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School scales down football team to make the most of their student body

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Thursday, Oct. 9, 2014

By Lacey Darrow


ELLE JOHNS/CRONKITE NEWS: Smaller schools can still pack a big punch on the football field. As Cronkite News reporter Lacey Darrow shows us, one program is scaling down its team and field to make the most of its student body.

LACEY DARROW/CRONKITE NEWS: Thanks Elle, I went to Glendale Prepatory Academy and checked out how it is adapting the classic game of football to fit with their small school.

LACEY DARROW/CRONKITE NEWS: It’s a hot afternoon in Glendale, but that doesn’t stop the Glendale Prep varsity football team from putting on their helmets and getting in some practice. They have a big weekend ahead.

KYLE WESTERLIND/OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR GLENDALE PREP FOOTBALL: This weekend we are traveling to Bagdad, Arizona, to play the No. 1 team in the state.

LACEY DARROW/CRONKITE NEWS: At a glance, the Glendale Prep varsity football team looks the part of a typical high school football team, but the difference as head coach Jamie self explains is …


LACEY DARROW/CRONKITE NEWS: In Arizona, smaller schools like Glendale Prep and their opponent Bagdad High School play with only eight men. This allows schools in the state who might not have the numbers to fill an entire 11-man team the opportunity to play just like a bigger school. Although the game is played the same, there are some differences between the two.

KYLE WESTERLIND/OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR GLENDALE PREP FOOTBALL: The field itself is actually different. Its only 40 yards wide versus the normal 52 or 53 that an 11-man field would be.

LACEY DARROW/CRONKITE NEWS: But the game doesn’t slow down with a smaller field.

MYLES MATTOX/VARSITY RUNNING BACK: Eight-man football you can have a lot more big plays. There is not as many people on the field.

KAYLA MURILLO/GLENDALE PREP ATHLETIC TRAINER: The scoring is a lot higher than I’ve seen for a lot of other football teams, so they score pretty high on each other.

LACEY DARROW/CRONKITE NEWS: Your typical high school football team could have as many as 150 players. Your typical eight-man team around 30 players, but the smaller size doesn’t affect the way they feel about the game and their team.

KYLE WESTERLIND/OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR: Football is something that they do and love and these are some of their best friends.

KAYLA MURILLO/GLENDALE PREP ATHLETIC TRAINER: This team is very much like a family.

LACEY DARROW/CRONKITE NEWS: A team on the field, and a family off.

LACEY DARROW/CRONKITE NEWS: I went to the game on Friday, and despite taking a loss, the Griffins put up a good fight.