Local Sports

North Dakota Class A and AA Football will have a new look in ’17-’18

The North Dakota High School activities association has provided more clarity on how things will look next season for Class A and Class AA Football.


Stanley Blue Jay Football player escapes Grafton defender. (Photo Credit Alan Christianson)

North Dakota Class AA Football:

Class AA will be a statewide 10 team region, currently AA is split into East/West regions.

Here are the teams in Class AA (’17-’18):

Jamestown (Formally AAA)
Devils Lake (Formally AAA)
Watford City
Central Cass
Bismarck St. Mary’s
Fargo Shanley
Valley City
Turtle Mountain

Six of the ten team will qualify for the playoffs next season. At first blush the favorites will likely be the perenial powers Bismarck St. Mary’s and Fargo Shanley but schools like Jamestown and Devils Lake will have significantly larger enrollment bases to pull from and could challenge as well.

Class AA will likely be the most scrutinized. First, there are only 10 teams for the entire state. Second, Watford City is the only school west of Bismarck. Third, it is difficult to justify having Jamestown in the same class as Central Cass, Jamestown has almost 3x the amount of students that Central Cass has.

I’m not sure there was a perfect scenario available and the disparity of enrollments in the top 25 schools is staggering. Minot (the states largest school) has approximately 9x as many students as Central Cass (the states 24th largest school).

North Dakota Class A Football:

Class A will have a new look as well with 32 teams, a staggering 16 of them will qualify for the playoffs the first year. The Stanley Blue Jays will be joined by the following schools in their move from AA to A:

Dickinson Trinity
Maple Valley-Enderlin
Central Dakota

The Stanley Blue Jays will be in Region 3, with the following schools:

New Town
Des- Lacs Burlington
Berthold/North Shore/Our Reedemers
Kenmare/Bowbells/Burke Central
Minot Bishop Ryan

The move will allow the Blue Jays to renew their rivalry with Velva/Sawyer, it will also mean a more manageable travel schedule.

Powers Lake teams up with Ray in Region 6 (9-man):

There will be 4 state qualifiers from each region next season in North Dakota (9-man) Football (total of 24).

Region 6 (9-man) teams:

Trenton/Trinity Christian
Ray/Powers Lake
Divide County
Parshall/White Sheild


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