David City discusses future of football program

The School Board is going to have another meeting to discuss options for the football team and are hoping to make a decision for the middle school team for next season. A meeting was held that allowed the public to ask questions and express opinions on the possible outcomes.

Macy Svoboda

David City Public Schools held a special public meeting on Wed., Jan. 4 at 7 p.m. in the new commons area to discuss the future of the football program.

Board of Education President Julie Danielson put the meeting into order, then allowed Superintendent Chad Denker to take over. Denker provided everyone with a 15 slide presentation about the numbers, concerns, and possible outcomes of the football situation.

The presentation first started with the current enrollment of both boys and girls for grades 4-11. Continuing on, Denker displayed the current enrollment of football participation in those grades as well. These numbers came from the students’ participation in the past as well as the youth flag football team.

One main concern for Denker is for the middle school’s 2018 football season. Calculating all the numbers together for that season, Denker showed the community that there will only be 12 participants in middle school football. Denker also explained how this number doesn’t count the participants who are unable to play throughout the season because of injuries, grades, sickness, vacations, etc.

Even if everyone was at practice, it would be difficult to get anything done. You need to be able to scrimmage 11-on-11 at times,” Denker said.  “Football is also different in that you need to have enough athletes to play on the line. We do worry about player safety in football more so than other sports because of the size difference among athletes and the amount of contact, so that is also a factor.”

The fall of 2017 varsity football season is already set to be played the same as last year’s season because it’s still in the two year football cycle. Once this upcoming season finishes, the contract will need to be renewed, allowing DCHS to co-op, play eight-man, or wait and see what happens.

All possible outcomes have pros and cons. For example, co-oping with another school would help keep DCHS playing 11-man football and possibly stay in class C-1 depending on the school we co-op with. On the other hand, the school identity could be lost, and there could be longer travel time for home games. Also, many logistics would change, like name, mascot, uniforms, coaches, etc. North Bend and Schuyler have agreed to co-op with us if needed. Aquinas is also another possibility, however, they have not come to a decision yet.

Playing eight-man football would keep football at DCHS. However, there would be an eight game schedule instead of a nine game schedule, the team wouldn’t be eligible for playoffs, and it’s a different game than 11-man football.

The other possibility the school is considering is to wait and see what happens. If that route is taken, football would be kept in the school with the possibility of playing C-2. With this option, other possibilities to consider are dropping middle school football and cancelling JV games due to numbers, or continuing to stay C-1 if numbers do not drop as projected.

The board will have a couple more meetings before making a final decision. In order to prepare next year’s middle school football schedule, the board hopes to have a decision made by February.

“No matter what the outcome is, there is no right answer,” Denker said.