Following the end of last football season, the Montana High School Association announced some landscape changes around the state in terms of classification.
One of those teams having to switch to the 8-Man ranks is the Choteau Bulldogs.
Head coach Lucas Gunderson said one of the benefits of moving from 11 to 8-Man is now his players are motivated more than ever to compete because there are less spots for bodies on the field.
Despite the change in class, the bulldogs feel they can still compete.
"We tried to do some film study and gone to some coaching clinics to pick up on some pointers, but when you break it down it's still football," Gunderson said. "There are adjustments we have to make in terms of field size and play structuring and things like that but we've tried to modify our playbook and keep it similar to what we had last year so the kids are doing well with it."
Senior quarterback Jonathan Moore added the Bulldogs have every intention on earning a playoff spot.
"Everyone is coming in hard, hitting hard," he said. "Everyone is looking for a spot and everyone is just going 100 percent."
Choteau will have their 8-Man debut at home against Chinook the first week of the season.
The Chinook Sugarbeeters are being led by only three this year. Last year, Chinook lost seven games and only won two leaving the team off the 2016 Class C 8-Man State playoff bracket. New head coach Christian Lenhert says he wants a consistent offense by running plays correctly and without penalties. On defense, Lenhart says the Sugarbeeters are concentrating on mental toughness, and most importantly focusing on the group all together.
"Just to work on team. That's what this place has been very good at in the past is team, and I'm focusing on team," said head coach Christian Lenhert."
"We're out here hard working. This probably the most conditioning we've ever done that we're going to be in good shape for the whole season, and we're going to work harder than any team," said senior offensive lineman Tamer Jamieson.
"Long term, we want to make playoffs. Like I said last year we,didnt' do so well. We want to make playoffs this year. That's our biggest goal. Win over half our games and make playoffs," said junior running back and middle linebacker James Christensen.