Santa Rita cancels football season

Santa Rita’s football schedules for varsity and junior varsity have been canceled due to a lack of available players to field an active roster.

The Eagles’ schedules have been removed from the Arizona Interscholastic Association’s Web site.

Santa Rita athletic director Tony Gabusi, contacted by AllSportsTucson.com, mentioned he will have a comment at a later time.

Santa Rita, a school within the Tucson Unified School District, was 0-5 with its last three games recorded as forfeits against Palo Verde, Phoenix Cortez and Wittman Mountainside because of a lack of participants.

The Eagles’ first two games against Globe (40-0 loss) and Heritage Academy Laveen (35-0 defeat) were stopped before the end of regulation. The Globe game finished early because Santa Rita did not have enough players to compete. The Heritage Academy game was stopped because of lightning.

Tanque Verde was scheduled to play Friday at Santa Rita in the 2A San Pedro opener for both teams. The AIA has awarded the Hawks a win by forfeit.

The Eagles, coached by veteran Tom Joseph, who won a state championship at Mesa Mountain View in 2002, were also scheduled to host Willcox and Bisbee and play at Catalina and Tombstone.

One provision within AIA’s transfer rules could allow an academically eligible player from Santa Rita to transfer to another school and gain eligibility to compete:

15.10.5 under “Transfer Rule Exceptions”:

When Sport or Nonathletic Activity Is Dropped by an AIA Member School – When a sport or nonathletic activity is dropped by a governing board, a student may transfer to a school that offers that sport or nonathletic activity and shall be eligible only in the sport or nonathletic activity that has been dropped at the school from which the student transferred. Said eligibility will be granted when the student enrolls in one of the following schools: A private or parochial high school in the county in which the parents are domiciled. The public high school within the same school district closest to the domicile of the parents. In the event the district does not offer the sport or nonathletic activity in any of its schools, the student
may transfer to the public high school of another district closest to the domicile of the parents. The transfer rule shall apply to other interscholastic sports and activities in which the student participates.


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. He became an educator five years ago and is presently a special education teacher at Gallego Fine Arts Intermediate in the Sunnyside Unified School District.

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