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Schedule change allows prep football teams to play a minimum of eight games

STEVENS POINT - Wisconsin high school football teams can play a minimum of eight games instead of nine starting in 2012.

The WIAA's Board-of-Control approved the change yesterday, after an earlier starting date to the season had been approved last year. That change was made to eliminate a scheduling crunch at playoff time, in which schools play three post-season games in 10 days. Coaches strongly opposed the earlier starting date, saying an August 1st date for the first practice might scare some potential players away.

Yesterday's vote will not change anything this year. Practice will still begin August third. But next year, practices can start August 6th instead of the first. Also, the Football Coaches' Association will work with the WIAA on a long-term scheduling plan. They hope to have it in place by 2013.