FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – While teams prepare for the return of high school football, one northeast Indiana school is looking forward to their debut on the gridiron.

Starting this season, Blackhawk Christian is one of a handful of Indiana schools that will offer 8-man football for students, with potentially more being launched in the coming years. Head coach Brice Bennett estimates about 30 kids will be on the inaugural team when the season kicks off this fall.

For many of these student-athletes, this will be their first time strapping on the helmet and shoulder pads. As the team starts to take shape, the few seniors on this year’s roster want have to juggle between setting an example for the underclassmen while learning the nuances of the game.

“I’m hoping to set high standards for the next teams coming in, maybe get my name out there, put in a big show for myself and have people chase my records,” said rising senior Jon Overholt.

Blackhawk Christian’s schedule is still a work in progress. There are discussions about a jamboree-type event where the Braves square off with other in-state teams at a neutral site. They are also looking into potential out-of-state opponents that offer 8-man football. Bennett added the team is planning to host at least one home game this season.