There's quite a discussion taking place on the Dorchester Times' Facebook page. It centers around a question we posed to our Facebook followers: Should Dorchester High School play 6-man football in 2015 -- after the two-year cooperative agreement with Milford has concluded?
Entering the second school year of Dorchester's football merger with Milford, we see benefits, including better competition and a chance to have a sustainable program in an era in which students are not pushed to participate. However, there are also clear drawbacks:
- Decreased participation. Boys who would likely go out for a stand-alone DHS team don't want to ride the bus to a nearby town everyday.
- Fewer opportunities for Dorchester kids to start/play on merged athletic teams.
- Loss of revenue suffered by DPS due to no home games at Nerud Field.
The nearest school to Dorchester participating in the state's Six-Man Football Association is Deshler. Most of the six-man schools are much further west.
The most obvious negative to playing six-man football would be the travel time. (Another drawback is you need to be a mathematician to tally some of the high scoring games.)
However, with an organized effort and some phone calls by eastern Nebraska school administrators and coaches, we are certain that six-man football could return to its glorious past.
As we wrote on our Facebook page, Dorchester's six-man teams of the 1950s were quite successful. The reality is, the size of Nebraska's small schools today resembles 1950 more than they do 1980. Our urban areas have grown, while rural areas have lost population, especially among farm families. Fewer students are participating in sports, even when class sizes are healthy.
So tell us: Is it time for DHS to bring back six-man football? Check out the Times' survey in the left column of our webpage (non-mobile version) and vote.