Upland Christian School will be making the jump next year, moving from eight-man football to the traditional 11-man and will compete in the Arrowhead League along with Hamilton, Riverside Prep, Sherman Indian and California School fo the Deaf-Riverside.
Coach Robbie von Pertz says his team already has a schedule with the exception of one open date he has left.
There are 27 players in the football program right now which is comparable to the number of players other teams in that league have now. But Von Pertz expects that number to grow to between 35 and 40 next year. The team is heavy in underclassmen and he thinks the draw of playing 11-man will help bolster participation.
“People have no conception what 8-man football is. A lot of people think it’s flag football,” he said. “The word is getting out and it has people excited. There are kids here on campus playing other sports that want to come out.”
Von Pertz said his school will only field a varsity team next year but he hopes to add a junior varsity as well the following year.
The Eagles (5-2, 1-1) are hoping to finish their 9-man run in fine fashion. They will play Hesperia Christian at 7 p.m. Thursday at Los Osos with a win giving the Eagles a repeat Agape League title.
Key players in this year’s strong showing have included sophomore quarterback nathan Dennis, senior running back Gideon Sudyka and senior linebacker-wide receiver Aaron Vasquez.