Walden Grove finished 8-2 overall with a 5-0 record in the 4A Gila but the Red Wolves did not make the 16-team state playoff bracket based on power points that was revealed Saturday morning.
The Red Wolves did not qualify despite winning their seventh straight game Friday — a 34-27 victory over No. 20 Catalina Foothills to claim the region title. The region champion in 4A does not automatically qualify.
Southern AZ 4A schools that fell short of the 16-team state-playoff field –
17 Walden Grove (8-2) 4A Gila champs
19 Mica Mountain (6-4) 4A Kino champs
23 Catalina Foothills (6-4)
— Javier Morales (@JavierJMorales) November 12, 2022
Walden Grove coach Corey Noble mentioned that being left out of the playoffs “sucks.”
“I won’t make excuses,” he continued. “We obviously didn’t win enough games, but I thought we did enough to be playing next Friday. I’m beyond proud of what this team and these seniors accomplished — 8-2, 7-game winning streak, Copper Cup Champions (beating rival Sahuarita), 4A Gila region champions (and) numerous school records.”
Noble, in his sixth season as Walden Grove’s coach, also stated that this year’s team had “the best chemistry and love for each other and the game of any team I’ve coached.”
“Hopefully something gets looked at going forward because I just don’t believe they got it right.”
CDO (8-2) dropped from No. 2 to No. 6 after losing 26-7 at No. 22 Mica Mountain in the game Thursday that decided the 4A Kino championship.
The Thunderbolts finished 6-4 overall in their second varsity season under veteran coach Pat Nugent.
The Dorados will host No. 11 St. Mary’s (7-3) in a rematch from a matchup the Dorados previously won 24-8 at Phoenix College on Sept. 30.
AllSportsTucson.com will have more detail about the 4A playoffs leading up to Friday’s first-round games.