Steamboat-Moffat football rivalry likely to continue after realignment

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— Those worried about the Steamboat Springs-Moffat County football rivalry won’t have to worry much longer.

After initial circumstances suggested the Bulldogs would fall below the minimum enrollment of 600 students for Class 3A football, it appears Moffat will make the cut.

“We always enjoy those games with Moffat,” Steamboat Athletic Director Luke DeWolfe said. “The community enjoyed it. If they end up staying in that conference, it’s great for us, not to mention it’s 45 minutes down the road. It’s easier than a three-hour bus ride.”

Colorado’s football committee will recommend a proposal for ratification by the Colorado High School Activities Association at a Jan. 19 meeting.

The proposal would leave Moffat County in the 3A Western Slope League and would leave Steamboat with eight league games and two out-of-league showdowns.

Originally, Moffat’s enrollment was thought to be below 600 students, causing the school to drop to Class 2A, most likely in the Western League with teams like Aspen, Basalt, Gunnison, Olathe and Coal Ridge.

The proposal also would have Montezuma-Cortez re-entering the Western Slope League after a two-year absence.

The Panthers previously struggled to be competitive in the league, thanks in large part to its location in far Southwestern Colorado.

The team essentially was without a conference after last season. The team had been playing in the Class 2A Mountain Conference with teams like Pagosa Springs, Buena Vista, Alamosa and Salida. The Panthers went 1-9 on the season with their lone win against a school in New Mexico.

The team’s entrance into the league means every two years, Steamboat will have to make the seven-plus hour trip to Cortez for the game.

Other good news from the realignment includes the pairing of Hayden and Soroco in the 8-man Central Division.

With the Tigers dropping to 8-man football, the cross-county rivals again will meet each fall on the football field.

The Central Division also includes Rangely, South Park, Vail Christian and West Grand.

— To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229 or email lgraham@SteamboatToday.com

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