The 1A football state playoff bracket was released Saturday morning by the AIA and Southern Arizona schools San Manuel, St. David, Baboquivari and Valley Union comprise one-third of the 12-team field.
No. 8 San Manuel (6-3) will host No. 9 St. David (5-4) on Friday at 7 p.m. in a rematch of an overtime thriller won by the Miners over the Tigers 16-14 on Sept. 29.
The Miners won their first region title since 2002, when they captured the 2A Copper championship under coach Jorge Mendivil (now the head coach at Amphi).
The winner of the St. David-San Manuel game must travel to No. 1 Hayden (9-0) in the quarterfinal round Oct. 27. Hayden won at St. David 56-0 on Friday night.
Baboquivari, under first-year coach Cody Garcia, is in the postseason for the first time since 2001. The program has played only two playoff games (both losses) in its existence dating to 1969.
The Warriors are on a four-game winning streak, including a 38-22 victory over visiting San Manuel on Friday.
“Great win for the school. Great win for the team. Great win for the community (of Sells),” said Garcia, a former standout lineman at Pueblo. “I’m proud of these young men. They worked hard to get here and I know they will continue to work hard in whatever they put their hearts into, and they definitely put their hearts into this team.
“Looking forward to making history.”
Their 5-3 record assures Baboquivari of its first winning season since 2005.
Baboquivari is the No. 10 seed. It will play at No. 7 Mohave Accelerated (6-2) on Friday at 7 p.m.
The winner advances to play at No. 2 Bagdad (8-1) on Oct. 27 in the quarterfinal round.
No. 12 Valley Union (5-3) has earned a winning season and spot in the postseason for the first time since 2017.
The Blue Devils, under second-year coach Skyler Hill, were 6-24 in the previous four seasons, including 0-8 in 2019.
They will play at No. 5 El Capitan/Academy (8-1) on Friday at 7 p.m.
The winner of that game will move on to the quarterfinals at No. 4 Salome (8-1) on Oct. 27.
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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. He became an educator in 2016 and is presently a special education teacher at Sunnyside High School in the Sunnyside Unified School District.