CHESHIRE — The Southern Connecticut Conference is moving forward with its plans for 7-on-7 football.
The league met with its head football coaches on Thursday night to talk about their preferences for 7-on-7 and linemen challenges.
“We got some good feedback and will present a proposal to school principals by Tuesday (Sept. 29),” SCC Commissioner Al Carbone said Friday. “We hope to have things going by the following week.”
The SCC will work on a schedule for its member teams to play each other.
“Facility availability is another thing we talked about,” Carbone noted. “Some schools may not be able to host events and we want to be prepared for that.”
Carbone said that activities would be voluntary because some schools are pursuing options such as private leagues.
At Thursday’s meeting, Carbone wanted to clear up confusion about what was being offered for football in the state and also explain why it is important for the SCC to provide a plan for its member teams.
“First, it allows our coaches to work with the kids. As horrible and tough as the decision was to not play 11-on-11 football this fall, we still want the players to be able to be together,” said Carbone. “Second, we also want the kids to have something to do in the fall. Every district has their own regulations and concerns, and we understand that.”
The Eastern Connecticut Conference and Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference have already set up 7-on-7 games for their teams, competitions that include linemen challenges
While going forward with the SCC plan, Carbone still holds out hope that 11-on-11 football could be brought back early in 2021. After the CIAC Football Committee recommended that the sport be moved to the spring back on Aug. 10, Ledyard High School Athletic Director Jim Buonocore contacted Carbone about coming up with an alternative plan that had conditioning starting on Feb. 22 and games running through the first or second week of April.
The ECC has submitted the plan to the CIAC Board of Control.
“One of the appealing things is that it was five games and teams didn’t have to play them all,” said Carbone. “People are going to have to be flexible. Four or five games is better than nothing.”
Carbone felt that even if the CIAC had moved forward with tackle football this fall, there would still have been schools that wouldn’t have played due to health concerns.
“It is always good to have options,” stated Carbone. “I’ve found in past years that it is hard to get all schools to agree on scheduling. We want to present options and alternatives, so if people want to participate, they can.”