ELLSWORTH — 2019 marked the inaugural season for the Maine Principals’ Association’s eight-man football class, and one local program was part of history as one of the new classification’s 10 founding members.Ellsworth/Sumner, which entered the season with a roster size of just 15 players, found itself at home in a new league that made life much easier for teams with smaller roster sizes. The Eagles were competitive in nearly every game they played and posted wins over Sacopee Valley, Traip Academy and Gray-New Gloucester.Eight-man football arrived as schools throughout the state have seen drops in numbers over the past decade. Play is mostly similar, though offenses use two fewer linemen and one fewer back than in 11-man play, and fields are shortened in width from 53 1/3 yards to 40 yards.The league was split into two divisions based on enrollment. Ellsworth/Sumner competed with Gray-New Gloucester, Maranacook, Mount Ararat and Yarmouth in the large-school division. Mount Ararat, the large-school champion, claimed the Gold Ball with a 58-25 win over small-school champion Old Orchard Beach in the first eight-man state title game.This is placeholder textThis is placeholder textEight-man football will get another Hancock County participant next year as Mount Desert Island makes the move from Class C North. The Lewiston Sun Journal reported last Thursday that Dirigo and Spruce Mountain will also ask to play eight-man in 2020, and other newcomers could be on the way as well.