Christian Life Embraces 8-Man Football.

ROCKFORD - Eight-man football might be the wave of the future for a lot of small schools in Illinois. If so Christian Life has spear-headed that wave. The Eagles made the move to the eight-man game last year and they're not looking back.

When you don't have many players you make the best of it. That's what the Eagles did by adopting the eight-man game last year.

"Our kids have adjusted to it. They really enjoy it," says second-year head coach  Bill Shepard. "If you listen to the kids they'll tell you that themselves."

(Kenny Harvey, WR/S) (19:30:39) "I have fun because I'm playing football. I love football!," says receiver/safety Kenny Harvey.  "I'm just glad I get a chance to play."

In many ways the eight-man game is more wide open making it more entertaining for some players than the 11 man game.

"It's all fast-paced running and passing," says Harvey.

"It's speed. Getting to the edge," says center/defensive end Jacob Stowers.

"It's a lot of speed especially on defense," says running back/corner back Max Koslovsky.

Jacob Stowers at 6'5 265 pounds will anchor both lines. Christian Russell plays quarterback and Max Koslovsky is one of the top returning players at running back and cornerback.

"I think we've got a good head on our shoulders right now. I think we're heading in pretty strong," says Koslovsky. "I think we're capable of scoring in pretty high numbers."

"I would say that we run really well. We pursue really well. We're hoping that that's going to transfer into stoping some of the teams," says Shepard. "Last year we scored 25 points a game and gave up 40."

Christian Life is one of three teams from the Northeastern Athletic Conference playing eight-man ball this year. The others are Alden-Hebron and Elgin Westminster Christian. They've reached agreements to play eight-man teams in Wisconsin giving them a full schedule for the season.  Last season the IHSA ruled that Christian Life had to forfeit all of it's games after switching to eight-man ball at the last minute. This year the finals scores of their games will actually count in the won-loss column.

"We have a little bit better drive because we have a schedule and we're going to have 'W's'," says Harvey.


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