Football games in Chisholm this year are going to look a little different. Chisholm High School can’t play in the traditional 11 man league because they don’t have enough players. Rather than forfeit their season they want to play in a smaller 9-man league. It means they’ll be playing fewer games against smaller teams. It’s a move that the school now wants to make permanent. Many parents and students were very upset, the Chisholm football team is not forfeiting the season, but have canceled its 11 man league schedule.
The issue is that they don’t have enough upperclassmen to fill the spots necessary for an 11 man league. So they plan to have students play in a 9 man league instead. Because of declining participation in football, they want to make that change permanent. But that could be a problem. The Minnesota State High School League determines whether a school can play in an 11 or 9 man league based on the enrollment of the football team. Because of the high school league’s cap on football enrollment, Chisholm doesn’t have enough players for an 11 man league but they have too many for a 9 man league. They plan to appeal the cap to the Minnesota State High School League so they can play 9 man. School board members voted tonight to make that appeal.
Also, beyond the five 9 man games, the team will play this year the 9 man schedule is set through fall of 2020 so the school couldn’t move down a league until after then. Other options for the more long-term future of the team include combining with Hibbing’s football team or playing only JV for a year.
The Chisholm J-V football team has a game Friday at 7 p.m. They play Cherry.