ROCKPORT — The Camden Hills varsity football team is looking to move to eight-man classification football for the 2020 season and has asked the state athletic association for approval to make the switch.
The classification, which allows for eight players per team on the field instead of the traditional 11 players per team, celebrated its inaugural season in the state in 2019.
As of an early December school board meeting, Camden Hills athletic director Jeff Hart notified the school board discussions were underway about moving the team to the eight-man classification.
In a Jan. 3 email, Hart told the Penobscot Bay Pilot that the school has indicated to the Maine Principals’ Association, the state’s governing body for high school athletics, that the Windjammers want to be in the eight-man classification next season.
“I think it's the right move for our football program at this time,” said Hart. “The schools who moved to it this year were all pretty happy that they did, and everyone involved with the football program here right now believes that it's the right thing for us to do.”
The classification boasted 10 programs during the 2019 season across two divisions, a large and small school division.
The large school division, for schools with more than 350 students, included Ellsworth, Mount Ararat, Yarmouth, Gray-New Gloucester and Maranacook.
The small school division, for schools with 350 or less students, included Boothbay, Old Orchard Beach, Sacopee Valley, Telstar and Traip.
Camden Hills is not the only school seeking to join the eight-man classification for the 2020 season.
Mount Desert Island announced in mid-December they would like to join eight-man football, according to the Mount Desert Islander.
Dirigo and Spruce Mountain also hope to join the new classification, according to the Portland Press Herald.
The administration at Waterville announced on its Facebook page last month they are in the midst of discussions about a possible switch to eight-man football.
There are rumored to be other programs, such as Morse and Lake Region, eyeing a switch to eight-man football, but the Portland Press Herald could not get confirmation on if either of those programs are hoping to make the switch.
If the divisional guidelines remain the same, Camden Hills (693 students) would be placed into the large school division as the Rockport school has more than 350 students, according to a school population report provided by the MPA.
Reach George Harvey and the sports department at: firstname.lastname@example.org.