Activities directors from all Central Lakes Conference schools discussed the future of Little Falls football Wednesday in St. Joseph.
Little Falls activities director Mike Olson, with the backing of the Little Falls School Board, requested to leave the conference in football while remaining in the CLC for the rest of Flyers sports.
On Wednesday Olson shared the reasons for his request to the other conference activities directors.
"This year 46 percent of our players suffered a significant injury because we play kids both ways against bigger schools," said Olson. "That gets to be an issue. In last year's section quarterfinal game we played with just 22 kids.
"Right now in our community football has a stigma as not a successful activity. We're getting more students who would rather concentrate on their winter or spring sports than play football."
A final vote may be made Nov. 15 in Sartell by the conference board of governance. Each school gets to cast one vote.
Olson said the topic of Little Falls football took a back seat to last night's referendum results, however. Referendums in Brainerd, St. Cloud and Sauk Rapids failed. Rocori's referendum passed.
"It was a somber group," he said. "There were certainly some bigger things out there to discuss."
Because of that and the issues that may need to take place, Olson wasn't sure if a vote would be taken next week or if the Flyers' issue would be tabled to a later meeting.
"We would like to get a yes or no vote right away so we can make some decisions," he said. "We would like to get a vote. If it's a no vote then we'll look at what our options are. Can we pair with another conference? Can we change the way the CLC schedules games?"
The request stems from the Flyers' inability to compete against the other schools in the conference in football. The team finished 0-9 this season, 0-7 in conference play. They were outscored by an average of 34.3 to 8.3.
The previous two seasons Little Falls was tied for last in the conference and finished with 1-9 records. The last time Little Falls won more than one conference game was in 1992.
"There are some real discrepancies between the haves and the have nots," said Olson. "There is a distinct top and bottom to the conference, whether it's related to enrollment or too many other activities for kids to play. There is some disparity that we need to look at."
Little Falls owns the third-lowest student enrollment of the 10 conference schools. According to the Minnesota State High School League, Little Falls has 854 students in grades 10-12. Brainerd, the largest school in the conference, has 1,964 students in grades 10-12.
Only Rocori (811) and Fergus Falls (814) have less students.
JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5856.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.