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Report: Class AA to eliminate nonconference games

by Daily Inter Lake
| August 7, 2020 12:43 AM

The start of Class AA football could be delayed this fall.

All nonconference games are expected to be cancelled because of COVID-19 concerns, several sources reported. Anthony Nachreiner of KGEZ AM broke it on Twitter and soon 406mtsports.com added details.

In a Wednesday vote, Class AA athletic directors approved the change and issued the proposal to the Montana High School Association.

It is still pending MHSA approval.

Flathead Activities Director Bryce Wilson said the change will affect the first two weeks of the football season.

The Braves’ scheduled games with Billings West at home and at Bozeman will not happen; likewise Glacier High School loses its games with Billings Skyview and AA newcoming Gallatin High out of Bozeman.

Eliminating nonconference games for all sports, with the exception of golf, would move to one-day events instead of multi-day events.

“There’s just a lot of worries from East vs. West,” Wilson said Thursday evening. “Traveling. Overnights. Billings coming to Kalispell, a lot of times that team has to stay overnight. And a lot of districts are saying they won’t don’t want overnight trips. That was the major concern.

“We used to see every team on an 8-year rotation. Now there will be six teams you don’t see any given year.”

Wilson said the change would affect volleyball as well, where the Bravettes no longer will see every other AA team in the state.

Practice dates would not be affected and cross country, golf and soccer competitions would start as scheduled.

Football was slated to start Aug. 28, but if the changes are approved, the season would start with conference games beginning Sept. 11.