It’s getting closer.

In just six short weeks, the lights will be turned on and fans will be packed into their seats in stadiums all over District 9 as the 2019 high school football season gets underway on Friday, Aug. 23.

But there’s plenty to look forward to before that. The 46th running of the Big 30 All-Star Charities Classic game on Aug. 3 at Parkway Field in Bradford is fast approaching, too.

Practice schedules for the game between the best seniors from New York facing off against their counterparts from Pennsylvania were announced last week and will begin July 22. Each squad will have nine practices at various high schools across both respective states before convening for a banquet on the Wednesday before the game at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford.

Other notable dates on the summer calendar include the District 9 football media day on July 31 in Ridgway. It’ll be the first chance to get a look at some of the new faces across the football landscape as at least three programs (Cameron County, Port Allegany and St. Marys) have first-year coaches this season. On the following Monday, the mandatory heat acclimation programs begin and then preparation really gets underway for the season.

Now, onto some details about scheduling for 2019…

Don’t adjust your glasses when looking at Bradford — or any large school’s — schedule for the upcoming year. All nine large schools in the District are playing the same schedule as last season, with just the home and away games flipped. The Owls, for instance, opened last season on the road at Brookville for Week 0 before hosting St. Marys in Week 1. This year, Bradford has its home opener versus Brookville on the 23rd before traveling to St. Marys for its first road game the following Friday.

The early schedule was certainly kind for the Owls as the team’s first two road games are in Elk County (they play Ridgway in Week 3) before its first “long” road trip of the year against Brockway falls on Sept. 27. And as in years past, Bradford’s lone non-District 9 opponent will be Oil City to close the season. Homecoming for the Owls is set for Oct. 4 against Punxsutawney.

The schedules are a bit more interesting, and complex, amongst the small school teams.

With Clarion-Limestone merging its football program with Clarion, it leaves just 11 small schools in the District. The North is again comprised of Cameron County, Coudersport Otto-Eldred, Port Allegany, Sheffield and Smethport. Without Clarion-Limestone, which had a 9-3 mark a season ago, the South is left with Elk County Catholic, Curwensville, Keystone, Union/A-C Valley and Redbank Valley.

Each school will play all of its divisional opponents once and then have at least three crossover games.

Every small school except Otto-Eldred will also have a bye week for the 2019 season, with it alternating between teams each week — similar to the NFL.

Interestingly, the Terrors have a 10-game slate this fall, the most amongst small schools. They’ll play non-District 9 schools in Bucktail and Cowanesque Valley.

Conversely, Port Allegany plays just eight games this season, the fewest for the small schools.

Some rivalry games to mark on the calendar: Smethport at Port Allegany on Sept. 6; St. Marys at Ridgway on Aug. 23; Ridgway at Kane on Aug. 30; Coudersport at Port Allegany on Sept. 20; Coudersport at Cameron County on Oct. 25; Smethport at Otto-Eldred on Sept. 20; Bradford at St. Marys on Aug 30.

Below are the full schedules for all 11 schools from District 9 in the Big 30.

BRADFORD

August

23 - Brookville

30 - at St. Marys

September

6 - Kane

13 - at Ridgway

20 - Moniteau

27 - at Brockway

October

4 - Punxsutawney

11 - at Clarion

18 - Karns City

25 - at Oil City

CAMERON COUNTY

August

30 - at Curwensville

September

6 - Otto-Eldred

13 - at Keystone

21 - at Sheffield

27 - Elk Co. Catholic

October

4 - at Smethport

11 - at Union/A-C Valley

18 - Port Allegany

25 - Coudersport

COUDERSPORT

August

23 - Union/A-C Valley

30 - Elk Co. Catholic

September

7 - at Sheffield

20 - Port Allegany

27 - at Curwensville

October

4 - at Otto-Eldred

12 - Redbank Valley

18 - at Smethport

25 - at Cameron County

ELK CO. CATHOLIC

August

23 - Curwensville

30 - at Coudersport

September

6 - Redbank Valley

13 - at Port Allegany

20 - Union/A-C Valley

27 - at Cameron County

October

12 - at Sheffield

18 - Keystone

25 - at Smethport

KANE

August

23 - at Moniteau

30 - Ridgway

September

6 - at Bradford

13 - Brockway

20 - at Punxsutawney

27 - Clarion

October

4 - Karns City

11 - at Brookville

18 - St. Marys

OTTO-ELDRED

August

23 - at Port Allegany

30 - Redbank Valley

September

6 - at Cameron County

13 - at Union/A-C Valley

20 - Smethport

27 - at Bucktail

October

4 - Coudersport

11 - at Curwensville

18 - Sheffield

25 - Cowanesque Valley

PORT ALLEGANY

August

23 - Otto-Eldred

30 - at Keystone

September

6 - Smethport

13 - Elk Co. Catholic

20 - at Coudersport

28 - Union/A-C Valley

October

5 - at Sheffield

18 - at Cameron County

RIDGWAY

August

23 - St. Marys

30 - at Kane

September

6 - at Moniteau

13 - Bradford

20 - Brockway

27 - at Punxsutawney

October

4 - Clarion

11 - at Karns City

18 - Brookville

25 - at Union/A-C Valley

SHEFFIELD

August

23 - at Smethport

31 - Union/A-C Valley

September

7 - Coudersport

13 - at Redbank Valley

21 - Cameron County

27 - at Keystone

October

5 - Port Allegany

12 - Elk Co. Catholic

18 - at Otto-Eldred

SMETHPORT

August

23 - Sheffield

September

6 - at Port Allegany

13 - Curwensville

20 - at Otto-Eldred

27 - at Redbank Valley

October

4 - Cameron County

11 - at Keystone

18 - Coudersport

25 - Elk Co. Catholic

ST. MARYS

August

23 - at Ridgway

30 - Bradford

September

6 - at Brockway

13 - Punxsutawney

20 - at Clarion

27 - Karns City

October

4 - at Brookville

11 - Moniteau

18 - at Kane

25 - Warren

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