Are you keeping your New Year's resolutions?|
Story Archives: Doyle Hassell coaches eight-man lineup
|Doyle Hassell coaches eight-man lineup|
Franklin Academy began a new era of football Monday with a new coach as practice began for the 2009 Cougars.
Doyle Hassell will coach Franklin Academy for their first season in 8-man football.
Hassell replaces Keith Tincknell, who spent one year at the Winnsboro school before accepting a coaching position in Alabama.
Franklin Academy went 2-8 last year, but the lack of varsity players this year prompted the school to go to 8-man football.
Franklin is hosting a jamboree on Aug. 14, bringing in Tensas and Rebul. The jamboree kicks off at 7 p.m.
Hassell has been with the Franklin Academy football program since the school brought the sport back five years ago.
"I've coached the freshmen and sophomores on this team when they were 4th-and -5th-graders," said Hassell, who is a CPA in Winnsboro. "I've been around this program a long time."
Hassell said he has been watching a lot of tape of 8-man football.
"I really don't notice a whole lot of difference," he said. "We're going to have to count the kids each time to make sure we have eight out there instead of 11. I know there is going to be a lot of scoring and special teams will play a big part because you only have eight players to cover the field."
Hassell, who played football at Winnsboro High, said he wants to make sure the students experience playing football on Friday night.
"We're not out to win any national championships, we just want to give these kids the opportunity to experience playing football on Friday night," he said.
Hassell said there are a total of six sophomores, juniors and seniors on the team, while the junior varsity will continue to play 11-man football because they have a total of 19 in the seventh through ninth grade. Franklin is committed to playing 8-man football for two years before re-classification.
"We'll have to see where the numbers fall in the future," he said. "Eight-man football may becoming more popular with small private schools. If you have 15 kids to play, then you are better than the curve. If you only have 21 or 13, then it's going to be tough."
Franklin is competing in District 2 with Christian Collegiate, Mt. Salus, Rebul and Tensas.
They play each school twice.
Hassell said he believes the Franklin fans will enjoy the experience.
"There's going to be a lot of scoring and fans like the fast-paced action," he said. "We talked with our friends at Tensas and they really like it. We're anxious to get started."
Franklin opens at Central on Aug. 21 before hosting Christian College.