Coronavirus fears wipe out Cleverley football game

Coronavirus fears wipe out Cleverley football game
Philipsburg star Colton Grange of the Blue Team splits Red defenders Jonathan Moore (83) and Dylan Yerbich on his way to an 85-yard touchdown on the first play from scrimmage during the 35th Annual Bob Cleverley Class C 8-Man All-Star football game June 2, 2018 on the Bob Green Field. (Butte Sports file photo)

The 37th Bob Cleverley Class C 8-Man All-Star Football game will not be held.

An official with the game confirmed to Butte Sports Saturday that the 2020 game has been canceled because of fears of spreading the coronavirus.

The game was scheduled for Saturday, June 6 at Montana Tech’s Bob Green Field.

The move to cancel the game for the first time was made during a conference call on Saturday. It came after the Butte-Silver Bow Health Department told KXLF-TV that the Fourth of July parade and the July 3 fireworks show in Butte will be halted this summer.

Health Department officials say gatherings of more than 250 people will be forbidden until at least Labor Day. The Cleverley typically brings more than 2,000 fans to Alumni Coliseum.

The 250 limit also casts doubts that Montana Tech’s season-opening football game will be able to be held in a normal fashion. The Orediggers are supposed to play Carroll College Sept. 5 in Butte. Labor Day is Sept. 7.

The Orediggers are scheduled to open the season Aug. 29 at Eastern Oregon in La Grande.

The Cleverley, affectionately referred to as “The Clev,” is named after game founder, former Ennis coach Bob Cleverley, who died following a battle with cancer at the age of 69 in October of 2007.

Over his objection, the game was named in Cleverley’s honor four months before his death.

The game that brings together the best 8-man football players from around the state was first played in Missoula. It eventually moved to Butte, where it has been played the last 30 years.

Officials from the Knights of Columbus Badlands Bowl said Friday that they will wait to make a call on their game on May 14. Butte High senior Quinn Sullivan has been selected to play in that game.

The Montana East-West Shrine Game was called off on Thursday.

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