Schools in Western Class D football have voted to retain their current schedule and playoff format, even with the withdrawal of Sacopee Valley as a varsity program for this season.

Sacopee Valley, which is taking a year off from varsity status because of low participation numbers, will remain on each school’s schedule but the game won’t count in the standings. That will leave most teams with a seven-game schedule. Oak Hill, which was scheduled to play Sacopee Valley in a preseason exhibition, will still have eight regular-season games.

“We were hoping to continue playing football games and we will,” said Chris Hughes, athletic director at Sacopee Valley. “We will, only they won’t be full games against the opponent’s starting groups; they will be a little modified. But we’re still playing games.

“I think it’s a good situation for us where we have a mix of some older guys, juniors and seniors, and a few underclassmen. We can have some competitiveness and we’re not going against just (junior varsity) teams. Our opponents know our situation and can try other things, use this as a JV game or an exhibition.”

Eight of the nine remaining teams will qualify for playoffs.

“The No. 9 team won’t make it,” said Jack Trull, athletic director at Old Orchard Beach. “Last year the 9 and 10 teams didn’t make it. So it’s not that big of a change.”

Athletic directors from seven schools attended Wednesday’s meeting. The vote was unanimous.

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