The four schools that founded the New England Independent School Eight-Player Football initiative — The Gunnery, Millbrook School, Pomfret School, and Forman School — have announced that after Holderness School and Perkiomen School joined for the 2018 season, four additional schools have announced their intention to join for the 2019 season.

The four schools are Dwight-Englewood School of Englewood, N.J., Kents Hill School of Readfield, Maine, Hebron Academy of Hebron, Maine, and Hyde School of Bath, Maine.

With this expansion, the 10 schools are planning to create Northern and Southern divisions, with the winner of each division playing in a season-ending championship game, and the second through fifth place teams within each division squaring off in intra-division, season-ending games. The purpose of this initiative was to provide independent school students with a full-contact football option that celebrates the original spirit and intent of independent school sports.

Eight-player football focuses on student experience and access to all comers and provides a counterpoint to the win-at-all-cost athletic culture that pervades society.

It more closely resembles sport at independent high schools prior to the advent of specialization and professional athletic advisers.

For information, visit ne8playerfootball.com or contact The Gunnery's Athletic Director, Mike Marich, at marichm@gunnery.org.