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Class AAA football to have 10 teams in 2021

Class AAA football to have 10 teams in 2021

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Dickinson quarterback Landon Aman surveys the field during a game at MDU Resources Community Bowl. Aman will play Class AA football next season.

Class AAA football will have 10 teams in 2021.

Bismarck, Century, Legacy, Fargo Davies, Fargo Shanley, Mandan, Minot, West Fargo, West Fargo Sheyenne and Williston will comprise the state's highest level of high school football. Shanley has opted to play up despite enrollment low enough to play in Class AA.

This season, there are 16 teams playing at the AAA level -- eight in the West Region and eight in the East.

Dickinson and Grand Forks Central were able to play either AAA or AA in 2021 based on enrollment. Both opted down.

Fargo North and Fargo South also will play Class AA, joining Bismarck St. Mary's, Devils Lake, Dickinson, Grand Forks Central, Grand Forks Red River, Jamestown, Turtle Mountain, Valley City, Watford City and Wahpeton.

Fargo South has 11 Dakota Bowl appearances, second-most among all current AAA schools. Only Bismarck High (14) has more. The Bruins are 0-3 this season.

A third 11-man class, called Division 11 B now includes 33 teams, according to a list on the North Dakota High School Activities Association website. Under the plan, Linton-Hazelton-Moffit-Braddock would be playing 11-man Class B, joining the likes of Shiloh Christian, Bowman County, Beulah, Fargo Oak Grove, Langdon Area and Hazen.

The number of 9-man teams is currently at 44, with seven teams slated to play 6-man football in 2021. New Salem-Almont is slated to go from Class A 11-man, where it is this season, to 9-man in 2021.

Schools have until Friday to opt up or down a division. The plan was originally approved by the NDHSAA in late March.

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