KSFL Expands Footprint Into The
Mid-Atlantic Region With New Three Members
Maryland School for the Deaf, Model Secondary School for the Deaf, Randolph-Macon Academy to Begin Play in 2022
The Keystone State Football League, established in 2019 by charter members Delaware County Christian School, Mercersburg Academy, Perkiomen School, and Valley Forge Military Academy, is excited to announce the addition of three members for the fall 2022 season. New members beginning play this fall are the Maryland School for the Deaf (Frederick, MD), the Model Secondary School for the Deaf (Washington, DC), and Randolph-Macon Academy (Front Royal, VA).
What was previously a Pennsylvania-centric league will expand to include the Washington/Baltimore metro area and Northern Virginia, giving the seven-member league an even stronger foothold in the region and positioning the KSFL as one of the premiere eight-player leagues in the Mid-Atlantic region and on the Eastern seaboard. The league also anticipates future growth, perhaps as early as the 2023 season.
“We expect that this expansion will make a bit of noise in the region and serve to encourage others to make the leap to this very exciting brand of football,” says Paul Sipes, the KSFL’s lead athletic director and Mercersburg’s interim athletic director for outreach and operations. “It really is a great way for smaller schools to be able to play a full schedule of games and keep their best football players headed on the right trajectory.
Eight-player football is full-contact, tackle football. The eight-player game removes three players from an 11-man lineup (two linemen and a backfield player on offense, with a variety of defensive options), which opens the game up for higher-scoring contests and puts a premium on athleticism and skill rather than size and brute force. Like in traditional 11-player football, there is no minimum or maximum height or weight for eligibility.
Teams will play a round-robin schedule, with six regular-season games and the top four teams qualifying for the playoffs. Higher seeds will host each playoff game. Perkiomen won the inaugural championship game in 2019, with Mercersburg taking the title in 2021. (The 2020 interscholastic season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.)
“The schools we’ve added have a rich tradition of football and extensive histories in their own right,” Sipes says. “I am looking forward to having our teams experience playing at Gallaudet University (where Model plays its games), at MSD, and at R-MA on their historically significant campuses.”
The 2022 season is scheduled to kick off the weekend of September 17.
Eight-player football participants frequently go on to play at all levels of college football (including NCAA Division I, II, and III institutions). Alumni of eight-player football at the high-school level include a Heisman Trophy winner (Rashaan Salaam, running back, University of Colorado), an Outland Trophy winner (Dean Steinkuhler, offensive lineman, University of Nebraska), and current NFL player Leighton Vander Esch (linebacker, Dallas Cowboys/Boise State University).
The KSFL itself has already produced seven collegiate recruits, each profiled in Beyond the KSFL.