>I will have to try both lenses then given I ordered the 55-300 >already I am surprised it is slower then the 80 - 200.
They each have their advantages. The extra reach of the 55-300 is nice, but for night football I use the 80-200 at f2.8. Different fields vary in the amount of lighting, but at the HS level, my experience is that they range from dark to very dark.
As for focusing the 55-300, as long as you keep it focused at about the distance you want to shoot, it will focus fine. The lens doesn't have a focus limiter switch and it may hunt if the focus is way off. This is just a matter of learning how to use the lens, which you will see is easy.
>... I suppose I could >squeeze out 1200 iso on the D300 maybe even 1600 ? The shots >are destined to go to facebook.
For Facebook I don't think you would have a problem at ISO 3200. I'm also shooting a D300, and I'm OK with ISO 3200. Photographers might grouse about the noise in your photos, but I don't think it's objectionable, and parents are thrilled to see the photos. I've never had anyone complain about the quality of the photos, and had lots of parents who were thrilled with them.
If you want to please photographers, stay away from ISO 3200; if you want to get good action shots and please the players and their parents, my experience is that ISO 3200 works well.
Try it out for yourself and see what you think. You can always shoot a few as a test to see if they are satisfactory, and dial back to ISO 1600 if they are not.