By Bruce Campbell, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle
ENID, Okla. —
The news that Pioneer will be allowed to go 8-man as it requested should be good news for the Mustangs.
Pioneer has gone 16-37 since moving up from Class B to Class A in 2008. It should be noted the Mustangs were 2-8 in their last season of 8-man after going to the playoffs 17 of the 20 years they were in Class B.
However, the best news might a renewal of Pioneer’s rivalries with Waukomis and Garber, which no doubt will be good for the gate for both of those schools. Pioneer will no doubt benefit from being the second-largest school in Class B, but the move is no guarantee for success. Here’s an overview of how other schools have fared in moving from 11-man to 8-man.
Buffalo, 1984 — The Bison went to 8-man after three straight losing seasons (3-7, 1-9, 1-9). The move proves beneficial as Buffalo went 8-3 in its first season and had winning campaigns in five of the next six seasons.
Canton, 2005 — Canton went to 8-man as an independent in 2005 and went 9-1. That broke a string of 10 straight losing seasons, including an 0-9 record in 2002 and an 0-10 record in 2004. The Tigers went 2-8 and 3-7 in their first two seasons in District B-1, but were 10-3 in 2008 and 12-2 in 2009 when they lost to Garber in the state finals.
Cherokee, 1988 — They were 2-8 in their last year of 11-man and 3-7 in their first year of 8-man. They were 8-4 in 1989, but didn’t have another winning season until back-to-back marks of 9-2 and 7-4 in 1998 and 1999. Cherokee won the Class B state title with a perfect 14-0 record in 2010, the team’s first winning season since 1999.
Deer Creek-Lamont, 1980 — The Eagles went down to 8-man after three straight winning seasons in 11-man. They were 7-2 the first year, but had only one winning season after that (6-4, 1985) until a 6-4 mark in 2000. The Eagles went 14-0 in winning Class C in 2010.
Garber, 1990 — The Wolverines went from 2-8 and 1-9 in their last two seasons of 11-man to going 10-2 in their 8-man debut. They had three straight losing seasons after that. GHS won the state crown in 1998 and claimed back-to-back titles in 2008 and 2009.
Laverne, 2006 — The Tigers went from three straight losing seasons in 11-man to going 7-4 in their 8-man debut. That started a streak of seven straight winning seasons, culminating in a state championship in 2012.
Medford, 1990 — The Cardinals were 6-23 in their last three years of 11-man. They were 5-5 in their first year in Class B, followed by 14 straight winning seasons, including a 14-0 state championship campaign in 1999.
Pond Creek-Hunter, 1982 — The Panthers were 7-4 in their last year of 11-man and had winning seasons in five of their last six seasons there. They went 6-5 the first year in 8-man and went 14-0 in winning the Class B state championship in 1985.
Seiling, 2008 — The Wildcats were 6-5 in their last 11-man season and 8-4 in their first year of 8-man. Seiling went to the playoffs four straight years until a 4-6 campaign in 2012.
Shattuck, 1998 — Shattuck went from 1-9 in 1997 to 4-6 in 1998 and the playoffs, They would be the state’s dominant Class C team with six straight unbeaten and championship seasons from 2003-2008.
Waukomis, 1988 — The Chiefs went from back-to-back 0-10 seasons in 1986 and 1987, their last two years in 11-man, to going 6-4 in the first year of 8-man. WHS would go 48-21 over the next six years, going to the state semifinals in 1992 and 1994.
Waynoka, 1974 — The Railroaders were 4-6 in their last year of 11-man and were 3-5-1 in the first year of 8-man. However, Waynoka would bounce with nine straight winning seasons, including a perfect 13-0 record and a state title in 1976.
Campbell is a News & Eagle sports writer.