Two Ohio schools have collaborated to form the state’s first eight-man football league in hopes that more teams will join in the near future.
Toledo Christian and Stryker have agreed to be the first two members of the league in what will be called the Northern 8 Football Conference. The ‘8’ refers to the eight-man version of the game and not the number of teams in the league.
Toledo Christian and Stryker have agreed on a four-year commitment to the league.
“You have to have a foundation,” Toledo Christian athletic director Tim Wensink told The Blade. “You have to have something on the ground so that you can see it. When you ask teams, ‘Hey, are you interested in eight-man football?’ they’re going to have questions. Now we have answers, and we can give them that. There’s a sense of security, and they can feel comfortable going to their board and other places.”
Toledo Christian will retain its affiliation with the Toledo Area Athletic Association for all of its other boys and girls sports. Stryker’s football team is its only TAAC affiliated team and that will end in 2019.
The Northern 8 expects to have two additional members in the near future. Representatives of Holgate and Danbury high schools have also expressed strong interest in joining the league, but both school need approval from their school boards before they can move ahead.