Fairview Switches To Class B For Most Sports

Other than football, the Fairview Warriors will be facing new competition this season with a switch to Class B mandated by the Montana High School Athletic Association. Rather than being one of the largest Class C teams, they will now be one of the smallest in Class B. Enrollment at Fairview High School has remained consistently over 100 for many years now, and when the MHSA changed the numbers for classifications from 118 to 100, the school knew they would soon be required to go up to Class B. The rulings are made in two-year cycles so the status could change depending on enrollment numbers, but School Superintendent Luke Kloker said they will be Class B for at least four years. Football, however, remains the same in the 8-man league with MHSA rules at 130 students, so Fairview will play its usual opponents and not have the extra driving time that the other teams will face. Along with Circle, Culbertson, Scobey, Poplar and Plentywood, they will also play Wibaux which has switched to 8-man this season. Non-conference games will include Broadus and Belt.

Basketball and volleyball teams will face long travel times with games in Poplar, Wolf Point, Glasgow, Malta and Harlem. Rather than the comfortable district tournaments which have been held in Sidney, teams will travel to Wolf Point and then Conrad and Malta for divisionals. Volleyball teams will travel to Glasgow for Districts and Malta for divisionals this season while track will alternate between Glasgow and Great Falls. There are only three divisions in the state for golf while speech and drama has its own division.

Junior High sports remain in Class C meaning no extra travel for those teams, something Kloker is thankful for. "They will still play the local schools which is really helpful. We really appreciate the C schools letting us continue to do that," he said.

All the Warrior coaches have returned this year, providing valuable experience for their teams. They have known about the change and have been preparing. Volleyball teams have been competing against Class B over the years so many of those are familiar but basketball coaches are unfamiliar with strategies and players from their district. Kloker said coaches are most concerned about travel rather than competition. "We will be competitive," Kloker said. "But we will be playing potentially bigger and better schools that can field three teams where we will only have JV and Varsity." He stated that all the coaches have high goals and expectations. "We've been pretty successful over the years and we want to keep that going. The goals are the same, we just have different opponents."

Kloker also expressed how much Fairview will miss being part of the Class C community. "We will really miss the competition and the friendships we've made over the years," he said. "It's kind of exciting to move up and do things differently but I can't say enough about how much we have enjoyed being in 2C, including the tournaments in Sidney. We've had 25 years in 2C and we're going to miss it."

 

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