Oregon wildfire forces Soldotna football team to play Friday's game in Northern California
Week Four of the high school football season finds the Soldotna Stars on the road, but not in Alaska, or even in Oregon where they were scheduled to play Friday night against Crater High School.
Both teams will drive about 100 miles south to Crescent City, California for their game.
Heavy smoke from a nearby wildfire forced the move announced by Crater High School early Thursday morning.
"The smoke down here, cleared up a little bit yesterday [Wednesday], started rolling back in today, that's certainly not a quality you want to play in," Soldotna's head coach Galen Brantley, Jr. told KTVA Sports by phone.
Brantley said Wednesday there had been a chance to keep the game in Oregon. However, the change in conditions forced the move, which Brantley supports.
"You know, it's more traveling, we've done so much traveling already, what's two more hours to make sure we have a safe environment for our kids," Brantley said.
"We're disappointed because we wanted a home game, we have a great scoreboard, a great atmosphere here, we lose that, but, it's the safest place for the kids to play," said Crater High School athletics director David Heard.
Kick-off from Del Norte High School in Crescent City, California is at 4 p.m. Friday, Alaska Standard Time. Crater will cover the costs to bus both teams to the site of the game. The Comets expect to lose several thousands of dollars because of the move.
Game time temperature is expected to be in the low 60's, instead of 105 in Oregon.