On January 18 the Clinton County R-III School Board voted unanimously for Plattsburg High School to move to eight-man football starting in the Fall of 2023.
An article in the January 26 edition of the Clinton County Leader cited declining enrollment and lack of participation in the football program as reasons for the move. Plattsburg now has the smallest enrollment in the KCI Conference with 139 students in the three high school classes MSHSAA takes into account for enrollment numbers.
As recently as 2013, Plattsburg had 125 boys in school and 40 playing football. This last Fall they had 81 boys enrolled in school and 22 out for football. In their last game only 12 dressed out to play. Their record last Fall was 0-10.
Steve Tinnen, Leader Publisher Emeritus, wrote in his weekly column that Plattsburg football fans had begun to face the prospect of eight-man football.
Tinnen said, “For me, the idea of heading to an eight-man format began to make sense in September when I saw how inept the PHS football program was on the playing field. Without a doubt, the number of players on the field was stark in comparison to the good ol’ days.”
We asked Ryan Nichols, West Platte Athletic Director, how this move affected the KCI Conference competition. He replied “the decision for Plattsburg to move to 8-man football has a direct impact on the football schedule for all conference schools beginning in the fall of ‘23. Each school is now responsible for filling their Plattsburg date on the schedule with a new non-conference opponent.”
“For West Platte this date fell on 9/15 (week 4). We have replaced Plattsburg with University Academy. This game will now be a home game for us. Other schools are still looking for opponents.
“From what I understand, this move will not impact their participation in the remainder of the conference sports (Volleyball, Basketball, Wrestling, Track) in the 2023 school year.”