A West Central Illinois school is exploring 8-man football as an option.
The Pike Press reports that the Pleasant Hill school board is exploring if 8-man football would be a better option for the school’s competitive future. Pleasant Hill has won just 3 varsity football games since their last playoff appearance in the 2017 season.
A co-op agreement with Barry-Western has helped to boost numbers for football over the last few years to help continue fielding a team. Under the co-op, Western and Pleasant Hill have a combined enrollment of 249, making them one of the smaller 1A schools.
The Pike Press reports that Superintendent Kylee Orr along with Ron Edwards will be exploring all the options of remaining in regular football or moving to 8-man. The earliest that Pleasant Hill could join a new conference would be in the 2024-2025 season, when the WIVC Conference renews agreements.
Pleasant Hill has been a part of the WIVC since 1997 when 4 other school joined and the conference split into the North and South Divisions. The best finish the school has had since that time period was when football went 10-2 in 1998, which tied the school’s record for football wins in a season.
There are currently 5 conferences in the state for 8-man football. Travel time would be a concern for Pleasant Hill as they would be the western-most school that would be in 8-man competition if they decide to go that route. Currently 28 schools in the state compete in 8-man.