The Student News Site of Shorecrest Preparatory School

The Chronicle

The Student News Site of Shorecrest Preparatory School

The Chronicle

The Student News Site of Shorecrest Preparatory School

The Chronicle

Tackling Questions About Shorecrest Football

The Shorecrest student body questions the decision for the football team to play in an 8-man division
Luke Lavoie
The Chargers defensive line prepares to charge at an 8-man SSAC game from the 2023-2024 season.

     The Shorecrest Varsity Football team has been a hallmark of Charger athleticism and spirit since its beginnings in the 1970s. More recently, however, the team has been a hallmark of success and glory.  So far this season (as of October 30th), they are undefeated and have scored over 40 points in every game they’ve played. 

     The team’s new influx of success represents a dramatic change from the past. If one looks back at the team’s 2013-2014 records, exactly 10 years ago, the stats are relatively average. With three wins and seven losses, Shorecrest was 5th in the 3A District. At that point, Shorecrest was playing standard 11-man football. 

     In the 2022-2023 season, on the other hand, Shorecrest had 10 wins and one loss. Shorecrest was the SSAC State Champion in 8-man football. 8-man football has historically sourced smaller, less-funded teams. However, in 11-man football, Shorecrest was at a disadvantage being a smaller school.     

      Some community members have questioned the ethos of Shorecrest playing against 8-man teams with significantly fewer resources than Shorecrest. Senior Ozzy Bedell said, “I think we have a good football program at Shorecrest. I have heard a lot of the players are happy and feel like they are developing well, and the team wins a lot. However, for our division, I feel like we win every game and we’re in too low of a division, so moving up a division may be for our best interest.” When asked if he goes to games, Bedell said, “Not as much as I used to. My workload has increased now that I am a senior which is a big factor, but we win every game anyway. I used to attend every football game but now that I know the outcome, I feel like the overall school spirit for the games are not as good as they used to be during my Freshman and Sophomore years.” Athletics Director Anthony McCall said that the issue of honor was not apparent when Shorecrest was “the doormat” for other teams, initially being beaten by large margins in the 8-man football league. McCall said, “We just happen to be at a time right now when we have some good football players.”

     McCall spearheaded the switch to 8-man football in 2020. On this topic, Mccall said, “The first year we played 8-man we were two and six and lost games by significant margins.” To McCall, it’s important that people remember no matter the league—8-man or 11-man—the team will go through waves of dominance. McCall said, “We just have better players [now].”

     “Football boils down to two things, blocking and tackling. We block and tackle out there every day, and [we] do a good job of it,” said McCall. The team’s recent success may simply be attributed to its baller members, not necessarily the league in which it plays.

     Uninformed about Shorecrest’s past 8-man defeats, students have complained about this year’s dominance.  Sophomore Kate Carlan said, “I get bored watching Shorecrest football games. We should move up to the 11-man league to have better competition.”

     Junior Sam Haddock, a member of the team since eighth grade, said, “I would like to play 11-man, but the reality is we are a small school, so inevitably there are not going to be enough players.” 

     At the end of the school year, Shorecrest is able to make the decision to stay in 8-man or to move back to 11-man ball. Moving to 11-man may increase game excitement and attendance, and fire up healthy competition between Shorecrest and nearby, larger schools such as Northeast High School and St. Pete High School, but also has its drawbacks. Shorecrest’s small roster could lead to a disproportionate number of forfeits and too many team injuries to fully man the field. 

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Luke Lavoie, Sports Editor

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