Next fall, Flintridge Preparatory School will field an 8-man football team, returning to a small-school tradition that has been a significant part of our 82 year history. The switch will reinvigorate school spirit and boost team morale.
“We made the decision after a careful analysis of our rosters, injuries and team results over the last several years. We also forecasted what future rosters would look like. This was the best decision for our school and for team morale,” Headmaster Peter Bachmann said. “Scheduling has begun with peer schools that are about our size. For example, Cate and Thacher have already expressed interest in being our opponents.”
Bachmann also said the school will begin a search for a new head football coach, as Glen Beattie will be retiring from teaching and from being the head coach.
“Glen has a long history with the school and with the football program, and he has promised me he’s not going to disappear from campus life and from athletics. We’re looking forward to keeping him as part of our athletics, admissions and human development team in the fall,” Bachmann said.
The school’s first football teams played 6-man, and later, 8-man football. In 1989, Flintridge Prep won a CIF Division Championship in 8-man football on its home field. In 1996, the school joined the Prep League in a switch to 11-man football, winning a CIF championship in 2003. The move back to 8-man football allows the school to play games at home and against traditional opponents.
“Chadwick left the Prep League two years ago to play 8-man football. We’re looking forward to renewing our decades-long rivalry over the Gold Cup trophy,” Bachmann said.
The change will enable us to return more sports to the school’s home field, with a Board of Trustees-endorsed plan to create a new Memorial Field.
“Over the years, several field sports have been played at various sites off campus,” said Bachmann. “It was an added bonus that we could bring these sports back to campus, after 20 years, on a field with enhanced lighting, seating and aesthetics. We look forward to re-igniting our football tradition, but we’re also thrilled to have a more flexible field for hosting boys and girls soccer, as well as continuing to host softball games.”
The renamed Memorial Field will honor the memory of multiple players and coaches: Jim Wood, Tom Fry, JP Blecksmith ’99 and Scott Studenmund ’08.
“Memorial Field will be a place where we can remember these revered members of our community; it will be a hub of school pride and celebration,” Bachmann said.