Week one of the high school football season starts this Friday in Southern Arizona with eight games featuring nine teams from Southern Arizona.
38 TEAMS IN COVERAGE: (6A) Salpointe. (5A) Buena, Cholla, Cienega, Desert View, Flowing Wells, Ironwood Ridge, Marana, Mountain View, Nogales, Rincon/University, Sunnyside and Tucson. (4A) Amphitheater, Canyon del Oro, Catalina Foothills, Douglas, Empire, Mica Mountain, Pueblo, Rio Rico, Sahuarita, Sahuaro and Walden Grove. (3A) Benson, Palo Verde, Pusch Ridge and Sabino. (2A) Bisbee, Catalina, Santa Rita, Tanque Verde, Tombstone and Willcox. (1A) Baboquivari, San Manuel, St. David and Valley Union.
PLAYOFFS: Open Division will include top eight teams from 4A-6A with new multipliers making only the very best 4A teams eligible. (4A-6A) Top 16 teams regardless of region finish. (3A) Seven region champions are in with nine at-large berths. (2A) Nine region champions with seven at-large berths. (1A) Four region champions plus eight at-large berths.
WEEKLY AWARDS: We will have banners from APS Digital Print and a game football from Frog and Firkin for the Player of the Week. We will also be recognizing the top performers on defense and offense so get stats posted.
TOP 50 CHAMPIONSHIP GAMES: CATCH UP ON THIS SERIES BY CLICKING HERE
CLICK HERE TO ACCESS ALLSPORTSTUCSON.COM’S 2022 HIGH SCHOOL PRESEASON COVERAGE
FRIDAY, AUGUST 19
3A Coolidge (6-4) at 3A Sabino (8-3), 7 p.m.
-First meeting. The two schools played in 1972 but that was the first year for Sabino at the JV level. Coolidge has been around since 1935.
3A San Tan Foothills (1-9) at 3A Palo Verde (DNP), 7 p.m.
-First meeting. San Tan started playing in 2009. Palo Verde did not have a season last year and the Titans are now in the 3A Conference.
2A Tombstone (2-7) at 3A Benson (9-3), 7 p.m.
-Benson leads the series 59-13 dating back to 1946. Benson has the last 16 victories dating back to 2007. The Bobcats are in the 3A Conference now.
1A Ray (2-4) at 1A St. David (10-2), 7 p.m.
-St. David is up 2-1 since 2015 but the two teams haven’t played since 2017 when Ray won 52-20.
1A Ft. Thomas (2-5) at 1A Baboquivari (2-4), 7 p.m.
-Baboquivari is up 3-2 in the series dating back to 2015 including a 24-12 win last year.
1A Anthem Prep (3-5) at 1A San Manuel (8-2), 7 p.m.
-First meeting. Anthem Prep started playing AIA games in 2015.
1A Hayden (5-4) at 1A Valley Union (4-5), 7 p.m.
-Only meeting never happened last year with Valley Union forfeiting a playoff game due to COVID regulations.
SATURDAY, AUGUST 20
3A ALA West Foothills (First year) at 3A Pusch Ridge (8-3), 7 p.m.
-The first meeting with ALA West Foothills, located in Queen Creek, playing the first game in program history.
Named one of “Arizona’s Heart & Sol” by KOLD and Casino del Sol, Andy Morales was recognized by the AIA as the top high school reporter in 2014, he was awarded the Ray McNally Award in 2017 and a 2019 AZ Education News recognition. He was a youth, high school and college coach for over 30 years. He was the first in Arizona to write about high school beach volleyball and high school girls wrestling and his unique perspective can only be found here and on AZPreps365.com. Andy is a 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. Andy was named an Honorary Flowing Wells Caballero in 2019, became a member of the Sunnyside Los Mezquites Cross Country Hall of Fame in 2021 and he was a member of the Amphi COVID-19 Blue Ribbon Committee. He earned a Distinguished Service Award from Amphitheater and he was recognized by City Councilman Richard Fimbres. Contact Andy Morales at email@example.com