One of the best things we have done in our program over the past 20 years has been our freshman/JV conference. We find schools similar in size to ours and play freshman/JV doubleheaders on Monday night. We started this at Mason County when my good friend Dan Gooch, then the head coach at Montgomery County, suggested it. The quarters are very short, but it allows our kids to get quality reps against kids the most like them. These conference games are a key component in the development of our players. Obviously, player development is a priority for our program.
Over the past couple years, it has been a struggle for many of the teams in our conference and surrounding area to field a freshmen team. Although our record was not very good, we are excited that we began the season with 22 freshmen and have kept those guys together. We are also excited because our current 8th graders will be another strong group of freshmen. In 2017, it is a huge accomplishment to field a freshmen team, even though several of their games this year had to be played against teams that included some upperclassmen.
All of the coaches in our conference are committed to fielding freshmen teams next season. It will be rough and there may be nights that we can only play JV games, but we will all do our absolute best to play freshmen games.
If we want to keep our freshmen, we have to have freshmen teams and freshmen games. When we give up on that, our numbers will decline.
In many ways, even though our conference teams are opponents on the field, we all share a common goal and interest.... to keep the game of football alive & healthy in our area for the kids in our schools. We all believe that football can make a large & positive impact in the development of young men and in the overall school culture. I am the football coach at Mercer County. It is in the best interest of Mercer County football that Boyle, Lincoln, Anderson, Franklin & Western Hills are able to field freshmen and JV teams.
You won't find me wearing a Rebel(Boyle County) football sweatshirt, but we need those guys!