Sports Stories

Sedona Red Rock High School and Camp Verde High School will remain members of the Arizona Interscholastic Association’s 2A conference during the next two-year alignment period, beginning in the 2018-19 season.

On Wednesday, Oct. 11, the AIA held a meeting to discuss the realignment of Conferences 1A, 2A and 3A, which are also known as the “small schools.”

A notable preliminary result was that Conference 2A got smaller while 3A got bigger.

“One of the issues we’re facing is that 2A is smaller than we expected,” said Mark Showers, Camp Verde High School athletic director and AIA executive board member.

“I thought it went well today. Schools in the 2A are all over the state so it was difficult to come up with an equal amount of schools in each region.”

Schools have the opportunity to appeal, with decisions at the moment set to be made on Oct. 30.

“After that, the conferences will make the adjustments they need to make, regions will be set, and then they’ll work on the scheduling,” Showers said.

According to Showers, the amount of 2A schools has gone down to about 40.

As a result, 2A will have seven regions rather than eight. The lone exception is in football, which will still have six.

Local Impact
One of the schools moving up to 3A is Paradise Honors High School, which currently plays against Camp Verde and Red Rock in the Central Region.

Joy Christian School is set to move in from the Metro West Region as the replacement. Joy Christian was selected because of its close proximity to Glendale Preparatory Academy, which is already a member of the region.
A preliminary look at the new Central Region includes the following schools: Camp Verde, Red Rock, Joy Christian, Glendale Preparatory Academy and Northland Preparatory Academy.

In terms of immediate impact on competitiveness, by far the biggest will be felt in baseball. The Eagles had one of the strongest teams in the conference last year, falling in the state semifinals. They were ranked in the top five throughout the season as well.

Mingus Mountain Academy, an all-girls school and Central Region member, will move down to 1A.

In football, the new Central Region will be: Red Rock, Camp Verde, Tonopah Valley High School, Parker High School, Antelope Union High School and Trivium Preparatory Academy.

Antelope Union and Trivium Prep are the newcomers, with Paradise Honors and Kingman Academy High School leaving, both of which are expected to appeal to stay in 2A.

Both Sedona Red Rock High School and Camp Verde High School have been a part of 2A since the 2016-17 season, when the AIA restructured and renamed its conferences. Before the 2016-17 year, Red Rock was in Division III and Camp Verde in Division IV.

The Process
All of the public schools with under 1,000 students were divided into three groups. The same went for the charter schools and private schools.

The smallest third of those schools were placed into 1A, the middle third into 2A, and the largest third into 3A.
Camp Verde’s official enrollment number reported at the meeting was 497 while Red Rock’s was 377. In order for a school to make it down into 1A, its enrollment would need to be in the low 200s, Showers said.

Otherwise, a school appealing to move down would have to prove its necessity based on a number of factors, including its culture, the amount of freshman and junior varsity programs it has, its overall competitiveness, and the amount of free and reduced lunches it has, among others.

A phone call on the afternoon of Oct. 11 to Red Rock Athletic Director Tom Miller seeking comment was not immediately returned.