Thunder Football Transfers Divisions

Thunder Football Transfers Divisions

As of last night at midnight, big news has been announced for the Out-of-Door football team.

Coach Sommers has revealed the news that ODA Football will be moving to a completely new division, called the “Sunshine District.” This district is made up of other small, independent, private schools similar to ODA in the south-Florida region.

“This was not a unilateral decision. I talked to some players on what that might look like, and Coach Crouch and I had conversations leading up to speaking with Mr. Mahler. We can play schools with similar academic and athletic philosophies, and engage in more competitive games, quite honestly.”

The Sunshine District, however, is not your normal football league. It is not a part of the FSHAA, which means that we will not participate in traditional districts. There are new rules to accommodate the needs of these specific teams.

Some of these new rules include nine regular season games, and two guaranteed playoff games, regardless of winning or losing.

With BCS and Shorecrest leaving our current district, staying with the old league would have meant that our football team would have had to play even larger, more difficult schools located in Tampa area. The decision to become independent in football might upset some of the players.

Jason Fineberg, muttered merely, “No comment.”

Fineberg is not alone in his opinions. There are consequences to leaving our district. Some say it will be impossible for our team to improve and become more competitive unless we play schools who are better than us. Dropping to a district composed of weaker schools will not make the football team stronger players, instead, they will just look better because the competition is not nearly as difficult.

Coach Sommers counters these criticisms. “I point out that three of the four teams that we are going to play in our new league have beat us last year, so I think that there is still a lot of work to be done there. Secondly, at the end of the season if we’re successful, we will be put in the playoff system which will put us up against the best teams in the league.”

Junior McCabe Ballance agrees with Sommers optimistic outlook.

I think it’s a good thing because it puts us with teams who have similar situations as us- smaller schools with less players. I’m personally excited because next year is my senior year and I’ve never had a winning season so it will be exciting to play in a competitive district where our team can preform well and win,” Ballance explains.

Junior Christian McCarthy had mixed feelings about the transition. “It’s a shame that we won’t have real playoffs, but at least we are in a district that’s bigger and has more competition even if it’s not an official district.”

Sophomore Lucas Macleod added, “I think it’s good for our team because we haven’t really won quite a few games, and haven’t really been doing too great in our current district. So I think it would be better because we’re going to be playing teams our own size, with kids our own size.”

The feelings on this new change seem to be mostly positive, with most players and members of the Out-of-Door community looking forward to a 2016 fall season filled with more competitive games, and victories.

Whatever your feelings on the district change may be, please remember that they are still our players. Go Thunder.