Just because Bayfield Football had a bye last weekend didn't mean it was a dull weekend.
In fact, the Colorado High School Activities Association made quite an announcement impacting not only the Wolverines - currently #4 in the CHSAANow.com Class 2A poll - but all of 2A football (and also 3A, including ninth-ranked Durango).
In a press release issued Friday, Oct. 5, the association, in connection with Pueblo-based Friends of Football, announced CSU-Pueblo will be the host venue for the next two years' 2A and 3A State Championship games.
This is rather than a higher seed earning hosting rights, as BHS did last season when challengers La Junta made the cross-state drive from the Eastern Plains into the Pine River Valley.
Class 2A will play on Thanksgiving weekend, Nov. 24, with 3A following a week later on Dec. 7.
"We're excited we found enthusiastic partners in CSU-Pueblo and the Friends of Football to provide a meaningful experience for players, students, families and fans," CHSAA Assistant Commissioner Bud Ozzello, who oversees football, said in the release.
"We are confident not only Pueblo, but the entire Southern Colorado community will embrace this event."
Originally proposed and voted upon last December, the decision isn't exactly earth-shaking; 2A and 3A title games had been held on neutral ground in Legacy Stadium in Aurora from 2007 to 2012, with Bayfield blanked by Florence in the snow-shrouded 2011 clash played after an ice storm hit the Denver area.
Should the ThunderWolves be hosting an NCAA Division II playoff on either date, however, the CHSAA Championships' site will move from the CSU-Pueblo ThunderBowl to nearby Dutch Clark Stadium. And if a Pueblo-area team is involved in a playoff scenario, action would relocate to Pueblo West High School.
In searching for a host site, the CHSAA office requested bids from various universities all over the state. CSU-Pueblo, not only boasting a top-notch venue but likely the most geographically centralized of the lot emerged as the winning selection. That's something of a plus for fans of, say, Bayfield and La Junta.
Additional information is available online at CHSAANow.com.
Meanwhile, Bayfield (4-1, 1-0 2A Intermountain) will resume conference work at 7 p.m. this Friday, Oct. 12, when they host Montezuma-Cortez. The unsung Panthers will enter Wolverine Country Stadium standing 3-3, 1-1 after shocking Alamosa (3-3, 0-2) at AHS on Friday, Oct. 5, by a 20-14 margin.
CHSAANOW.COM CLASS 2A FOOTBALL RANKINGS (as of Oct. 8): 1.La Junta, 2.Kersey Platte Valley, 3.Rifle, 4.BAYFIELD, 5.Loveland Resurrection Christian, 6.Basalt, 7.Salida, 8.Eaton, 9.Englewood Kent Denver, 10.Delta. Others receiving votes-Denver D'Evelyn, Arvada Faith Christian, Berthoud, Pagosa Springs, Aspen, MONTEZUMA-CORTEZ.