HELENA – Not even a week has passed since the Flint Creek Titans claimed their second straight Class C 8-Man Football State Championship and already the landscape of teams they faced in 2018 will change for 2019.
The Montana High School Association (MHSA) rendered a decision on 10 programs Monday at its executive meeting, sending some teams into new divisions while telling others they’d stay put.
For Flint Creek the Western Conference remains the same with the exception of the addition of Thompson Falls. The Blue Hawks drop down from 11-Man to 8-Man just for football, as they have some 25% of the 164 student body ineligible for sports. They will remain in Class B for all other sports.
Thompson Falls was 0-9 during the 2018 campaign with a roster of 29 players.
Flint Creek Head Coach Mike Cutler, who is also the Granite A.D. and Superintendent, was unavailable for comment.
Drummond Athletic Director Tim Anderson stated, “Throws another big school into the mix and more competition. Not much else to say, it is what it is.”
In addition to Flint Creek and Thompson Falls, the Western Conference of 8-Man football contains Alberton-Superior, Arlee, Charlo, Darby, Plains, St. Ignatius, Seeley-Swan, Troy and Victor for a total of 11 teams. Arlee, like Thomson Falls, competes in Class B in all other sports.
Great Falls, the Titans’ opponent on the state championship game, was granted the status to play 8-Man football again yet be ion Class B for all other sports. They will remain in the Northern Conference along with Belt, Cascade, Centerville, Chester-Joplin-Inverness, Chinook, Choteau, Fort Benton, Hays-Lodgepole, Rocky Boy, Shelby and Simms to total 12 teams.
The Eastern Conference has 11 teams and consists of Broadus, Circle, Culbertson, Ekalaka, Fairview, Forsyth, Lame Deer, Lodge Grass, Plentywood, St. Labre and Scobey.
The Southern Conference is the smallest at seven teams and consists of Absarokee, Ennis, Joliet, Lone Peak, Park City, Twin Bridges and West Yellowstone.
Ekalaka and West Yellowstone each moved into their new conferences after coming from the 6-Man ranks.