By Bruce Campbell
Here are some questions to ponder while counting down the days to the opening of the college football season.
Is Pioneer in danger of having to play 11-man football in 2006?
The Mustangs have reason to sweat out the next average daily membership, which will be released this summer to determine the football districts for the 2006-07 seasons.
The Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association is going to restrict 8-man football to 72 schools. Seventy-one schools were in eight-man football last year.
Pioneer was ranked No. 2 in ADM with a 165.79. Only Dibble (182.33) had a higher ADM.
Boise City (106.79) and Canton (129.76) are going to 8-man for sure. Some other schools with smaller ADMs than Pioneer are speculated to make the switch, too.
What might be the key is the number of smaller schools dropping football.
Billings, who played in District C-3 a year ago, is going to co-op with Garber this season. Forgan did not field a team. Wakita and Freedom have dropped the sport in the last few years.
If one of the smaller Class C schools decides to resume football in 2006, the Mustangs might have a tight fit.
Pioneer's ADM is expected to drop. Four schools were just a whisker behind the Mustangs in 2004-05 ADM -- Porum (165.41), Foyil (165.31), Burns Flat-Dill City (164.37) and Yale (164.39). Depew (160.70) and Okay (160.34) are close as well.
Timberlake (108.59) and Garber (105.52) were 34th and 35th in ADM among the Class B schools. Both schools have smaller ADMs than Boise City and Canton. That might mean with a few shifts, they would be in Class C.
Of course, that would change if Garber keeps a co-op with Billings.
Pioneer could hope a school like Oklahoma Bible Academy, whose numbers are growing, could move up to Class A.
It makes for interesting summer speculation.
Why does Northern Oklahoma College Enid have volleyball instead of softball?
While Enid High School and Oklahoma Bible Academy have excellent softball programs. The talent pool in the area is much deeper in softball than volleyball.
One of the purposes of the Northwest District Amateur Softball Association's summer youth league is to open more college opportunities for local players.
While NOC Enid obviously wouldn't have a team comprised of all area players, recruiting obviously would be easier in softball.
With Enid's softball team playing in the fall, Meadowlake Park is available for play in the spring as it was for Phillips University when it had a program for two years.
The arguments for volleyball are the playing facility is located on campus, and it gives NOC Enid students a sport to follow in the fall when no others are available on campus.
By Bruce Campbell
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