Flowing Wells athletic director Mark Brunenkant has confirmed that the Caballeros will play football this fall after a delay of the season for more than two months because of COVID-19.
“Flowing Wells started full contact practice today,” Brunenkant mentioned. “We have been approved to move forward for a football season.
“We’re happy for the kids. They’ve been putting in a lot of work. Coaches have been anxious and putting in a lot of work. … It’s been a rollercoaster ride with things set and up then uprooted and then things set up and then uprooted again. Hopefully this is it.”
The Flowing Wells School Board did not vote on the approval. Flowing Wells superintendent David Baker requested the parents decide the fate of the season by agreeing for the players to attend school remotely until the season concludes and to have the program follow strict COVID-19 mitigation standards.
“It was a community decision,” Brunenkant said.
Flowing Wells is the only high school in the Flowing Wells School District.
The Caballeros will enter the second year under coach Scott Cortese, who was an assistant at the school under Brunenkant. They have worked out without pads and helmets since August.
“It’s been tough; it’s been a long season already,” Brunenkant said. “When you think about it, Oct. 30 would have been the last game for high school teams, but for some schools, it will be their first game.”
Flowing Wells joins Marana, Mountain View, Nogales, Douglas, Walden Grove, Sahuarita, Cienega and Empire as Southern Arizona schools moving forward with a football season using the AIA’s COVID-19 transmission metrics and mitigation procedures with openers scheduled Oct. 30 and Nov. 6.
The school districts to not yet make an announcement one way or the other concerning a football season are Amphi, Catalina Foothills, Sunnyside, Tanque Verde and TUSD.
The Sunnyside School Board will discuss and vote on contact sports for fall and winter — football, soccer, wrestling and basketball — at next Tuesday’s board meeting.
Flowing Wells is slated to play at Sunnyside at Nov. 6, but Brunenkant said schedules will likely be modified because of some schools having a season and others potentially bypassing one for health safety reasons.
“We don’t even know what our schedule will be,” Brunenkant said. “There is a discussion because of uncertainties that schedules might be set in two-game increments.
“The whole idea behind this — it should be like this every year — is to schedule competitive games. Our (participation) numbers are down. Everybody should be looking for balanced competition. No one gets anything out of blowout games. We don’t know what we’re going to do with the games yet.”
Here are the proposed tentative schedules for each Southern Arizona school starting Oct. 30 with notes (italicized schools have yet to announce they are going forward with contact drills and competition):
- Sahuarita at Amphi
- Buena at Casa Grande
- Cienega at CDO
- Douglas at Walden Grove
- Empire at Rio Rico
- Pusch Ridge at San Tan Foothills
- Amphi at Douglas
- CDO at Desert View
- Catalina Foothills at Ironwood Ridge
- Palo Verde at Catalina
- Cholla at Tucson … Virgil Henderson returns to Cholla sideline as coach
- Nogales at Cienega
- Empire at Pueblo … Jake Allen makes his debut as Pueblo’s coach
- Flowing Wells at Sunnyside
- Marana at Mountain View … The Battle of the Boot Rivalry
- Rincon/University at Tanque Verde … The start of the Jay Dobyns era as head coach at Tanque Verde and Khyree Copeland at R/U
- Rio Rico at Santa Rita
- Sabino at Sahuarita
- Sahuaro at Walden Grove
- Mountain Ridge at Salpointe
- ALA-Ironwood at Pusch Ridge
- Flowing Wells at Amphi
- Cienega at Buena … Much-anticipated game of two local powers
- Ironwood Ridge at CDO … Amphi School District rivals face off
- Sahuarita at Catalina Foothills
- Catalina at Rincon/University
- Pueblo at Cholla
- Desert View at Sunnyside … Duel of the District
- Douglas at Rio Rico
- Tanque Verde at Empire
- Marana at Walden Grove
- Salpointe at Mountain View
- Nogales at Tucson
- Santa Rita at Palo Verde
- Sahuaro at Sabino … Intense eastside rivalry
- Florence at Pusch Ridge
- Rincon/University at Amphi
- CDO at Catalina Foothills
- Tanque Verde at Catalina
- Cholla at Santa Rita
- Marana at Cienega
- Ironwood Ridge at Desert View
- Sahuarita at Douglas
- Sabino at Empire
- Palo Verde at Flowing Wells
- Sahuaro at Mountain View
- Rio Rico at Nogales … Rivalry near the border
- Sunnyside at Tucson
- Walden Grove at Pueblo
- Salpointe at Desert Mountain
- Empire at Amphi
- CDO at Marana
- Cholla at Catalina Foothills
- Catalina at Pueblo
- Cienega at Sunnyside
- Mountain View at Desert View
- Douglas at Nogales
- Rio Rico at Flowing Wells
- Ironwood Ridge at Rincon/University
- Palo Verde at Tanque Verde
- Walden Grove at Sabino … WG’s strong defense vs. Sabino’s potent offense
- Tucson at Sahuaro
- Santa Rita at Sahuarita
- Amphi at Catalina
- CDO at Sahuaro
- Sabino at Catalina Foothills
- Desert View at Cholla
- Mountain View at Cienega
- Empire at Douglas
- Flowing Wells at Ironwood Ridge
- Sunnyside at Marana
- Nogales at Walden Grove
- Pueblo at Palo Verde
- Tucson at Rincon/University
- Rio Rico at Sahuarita
- Tanque Verde at Santa Rita
- Amphi at Rio Rico
- Walden Grove at CDO
- Catalina Foothills at Palo Verde
- Santa Rita at Catalina
- Ironwood Ridge at Cienega
- Marana at Desert View
- Sahuarita at Empire
- Rincon/University at Flowing Wells
- Tucson at Mountain View
- Pueblo at Sabino
- Sahuaro at Sunnyside
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.