The Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA) reached an agreement with the University of Arizona to host its 2017 4A, 5A and 6A state football championships at Arizona Stadium according to statement released by Seth Polansky, AIA Sports Information Coordinator.
The game times have not been determined but all three games will be placed on Saturday, Dec. 2. The 2A and 3A state championships games will be played on Saturday, Nov. 25 at Campo Verde High School and the 1A championship is scheduled for Friday, Nov. 10 at Maricopa High School.
Tucson made it to the first round of the 6A playoffs last year and Cienega was a semifinalist in the 5A playoffs. Ironwood Ridge and Marana made t to the 5A quarterfinals. Catalina Foothills was the 4A runner-up and Salpointe made it to the 4A semifinals.
Sabino was the 3A runner-up while Benson and Santa Cruz made it to the 2A semifinal round. St. David made it to the 1A semifinals and Valley Union made it to the quarterfinal round.
Pusch Ridge won the Division IV championship in 2015. Salpointe won the last “big school” title from Southern Arizona in 2013 (D-II).
The NCAA “quiet period” for the Division I Bowl Subdivision ends on Nov. 25.
The Lowell-Stevens Football Facility was completed in 2013 and top players from 6A Phoenix area schools such as Chandler, Pinnacle and Hamilton; 5A schools Centennial, Williams Field and Queen Creek and 4A schools Saguaro, Higley and Cactus will get a free glimpse on the football facility if they can make it to the final game.
The impact of hosting the top athletes in the state outside of recruiting guidelines cannot be measured.
Andy Morales was recognized by the AIA as the top high school reporter in 2014 and he was awarded the Ray McNally Award in 2017 and he has been a youth, high school and college coach for over 30 years. His own children have won multiple state high school championships and were named to all-state teams. Competing in hockey, basketball, baseball and track & field in high school, his unique perspective can only be found here and on AZPreps365.com. Andy was named a Local Hero by the Tucson Weekly for 2016. Contact Andy Morales at AMoralesMyTucson@yahoo.com