Thursday, November 12, 2015

ESPN Spotlights Homecoming, Six-Man Football In Cody, Neb.

Thanks to a high profile feature by ESPN, Cody, Neb., population 155, and Cody-Kilgore High School, have basked in the national spotlight this week.

"This is Nebraska's ranch country," the network notes. "The football team is something for the communities to rally around. Everyone is part of the family and part of the celebration of the intersection of sport and rural culture."

Cody-Kilgore seventh grader Liz Rosfeld said, "We don‘t have very many kids. Every single boy went out for junior high football, and we still only had like eight people."

We liked the story for three reasons:

1.) Cody-Kilgore reminds us of a smaller, western Nebraska version of DHS. Even the school colors are the same.

2.) We know that western Nebraskans tend to be a hardier lot compared to most, but we were still impressed that Cody-Kilgore had a 100% junior high football participation rate. One of the high school boys tells ESPN that the kids play to represent their community and that he "feels the pride in my heart."

3.)  In a single short story, this piece captures the current conditions in many small Nebraska communities -- too tough to die, as the ESPN headline says.

At Cody-Kilgore High School, they play six-man football, a wide-open game in which literally everybody has an opportunity to handle the ball. 

One important point made in the story: There are only 14 schools playing six-man football in Nebraska, as compared with the 234 six-man teams in Texas. In a time of declining K-12 school enrollments statewide; a time of decreased participation in male sports; and a time of increased bullying and dictator-like rule by the Nebraska School Activities Association, we are still scratching our heads as to why Nebraska schools don't do more to utilize the six-man game.  (The smaller number of Nebraska kids playing for the University  of Nebraska today -- compared to decades past -- shoots holes through any argument that more six-man football might diminish the quality of play in the high school ranks.)

See the ESPN feature here.


  1. Too far to travel

    Until the school board changes their ideas, we will never have a team again

  2. My thoughts on Dorchester football...

    1.) Bring back junior high flag football and MAKE IT MANDATORY for boys as part of PE class for two weeks. After two weeks, they can quit if they want. This was the model in Dorchester for years before the 2000s.

    2.) If you only have 1 boy going out for junior high football, it's time to quit paying two coaches to go to Milford to coach.

    3.) If we are going to continue the football co-op with Milford, we need to have their wrestlers come to Dorchester. Why are we spending time and gas money transporting our 8 or 10 Dorchester wrestlers to practice with Milford's two. A co-op should be "cooperative."


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