It's still July, but the football schedule for the Dorchester-Milford varsity football team was announced today.
This season will mark the first time in Dorchester High School history that DHS student-athletes will play varsity football with another school.
Last season, the Milford-Dorchester sports co-operative was in effect; however, the Nebraska School Activities Association imposed a probationary period on the joining school and DHS football players were prohibited from playing in Milford's varsity competition.
The 2013 season marked the first time since 1948 that Dorchester had not had a high school team. (In 1949, DHS' football program was rejuvenated after years of not playing the game due to a student's death on the gridiron in the early 1930s.)
Two years ago, Milford school administrators and board members agreed to allow DHS to join in what is now officially deemed an "athletic cooperative" between the two schools, on a two-year basis or until DHS has sufficient numbers to resume playing at the Class D level. The impacted athletics include football and wrestling.
One parent told us last year that while there was some controversy in the creation of the cooperative, Milford was a great and flexible partner in the process. He also told this blog that DHS football was in a serious rebuilding process, since many parents were not encouraging boys to play the sport.
"Dorchester can have a proud football culture once again," he said. "But we need to take advantage of this merger with Milford to get our kids interested in playing the game, regardless if those kids come from town, the farm, from single-parent households, or from low-income homes."
Below is this season's football schedule for the Class C1 Milford-Dorchester squad, which host the season-opener in Milford on Aug. 29.
Milford-Dorchester 2014 Schedule
Week 1 -- Louisville
Week 2 -- @Grand Island Central Catholic
Week 3 -- @David City
Week 4 -- Holdrege
Week 5 -- @Fairbury
Week 6 -- Lincoln Christian
Week 7 -- @Raymond Central
Week 8 -- Lincoln Lutheran
Week 9 -- @Wilber-Clatonia