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Eight-Man Football To Shrink Next Year

Thu., Jan. 23, 1997

The last six State B-8 football championship games have included either Odessa or Pateros.

Neither of the Northeast B-8 powers will vie for the next title.

Nor will NEB-8 mate Cusick, the Southeast’s St. John-Endicott or the Pacific League’s PeEll.

The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association ruled last week in Ellensburg that all five schools must participate in B-11 football next year.

Last fall’s breakdown was 24 schools in B-8 and 40 in B-11. At least 10 B-11 schools appear headed to Class A next year, so the B-11/B8 ratio should be around 35-19.

Odessa coach Myron Kramer and Pateros’ Joe Worsham had lobbied the WIAA for a freeze on the requirement that schools with enrollments of 100 or more in the top four grades play B-11.

“They didn’t take into consideration any of the things we talked about,” Kramer said. “I think the major emphasis was on, it’s really too late to do anything now.”

The seven-team NEB-8 will shrink to Inchelium, Lind, Wellpinit and Columbia. Each team plans to play the others twice and attempt to pick up three non-league games.

Odessa and Cusick will moved to the NEB-11, as will Sprague-Harrington, which took a one-year hiatus last season and played a non-league schedule. Pateros will play in the Central Washington League.

The NEB-11, 10 teams last year, will split into North (Panorama League) and South (Bi-County) divisions. In one span Odessa, which has played B-8 for 17 years, must face powers Reardan, Ritzville, Davenport and Liberty.

“It doesn’t fit our needs,” Kramer said. “Our kids and our community, we wanted to stay in the B-8 ranks. That’s where we feel comfortable; that’s our niche.

“The B-11 fear was that they’d lose their 24 count (to continue having state playoffs).”

B-8 teams don’t need 24 because they were grandfathered into the current system.

, DataTimes

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