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The Future of Football


On November 10, the Kents Hill School football team secured their most successful season since 2000 by defeating Hebron Academy in the 125th match of a historic rivalry. It is on the heels of this momentum that I share that Kents Hill will join a leading group of small boarding schools and begin playing eight-player football in the Fall of 2019.
 
Over the past decade, football has faced declining participation rates in schools across New England and the United States. Small boarding schools have been hit especially hard due to shifting population demographics and increasing interest in single-sport specialization. Our extensive research and the experience of several of our peer schools indicates that while this may be a complex decision, eight-person football is a better and more appropriate method of play for small boarding schools like Kents Hill. It is a fast and open game that student-athletes and their parents enjoy playing and watching. Those aspiring to play football in college have still been able to meet their personal goals and reach the collegiate level. Additionally, at several schools, there has been an increase in athletes choosing eight-person football as their second or third sport, ensuring healthy rosters and thriving teams.
 
As Kents Hill moves toward its bicentennial in 2024, we continue to look for ways to balance innovation and tradition. Playing eight-person football will allow us to preserve football and the lessons that it teaches to young people, most notably perseverance, resilience, teamwork, and sportsmanship. It will also allow for a wide range of student-athletes, from domestic to international and experienced to inexperienced, to participate in a great American tradition.
 
I am available to meet or speak with any member of the Kents Hill community regarding this decision. You can contact me directly at ccheney@kentshill.org. Thank you for your continued support of Kents Hill and our students.
 
Best,
 
Christopher S. Cheney
Head of School
 
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About Us

Located in central Maine, Kents Hill School is an independent, coeducational boarding and day school grades 9-PG attracting 225 students from 17 states and 18 countries. Since 1824, Kents Hill has been dedicated to providing transformative experiences rooted in the power of community, character, and core values. Students are coached through a 4-dimensional (4D) experience of leadership development, academics, athletics, arts, and extracurricular activities.

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Lara M. Cole '09
Director of Communications and Marketing
lcole@kentshill.org
1614 Main Street, Kents Hill, Maine 04349
207-685-4914   info@kentshill.org
Since 1824, Kents Hill School has been dedicated to providing transformative experiences rooted in the power of community, character, and core values.