The St. Anne's Belfield football team will play its season opener tomorrow night, Friday, August 17th.

The Saints will travel to Rocky Mount, North Carolina to face Faith Christian School.

STAB has only been practicing for 11 days.

"It's kind of like what a scrimmage would have been in the first place," says starting quarterback Thomas Harry.  "I like the fact that it's a game because it has gotten us more focused the past couple weeks and get us to work a little harder, so I like it."

Last season STAB played a partial 8-man football schedule.   This season all of the Saints games will be 8-man games.

"Eight man football has been going on for a long time," says coach John Blake.   "There's 35 states that have state championships in it.  It's a great game."

STAB will join six other schools, including Covenant, in the Virginia Independent School Football League, playing 8-man football.

"We are pioneering something here in Virginia," says Blake.  "It's a new league and it's in Virginia.   After watching what's happened the last week and a half with the public schools.  This is a trend."

"For our team it really helps (8-man)," says lineman Will Edelson.  "Last year putting in guys that weren't ready to fill spots because we didn't have the numbers.    I think while I do love 11-on-11 football, for this team 8-man is the right choice."

St. Anne's Belfield's starting quarterback will be Thomas Harry.   Harry started two years ago at quarterback, but missed much of last season with a shoulder injury.

"Last year was hard to sit out those first three games," says Harry.  "It was a hard thing to watch my friends out there playing and I couldn't be out there with them.  This year I'm really excited to get at it right off the bat, first game of the season.   I'm excited to see what the team can do."

In the trenches, 6-foot-7 senior Will Edelson will anchor the line.

"In 8-man there's less people on the field so everyone has to get up the field or the quarterback is going to slip out," says Edelson. 

Harry says,  "I like the offense we're running, I like the whole fast-paced thing that 8-man brings to the table.  I'm excited to see what can happen."