Additional game changes

Here’s the latest on rescheduled games or cancellations:

Prep Football

Canceled: Enterprise vs. Mohawk; Weston-McEwen at Imbler; Powder Valley vs. Powers; Sunnyside Christian at Joseph

Rescheduled: Baker at La Grande (moved to 7 p.m. Saturday); Cove at Elgin (moved to 6 p.m. Monday); Wallowa at Adrian/Jordan Valley (moved to noon Saturday)

Still Scheduled: Union at Riverside (7 p.m. today)

Prep Soccer

Canceled: La Grande boys vs. Tillamook

Rescheduled: Riverside girls at La Grande (moved to 4 p.m. Oct. 10)

College Cross Country

Canceled: Eastern Oregon at TVCC Chukar Classic, possibly rescheduled for Oct. 21

Prep Cross Country

Still Scheduled: La Grande, Union/Cove Enterprise and Elgin at Runner’s Soul Cross Country Fest in Hermiston (1 p.m. Saturday)

Eastern Oregon is now scheduled to play its home opening football game at 1 p.m. Sunday at Community Stadium, EOU Athletic Director Anji Weissenfluh said Friday morning.

The lingering smoke in the Grande Ronde Valley from area wildfires has caused the delay in the start time of the football game, and earlier in the week raised concerns if the game could even be played this weekend.

But with the improvement in air quality since Thursday, and the continual improvement that is projected in the coming days, Weissenfluh said the decision was made to back the start time up, anticipating that by Sunday, conditions will be at a level where the game can take place.

She also said the delay was made to give officials an extra day to assess the air quality, and to keep in
consideration the lengthy trip Montana Western would have to take from Dillon.

“It’s really about being mindful of the distance and the time of Montana Western’s travel,” she said.

Weissenfluh said officials have been monitoring the Air Quality Index on in making their decision.

The AQI in La Grande Thursday was at 191, Weissenfluh said. As of earlier Friday morning, however, that number had dropped to 167, and is projected to continue falling.

“It’s important to have a better forecast to give us another day and additional options,” she said. “Right now (AQI) is trending (downward), and air quality is improving.”

Weissenfluh said officials also took into consideration what they had seen in the region.

“The air from the south is improving in Boise,” she said. “The air to the west of us is improving. Pendleton has improved a ton. We just evaluated the region, what is trending there and what is going on. It’s trending in our favor.”

Weissenfluh said the AQI will need to be below 150 in order for the game to be played.

She added there are other options on the table in case the air in the valley stagnates and the AQI does not improve. Those options include moving the game to Sept. 30, which is a bye week for both teams. Another possibility is to move the game to College of Idaho’s home field in Caldwell.

Weissenfluh said EOU will continue to stay in communication with Montana Western regarding the possibility of a move to Caldwell, or delaying the game three weeks.

Editor's note: This post has been updated to reflect changes in the schedule for Union football and Joseph football, and to note the confirmation that the Hermiston track meet is still on.