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Eight-man football catching on in Wisconsin

Published On: Jun 27 2013 05:47:07 PM CDT   Updated On: Jun 27 2013 08:32:42 PM CDT


Eight man football in Wisconsin high schools is gaining momentum.

This Saturday, there's an eight-man All-Star game in Rice Lake and the South All-Stars are practicing at Madison Abundant Life this week.

Abundant Life is one of the few schools in Southern Wisconsin playing eight-man football. The Crusaders will begin their fourth season in the fall.

"There are a lot of schools out there that have declining enrollment," says Abundant Life head coach Mark Martinez. "They want to know if it's legitimate or not and one of the things that makes it legit is having a playoff."

Right now, about 20 schools have eight-man teams in Wisconsin. At least 30 are needed for the WIAA to consider sponsoring a playoff.

Eight-man football is a high-paced, high scoring game.

"You look at the scoreboard and it's 40 or 50 points - It's like backyard football and it's a lot of fun," says senior running back Dylan Rockwell.

Rockwell and quarterback Alex Pien will represent Abundant Life in the All-Star game Saturday.