Thu, Nov. 21

Camp Verde’s appeal denied, Cowboys move up to 3A

Camp Verde’s Shelly Warfield grabs a rebound at Sedona Red Rock. The Cowboys hope to still play the Scorpions even though they moved to 3A and Sedona Red Rock remained in 2A. VVN/James Kelley

Camp Verde’s Shelly Warfield grabs a rebound at Sedona Red Rock. The Cowboys hope to still play the Scorpions even though they moved to 3A and Sedona Red Rock remained in 2A. VVN/James Kelley

Camp Verde High lost its appeal to remain the 2A but landed in a welcoming region.

On Friday the AIA announced its regions for the two-year period of 2020-2022 with Camp Verde remaining in the 3A. The Cowboys moved up to 3A starting next school year after their enrollment rose to 553.

The AIA denied almost every appeal from schools that wanted to move down a conference.

“There was six schools that were appealing down from 3A to 2A and they denied five of us,” CV athletic director Dan Wall said. “The one they approved, that school’s been appealing down for the last, i think eight years now and they’ve got a very special situation. So I mean they’ve got to make decisions on that for sure, so it’s okay, we’re moving on with it. We’re happy with the regions that have come out and i think that that’s going to be a good fit for us, geographically from a travel side, from a competitive side. So we’re looking forward to that.”

The only 3A to 2A appeal that the AIA approved was Tucson San Miguel. Students there go to school four days a week and work one to help pay for tuition at the Catholic school.

The Cowboys have been at the 2A level since 2005-06.

For team sports, the AIA’s member schools are divided into six conferences, with 1A being the smallest and 6A being the biggest. Then the conferences are further divided into mostly local regions.

The Cowboys were placed in the 3A North Central, with Phoenix Bourgade Catholic, Chino Valley, Fountain Hills, Phoenix Northwest Christian and Wickenburg.

“Looking at those schools, Wickenburg’s had some really strong teams, these past few years they’ve been very competitive at the 3A level, boys and girls basketball, Chino is certainly improving, Northwest Christian’s in there and they’re obviously always competitive Bourgade Catholic and Fountain Hills and then us,” Wall said. “I think it fits who we are and what we’re going to do and I think it’ll just be a great competitive environment for all five of those sports.”

The region was one of appeals, as Bourgade and Wickenburg tried to move to 2A and Fountain Hills successfully appealed to move up to 3A.

Chino Valley (enrollment of 776) is the biggest school in the region with Bourgade being the smallest at 372. Camp Verde’s enrollment rose from 497 in the last census a couple years ago.

Mingus Union will remain in the 4A Grand Canyon Region, which is unchanged. The Marauders’ enrollment is 1,291.

Bradshaw Mountain is the biggest school the region with 1,598 and Lee Williams the smallest at 1,124.

Wall said the Cowboys hope to keep playing Sedona Red Rock (323 enrollment) and Northland Prep (347), current region rivals that are staying in 2A.

“You can still schedule whoever you’d like to get for your freedom games and obviously the relationships we have like with Sedona and Northland Prep, those are people that you’d like to keep around if they’re willing to,” Walls said. “So hopefully that will allow us to fill in some of those freedom games.”

Wall said they’ll see how things work out when asked about scheduling nearby schools like Mingus Union.

“We’ll see, we’ll see how everything shakes out,” Wall said. “The last time we played all those guys was when they did the geographical, which was back in 2012-13 maybe and that’s when we were playing Prescott and Bradshaw and Mingus and Flag and Coco.”

The football placements will be announced after the season. Schools will now get to appeal the regions, which will be finalized on Nov. 19.

AIA 2020-2022 regions:

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