JF Thomas will be a senior wide receiver when he and his Tarleton State Texans come north to face the Simon Fraser Clan in 2020 for the first home game of SFU's new GNAC/Lone Star football alliance announced jointly by the two conferences Tuesday. (Photo by Russell Huffman property of The Flash Today 2019. All Rights Reserved) (Photo by Russell Huffman property of The Flash Today 2019. All Rights Reserved)
Feature University Football

Simon Fraser extends its football footprint! Clan now part of GNAC’s new alliance with Lone Star Conference

BURNABY — The Simon Fraser Clan will become part of a new NCAA Div. 2 football alliance for the 2020 season.

The Great Northwest Athletic Conference, of which the Clan is one of four remaining football-playing members, announced Wednesday a non-conference scheduling alliance with the southwestern U.S.-based Lone Star Conference.

The alliance will cover the 2020 and 2021 campaign, and allow the Clan a total of seven non-GNAC games over that span. The move comes on the heels of GNAC football membership shrinking by one school.

Humboldt State University elected to discontinue its football program following the 2018 campaign, leaving SFU with only three conference foes in Central Washington, Azusa Pacific and Western Oregon.

While the Clan will still be able to fashion a six-game conference slate by facing each both at home and on the road, the new agreement guarantees the Clan four Lone Star alliance games in 2020 and three more 2021.

“This is a big step forward for both conferences in addressing the challenges in non-conference competition for football in the West,” SFU athletic director Theresa Hanson said on the school’s website. Simon Fraser is soon expected to begin construction on its covered grandstand stadium project.

The news means that Simon Fraser’s 2020 schedule will include the following non-conference alliance games: Sept. 5 at Texas A&M Commerce, Sept. 12 vs. Tarleton State,  Oct. 3 at UT Permian Basin, Oct. 24 vs. Angelo State.

In 2021: Sept. 11 at Tarleton State, Oct. 2 vs. UT Permian Basin, Oct.23 at Angelo State.

Simon Fraser, coming off a 1-9 overall season but rising under GNAC Coach of the Year Thomas Ford, plays four non-conference games this coming season, three of which are on the road.

The Clan opens Sept. 7 at Portland State, travels to Angelo State Sept. 14, hosts South Dakota School of Mines on Sept. 21 and plays at former GNAC member Dixie State on Oct. 12.

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