AIA announces high school fall sports season to move forward with August 17 as first date of practice

Raymundo Frasquillo File Photo/Gila Herald: Cesar Contreras scored twice for Duncan and averaged 5.5 (25-137) yards per carry against Fort Thomas in a game last year. The AIA announced schools can start practicing for fall sports Aug. 17 and has released an updated football schedule.

By Jon Johnson

PHOENIX – While we may still not know exactly how the fall high school sports season will look, the Arizona Interscholastic Association has stated when it will begin.

The AIA released a statement Thursday after a press conference by Governor Doug Ducey and announced that since the start of in-person school has not changed from Aug. 17, the AIA’s fall season will move forward as scheduled with Aug. 17 being the first day of practice.

The following is the latest football schedules listed by the AIA.  

Football Schedules

Safford Bulldogs – 3A South

Gila Herald File Photo: Sabino’s Draven Carsten (20) makes his way downfield during Sabino’s playoff victory over Safford last year. The Bulldogs, who went undefeated during regional regular season play last year, can exact revenge Oct. 9.

Aug. 21 @ Payson Longhors; Aug. 28 @ (Tucson) Empire Ravens; Sept. 4 versus Bisbee Pumas; Sept. 18 @ Douglas Bulldogs; Sept. 25 versus (Tucson) Pueblo Magnet Warriors; Oct. 2 @ Sahuarita Mustangs; Oct. 9 versus Sabino Sabercats; Oct. 16 versus San Tan Foothills; Oct. 23 versus Thatcher Eagles; Oct. 30 @ Pusch Ridge Lions

Thatcher Eagles – 3A South

File Photo By Stan Bonifacio: Brayden Oliver (85) reaches out for a pass in a game against St. Johns last year. This year, the Eagles will aim to make their mark in the 3A South Region.

Aug. 28 versus Snowflake Lobos; Sept. 4 @ Pima Roughriders; Sept. 11 @ Douglas Bulldogs; Sept. 18 versus (Tucson) Empire Ravens; Sept. 25 versus Benson Bobcats; Oct. 2 @ Eastmark Firebirds; Oct. 9 @ Sahuarita Mustangs; Oct. 16 versus (Tucson) Pusch Ridge Lions; Oct. 23 @ Safford Bulldogs; Oct. 30 versus Sabino Sabercats

Pima Roughriders – 2A San Pedro

Gila Herald File Photo: Then Sophomore quarterback Brody Brown calls his own number late in the game against Tombstone.

Aug. 21 @ (Tucson) Tanque Verde Hawks; Aug. 28 @ Veritas Prep Falcons; Sept. 4 versus Thatcher Eagles; Sept. 11 versus Arizona Lutheran Coyotes; Sept. 25 versus San Tan Charter; Oct. 2 @ Benson Bobcats; Oct. 9 versus Willcox Cowboys; Oct. 16 @ Tombstone Yellow Jackets; Oct. 23 @ Bisbee Pumas; Oct. 30 versus Morenci Wildcats

Morenci Wildcats – 2A San Pedro

Raymundo Frasquillo File Photo/Gila Herald: Quarterback Brandon Blair picks up good yardage on Morenci’s opening drive against Benson last year.

Aug. 21 versus Miami Vandals; Aug. 28 @ Globe Tigers; Sept. 18 versus (Tucson) Tanque Verde Hawks; Sept. 25 versus Bisbee Pumas; Oct. 2 versus (Bayard, New Mexico) Cobre; Oct. 9 @ Tombstone Yellow Jackets; Oct. 16 @ Benson Bobcats; Oct. 23 versus Willcox Cowboys; Oct. 30 @ Pima Roughriders

Duncan Wildkats – 1A South

Raymundo Frasquillo File Photo/Gila Herald: Duncan works to move the ball against Fort Thomas during last year’s playoff game. The Wildkats bowed out of the state playoffs with a 26-6 first-round loss to the Apaches.

Aug. 21 @ Ray Bearcats; Aug. 28 versus Cibecue Wildcats; Sept. 4 versus Baboquivari Warriors; Sept. 11 versus Superior Panthers; Sept. 25 @ San Manuel Miners; Oct. 2 @ Fort Thomas Apaches; Oct. 9 @ St. David Tigers; Oct. 16 versus Valley Union Blue Devils

Fort Thomas Apaches – 1A South

Gila Herald File Photo: Then Fort Thomas quarterback Todd Stringfellow (15) stiff-arms his opponent. The Apaches rolled over the San Pasqual Valley Warriors.

Aug. 21 @Cicero Prep; Aug. 29 versus Fredonia Lynx; Sept. 4 versus Ray Bearcats; Sept. 11 versus Baboquivari Warriors; Sept. 18 @ Joseph City Wildcats; Sept. 25 versus Valley Union Blue Devils; Oct. 2 versus Duncan Wildkats; Oct. 8 @ Cibecue Wildcats; Oct. 16 @ St. David Tigers