The chill of the air, the sound of bands and the lights of Friday nights during high school football. For a school in Rockford, it almost didn't happen.

RRSTAR.COM had a great story about Christian Life High School and their football program. Unlike most programs in the area, the number of people playing football at Christian Life is very low.

They started the season with only 14 kids. Then a couple of the kids got injured. When you only have 12 kids on your team, it is not feasible or safe to play football.

So, the school decided that they would play with only 8 players. Wait, i thought you needed 11 to play a game. Well, in order to play a sanctioned IHSA game, you have to play with 11 people on the field. Since Rockford Life can't, they have to for forfeit  every game.

But, that doesn't mean the Rockford Life still can't play. They reached out to everyone in the NAC (Northeastern Athletic Conference) and asked if they would be willing to put 8 kids on the field instead of 11. Whoever they play, they will already lose since the game doesn't count. But, this still gives both Rockford Life and their opposing teams a chance to play the game.

8-on-8 football has become very popular across the country. Here is an excerpt from the article:

"According to, there are currently 17 state high school associations that sanction 8-man football across the country, and most hold a postseason tournament with state titles. The 8-man game is most popular in Nebraska, where there were 111 teams and 2,071 participants last season. Arizona had 29 schools, but it had 2,615 players, the most in the country."

Even though the IHSA doesn't sanction this type of play, there is some talk that it will become a sanctioned sport in the very near future. There other other schools in Illinois who play with only eight players.

In the end, no matter if they win or lose on the field, Rockford Life will be winners because the kids get to play.

More From Rockford's New Country Q98.5