North Dakota High School football will have a distinctly different look in 2021.
Fargo North and South each will be moving out of the top class to the second biggest in the state.
The decision drew an angry reaction from South players and parents, left wondering why they're not competing at the top division.
The answer is based in numbers. Based on male enrollment provided by the North Dakota High School Activites Association, South is ranked 12th, behind Grand Forks Central, Red River and North.
South has a resume nearly unmatched in North Dakota with 13 state championships. But parents and alumni are clinging to the past here. The Bruins haven't won more than six games since 2014. A last state title was 2013.
I'm not saying they're not competitve in the top class, but they haven't won a playoff game in six years. No wins over Bismarck or Century during that time.
11A will look like this:— Dom Izzo (@DomIzzoWDAY) September 14, 2020
That's not to say South doesn't have good players and or couldn't still make a run this season. But these aren't the big bad Bruins anymore. Maybe a move to a new class can bring back the mystique.
The tradition is there. We'll see if a new class can bring back the state championships.