A Look at My (Failed) Attempt to Bring Six-Man to Maryland


11-man fan
In March of 2010, my junior year of high school, I had the idea to bring six-man football to Maryland. The state has many small private schools without football, including the one my mother worked at. I played 11-man football at a much larger private school and wanted the students at these small schools to have a chance to play football too. I received permission from the administration at Faith Christian School to form a team. The goal was to play an exhibition season in the spring of 2011 with a real season starting that fall. Many people on this message board sent me game films and playbooks to help me get started.

In the summer of 2010, in between preparing for my senior football season and working, I started conducting workouts at the school. I had known for a long time that I wanted to go into coaching when my playing career ended so I relished the chance to get some experience. I also got a local youth coach whose children went to the school on board for the spring.

After my football season ended I set about emailing the administration of every small school I could find in the state of Maryland, trying to get someone to commit to playing six-man. There was some genuine interest but no one would commit until I tried the local home school program.

The Central Maryland Christian Crusaders already had padded spring practice. They agreed to try six-man football as they wouldn't have enough players in the spring to practice 11-on-11. We held joint practices with the Crusaders in April and May, culminating in an exhibition game during the first week of June. During the game we ran plays directly from a playbook sent to me from this community.

The Baltimore Sun was supposed to send their high school sports reporter to the game but she backed out and we had no media coverage which, combined with me leaving to play college ball in the fall, doomed the league. Everyone who experienced six-man loved it, I just couldn't drum up enough interest from other schools. Faith Christian closed a few years later. The Crusaders are still playing at the 11-man level.

I graduated college in 2015 and have been coaching ever since, three years at the college level and one year at the high school level all over the East Coast. To bring everything full circle, my idea may just have been a few years too early. The 8-man game is exploding on the East Coast. New York started with 6 teams two years ago and had 30 this past season. Virginia added 8-man this year, Maine is going to next year and Pennsylvania and West Virginia are seriously talking about adding it as well.

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Pictured: The 2011 Faith Christian School Warriors, Maryland's first six-man football team since 1961. Not Pictured: Myself