The Big 11 Conference, or Class C North, will play its football championship game at a neutral site for the second straight year, according to league secretary-treasurer Bunky Dow, activities director at Mount Desert High School in Bar Harbor.
This year’s game, which will advance the winner to the Class C state final, is scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16, at Hampden Academy.
The game was moved from the home field of the highest-seeded finalist to the artificial-turf facility in Hampden last year in large part to address deteriorating natural-grass field conditions on most high school fields by mid-November.
The C North final typically was played on Friday nights in previous years, but the move to Saturday afternoon also served to improve the chances for warmer weather conditions for teams and fans alike.
In addition, having the conference game on artificial turf helps the winner prepare for the state final, which also is played on an artificial surface annually at either Fitzpatrick Stadium in Portland or the University of Maine in Orono.
Nokomis of Newport edged Hermon 13-6, in the 2018 Big 11 title clash and went on to capture the Class C state championship.
This year’s Class C state championship game will be played Friday, Nov. 22, at Alfond Stadium at UMaine.
Scheduling regional championship games in many sports at neutral sites has become common in Maine.
The MPA stages its high school basketball tournament — except for the Class AA quarterfinals and preliminary-round games in other divisions — at neutral sites. The same has been true for regional championships in such sports as baseball, cheering, cross country, field hockey, ice hockey, softball, tennis and wrestling.
And for the first time this fall, all high school soccer regional championship games will be contested at neutral sites on Nov. 5-6.
In the North, Class A boys and girls soccer finals will be played at McMann Field in Bath, with Class B games at Hampden Academy and Classes C and D competing at Gehrig T. Johnson Field in Presque Isle.
In the South, Classes A and B regional finals are set for Waterhouse Field in Biddeford while Classes C and D will crown regional champions at Lewiston High School.