Think football starts the fall season off? Think again, Girls Golf starts the year off when Flowing Wells visits Fred Enke to take on Palo Verde on Monday, Aug. 13. If all goes to plan, there will be three golf matches in the books before Mountain View hosts Ironwood Ridge in the Kickoff Classic to be played on Thursday, Aug. 16 at 7 p.m.
Mountain View might win the 5A Sonoran Region with a 5-0 record. That will get the Mountain Lions in the playoffs but the Freedom Games include Ironwood Ridge, Higley, Casteel, Tucson and Cienega. Nothing easy there.
16 football games follow on Friday night with several notable matchups including Tucson High’s visit to Maryvale as the only 6A team from Southern Arizona. The Badgers are an easy favorite.
Marana at Horizon features a team attempting to prove themselves (again) at a former 6A squad. Horizon. The Tiger’s region is dramatically more difficult than the 5A Sonoran from last year so Freedom Games become even more important. The Sonoran Region opponents from last year went a combined 16-24 with no playoff appearances while the new 5A Southern Region opponents went 32-23 including five playoff games. Adding the Tigers to the 5A Southern Region makes the whole thing even more difficult for everybody.
Sahuaro hosts Vista Grande in the first 4A Conference game for the Cougars in a while. Look for the Cougars to make the playoffs this year but it will still be a difficult road. The non-region games will be key.
San Manuel visits Yuma Catholic in a rare Saturday night game and then all bets are off. Zero week will be in the books and the season gets underway for all 42 high schools that participate in football from Southern Arizona.
MONDAY, AUGUST 13
Flowing Wells at Palo Verde (Girls)
TUESDAY, AUGUST 14
Walden Grove at Palo Verde (Boys)
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 15
Sunnyside at Palo Verde (Girls)
(All games at 7 p.m. unless noted)
THURSDAY, AUGUST 16
Ironwood Ridge at Mountain View
FRIDAY, AUGUST 17
Tucson at Maryvale, (Region game)
Catalina Foothills at Buena
Canyon del Oro at Flowing Wells
Marana at Horizon
Cholla at Nogales
Rincon/UHS at Sierra Linda
Campo Verde at Sunnyside
Amphitheater at Buckeye
Casa Grande at Palo Verde
Pusch Ridge at Rio Rico
Vista Grande at Sahuaro (Region game)
Douglas at Tanque Verde
Santa Cruz at Sahuarita
Bagdad at Valley Union, 6 p.m.
Fort Thomas at Baboquivari
St. David at Bowie/San Simon
SATURDAY, AUGUST 18
San Manuel at Yuma Catholic, 7:30 p.m.
GIRLS VOLLEYBALL SCHEDULE
(Starts Monday, Aug. 27)
FALL SOCCER SCHEDULE
(Starts Wednesday, Aug. 29)
CROSS COUNTRY SCHEDULE
(Starts Saturday, Sept. 1)
SWIM & DIVE SCHEDULE
(Starts Thursday, Sept. 6)
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 is the Southern Arizona voting member of the Ed Doherty Award, recognizing the top football player in Arizona, and he was named a Local Hero by the Tucson Weekly for 2016. Contact Andy Morales at AMoralesMyTucson@yahoo.com