Like many schools, Bolivar-Richburg does not have enough players to field an 11-man football team for the Section V season. Wellsville went to 8-man last year. Cuba-Rushford has struggled to have a team and had to merge with Hinsdale.
But the “Big 3” of B-R, C-R and Wellsville are not merging for an 11-man team.
The Section V schedule will have to be changed as a result of this and B-R will have a new schedule.
Here is the joint statement from Michael A. Retzlaff, Superintendent of Schools and Dustin Allen, BRCS Director of Athletics:
As we kick off the Fall 2022 Athletics Season, we wanted to update the community on a change to our football program for the year.
Here at Bolivar-Richburg our #1 goal is the safety of all of our athletes; and our #2 goal is to field a competitive team for all to enjoy. As many of you know, this past spring we briefly explored the possibility of merging our football program with a neighboring district. At the time, we were considering a few districts to merge with, but at our community forum in May it was voiced by several parents and players they did not want to see a merger at this time.
In May, our tentative roster numbers indicated around 27 eligible players interested, but as we are now in August with the start of the new season next week, we have 22 players. To qualify to play 11-man football, we need to have an active roster of 18-eligible players every week. For 8-man football we would need an active roster of 14 eligible players.
Due to our current low numbers of sign-ups, we have made the tough decision to play 8-man football instead of 11-man football this fall season. Football is not the only interscholastic sport struggling to field enough eligible players.
We are seeing similar trends in some of our other sports, both boys and girls. As a District, we will need to officially start to explore our options of merging certain sports with a neighboring district in the future in order to remain safe and competitive. It would not mean that we merge all of our sports teams, just the ones with lower participation numbers.
If we don’t make this move in the near future, we will be looking at no choice but to cancel a sport when enrollment numbers are low. Here at Bolivar-Richburg we are very fortunate to be able to offer our students a wide variety of sports to select from each season. We would hate not having the ability to do this moving forward in the future.
This is not just a BRCS problem, as many districts in the Southern-Tier have been forced to make the same decisions in recent years. Our fall football schedule will be coming out soon—we hope you’ll come out to support our team this fall! #GoWolverines