AIA committees showing good grasp early on appeals
The Arizona Interscholastic Association was inundated with appeals for the next two-year classification block, which isn’t a surprise since teams are allowed to petition down.
It could be a lengthy process sorting everything out, but judging by early football rulings, the committee has a solid grasp on which teams need the help.
East Valley programs approved to drop a division were Combs, Coronado, McClintock and Westwood. They finished a combined 8-32 last year, with only the Dons’ 4-6 record anywhere near .500. Coronado, McClintock and Westwood are in landlocked older areas, and it’s clear these programs need a boost to help their competitiveness. Combs is a newer school but has struggled since its inception.
Arcadia, Horizon, Poston Butte and San Tan Foothills were denied appeals. The Titans probably had the best case to move from Division II to Division III because they are in an area that lacks expansion. But the school is in a more affluent area than Coronado and the team made the semifinals last year, which likely torpedoed its chances.
Horizon went 7-4 and lost to Glendale Apollo in the Div. II playoffs. Poston Butte missed the Div. III playoffs but has a competitive program, while San Tan Foothills has also found success in Div. V. Appeals were made as none of the teams felt ready to move up a division, but there are no inherent disadvantages. Since enrollment dictates they move up for the next two-year block, all three schools must deal with it. It’s a tough break but not a death sentence.
The point of appeals is to give hopeless programs a jolt by moving down so they hope to be a little more competitive. Teams in growing areas or with a recent measure of success tried to plead their cases, but it’s nice to see the football committee kept an eye on the goal.