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Cleofe: Size matters, but not too much

Ernst Cleofe | Sunday, October 30, 2011

The answer to the age-old question is here: yes, size does matter. For interhall football, there is a clear advantage for the teams with size in terms of team size and dorm size.

Each team that has gone undefeated is a team with a generally large dorm population: Keenan (4-0), Ryan (6-0) and Cavanaugh (6-0). Of course, that doesn’t mean that smaller dorms are doomed to go winless for the season. They just must compete against relatively bigger dorms will have a wider sample range to find solid football players. For example, a Keenan or Stanford team will have its pick from around 280 residents, while Carroll will have less than half of that to try to put together a team.

In the women’s leagues, team size is almost unlimited, allowing for larger dorms to pack the sidelines with a crowd of girls. Also, large dorms with large teams have the ability to substitute in more players and keep players fresh.

“We always have a big team and it’s always beneficial,” Cavanaugh senior captain Maggie Fahrenbach said. “We like having something that unites us a dorm.”

However, there are some things that seem to be beneficial for the smaller dorms. First, there’s the David versus Goliath matchups that always seem to pop up. Like in most professional sports, bigger dorms will sometimes let a game go because they overlook a smaller squad.

Although the lack of interchanging players could tire out a small team, a lack of roster depth gives players a chance to earn experience on the field. In a game that seems almost chaotic at times, the ability to be knowledgeable and comfortable on the field with teammates is very valuable.

That comfort level and knowledge only come with time and repetition that players on bigger teams don’t have the luxury of having. For example, in a game against Lewis, Lyons played around 14 players against a team with more than double that amount. The Lyonites seemed more organized and understanding of their assignments, which was a key to the victory.

“In previous years because we had a smaller team, it was beneficial to put players in to gain experience,” Howard senior captain Jenny Gassner said. “It was easier to be comfortable playing with each other.”

Ultimately, size does have its advantages, but if small teams can capitalize on experience, there is always hope.