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MSHSAA moves football title games for 2020

By Langston Newsome
Columbia Daily Tribune

The Show-Me Bowl state championship football games will not happen in Columbia this year.

But the games will still be held in mid-Missouri.

The Missouri State High School Activities Association announced that the Show-Me Bowl championships will be hosted in Jefferson City and nearby Wardsville in 2020 instead of at Memorial Stadium on the University of Missouri campus.

Blair Oaks, Helias Catholic and Jefferson City high schools agreed to host the 11-man championship games this year. The venue for the 8-man title game is undetermined.

MSHSAA began looking into alternate locations for the state championships in August when the Southeastern Conference delayed its football season due to the coronavirus pandemic and announced a new 10-game, league-only schedule for Missouri.

“When the Mizzou game with Arkansas got moved from Arrowhead (Stadium) to Mizzou and changed from Friday (Nov. 27) to Saturday (Nov. 28), we knew that was going to eliminate at least one of our days there,” MSHSAA communications director Jason West told the Columbia Daily Tribune on Wednesday, referring to Thanksgiving weekend. “Then when talking to Mizzou about the second weekend (Dec. 4 and 5), we were told that there might be a conflict as well.”

Missouri is scheduled to host Arkansas on Nov. 28, then play at Mississippi State on Dec. 5 to close its regular season that ends one week later than usual.

While it remains unclear which of the three Jefferson City area high schools will host which championships, the Class 6 state title game is set to kick off at 3 p.m. Nov. 28. The title games for Classes 1-5 are slated for Dec. 4 and 5.

More logistics are being finalized, MSHSAA announced. If one of the host schools reaches the Show-Me Bowl, its game will be played at one of the other two locations.

Helias (5-0) is the No. 1-ranked team in Class 4, while Class 3 No. 3 Blair Oaks (4-1) had its 51-game regular-season winning streak snapped last week in a 35-28 loss to unbeaten Valle Catholic. Jefferson City is 2-3 on the season and unranked.

The plan was always to keep the championships centrally located, West said, and a previous relationship with Jefferson City schools hosting other state events like track and field led to moving the Show-Me Bowl games there.

Football is currently the only MSHSAA fall championship to have a change in venue.