hampton, Deshler and Harvard.  Most of the six-man schools are much further west, but the trend is definitely moving east. 


Developing...

15 comments:

  1. 6 man rules are quite different then 8 or 11 man football.

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  2. Daryl Schrunk, SuperintendentSeptember 18, 2017 at 8:40 PM

    On Tuesday, September 26, at 6:30 PM in the school library, we will be having a parent meeting to discuss bringing football back to Dorchester. This Wednesday (9/20), I will be attending a NSAA meeting in Lincoln regarding football around the state. Also, I have visited with many superintendents around the area that are highly considering 6-man football. The state could potentially have 40+ 6-man teams for Fall 2018.

    Points to cover at the FB meeting on Sept. 26:
    > NSAA info. from Sept. 20th state meeting
    > Area schools transitioning to 6-man = less travel
    > Enough boys to sustain program = future years
    > Timeline of decision = October board meeting we would need to approve contract with Milford or commit to 6-man football

    Lastly, I have been in constant communication with the administration at Milford as we have been exploring bringing football back to Dorchester. We have been fortunate that Milford has allowed our students to play football. If we are unable to bring football back to Dorchester, we certainly would like to continue our football coop with Milford so our students who wish to play football have that opportunity.

    Feel free to contact me at (402) 946-2781 or dschrunk@dorchesterschool.org

    Go Longhorns!!!

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  3. Wasn't there a time, in the late 1960's or early 1970's that DHS played 8-man AND 11-man football in the same season?

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  4. I hope the school board members and administration take a good look at this.

    Hampton, a conference school plays 6 man

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  5. With an eight game schedule the team should have to travel 4 times.

    Not a big price to pay for getting football back into Dorchester

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  6. Football back in Dorchester is part of the rebuilding process. Then comes housing investment to bring and keep more families here, followed by street paving, followed by main street refurbishment. Has to happen. Not up for debate. You either love our community and are committed to its future, or you don't. There's no in-between.

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  7. Milford football is nice for my sun rn 6 man won't work and I don't think the kids are ready for it and what if they all don't go out and my boy can't play his senior year??

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  8. in 1970 dorchester wanted to switch to 11 man football. They couldn't join a conference, for whatever reason and couldn't get a full scheduled booked. That team wound up playing three 8 man games. They play against schools that had never played dorchester and would never play them again. I was a member of that team. We started slow at 1-3 but finished with 5 wins in a row. The next yr, we avenged every loss from the 1970 team.

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  9. Get Jack Bruha to help coach!

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  10. That Johnson kid would be an amazing quarterback in 6 man!!!!

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  11. BRING BACK DORCHESTER FOOTBALL AND BRING BACK DHS' MALE PRIDE.

    "All real Americans love the sting and clash of battle. When you were kids, you all admired the champion marble shooter, the fastest runner, the big-league ball players and the toughest boxers. Americans love a winner and will not tolerate a loser. Americans play to win all the time. That's why Americans have never lost and will never lose a war. The very thought of losing is hateful to Americans. Battle is the most significant competition in which a man can indulge. It brings out all that is best and it removes all that is base."

    General George S. Patton
    1944

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  12. As mentioned by Mr. Schrunk, but not added to the updated article, the NSAA absolutely sanctions six-man football.

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    Replies
    1. Looks like the NSAA is reading your blog.

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  13. I, for one, would so much rather watch high school football (or any sport) than professional athletics, and it has nothing to do with the Trump-NFL blowup. It has everything to do with a pro athlete making more in 30 minutes than 99% of us make in one year. Compare that to the glory days of professional baseball (early 1900s through 1950) when most players had to work a 2nd job in the interim. Time to get a grip, the county has much bigger priorities. Bring back Dorchester football and give us all a nice community activity and bonding opportunity.

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