CRYSTAL FALLS –It was an emotional and controversial night in Crystal Falls as the Forest Park Schools Board of Education passed a motion to move the football program to eight-man football beginning next season.
The school board cited a number of reasons to move the program down to eight-man football. Enrollment at the school is declining and they want the program to remain competitive in the future. Players, parents, and community members voiced their concerns about moving the program to eight-man football, but few had positive views on the change.
“When you get down to 110 or 111 kids, you just don’t have the numbers to compete and that’s where it’s going to be in three years. In two years it’s 122, so you know that in a couple years, you cannot sustain an 11 man program. But, right now its very difficult. It’s heart wrenching to see these kids…express themselves like they did and just have things turn the other way,” said Varsity Football Coach Dave Graff.
Forest Park has had a successful run in 11-man football, making the playoffs each of the last 18 seasons. The Trojans play at home Friday night against the Gogebic Miners.