INDIAN RIVER – After consecutive winless campaigns and low participation numbers, Inland Lakes is making the switch to 8-player football this fall.
With only 17 healthy players suiting up by the end of the 2019 varsity season, the school’s decision came down to numbers.
Without a JV team at the 11-player level, the school also put an emphasis on supporting both a varsity and JV program at the 8-player level in hopes of building a foundation.
“When you’re smaller to start with and now you’re counting on some of those freshmen and stuff like that, it was an uphill battle, non-stop for the kids,” Inland Lakes coach Travis Meyer said. “Things started to click. They developed some trust in me trust in and in each other in a couple of the games toward the end of the season. It looked different than the beginning of the season, but I mean, they were they were still losses. Fourth quarters were really tough on 17 kids.”
The Bulldogs had struggled since joining the Northern Michigan Football League in 2015, going winless in three of the previous four seasons after posting three consecutive winning seasons campaigns and back-to-back playoff appearances from 2013-2015.
Inland Lakes will play as an independent this fall, with the goal of joining the Ski Valley Conference in 2021.
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