The rosters may be smaller, the field narrower and the stands shorter, but the action and emotions were just as intense at the Division IV state championship football game.
Fans swaddled in blankets and covered in rain gear filled the wet bleachers in Indian Springs last month. Savvier ones sat beneath pop-up shelters to shield them from the rain. They watched the undefeated Pahranagat Valley Panthers take on the Spring Mountain Golden Eagles in an eight-man football matchup.
As the name suggests, in eight-man football each team has eight players on the field instead of the regular 11. This lineup allows smaller high schools that are unable to field a larger team to participate. Long bus rides are the norm as these smaller schools — Sandy Valley, Round Mountain, Beatty, etc. — are spread out across the Silver State. The amenities can also be sparse — the bus often serves as the locker room. But the football is just as serious. The winners cheer just as loudly and the losers are just as disappointed as the big city schools.