AIA shoots down most appeals

KINGMAN - Kingman Academy was the only one of three high schools in Kingman to be granted an appeal to go down a division in any sport as the Arizona Interscholastic Association finished its appeal hearings Tuesday for the three-year block 2015-2018.

The Academy was granted permission for the volleyball team to play in Division IV rather than D-III, where it was originally assigned. The Lady Tigers have won just six matches over the two years since joining the AIA and will now continue to play in the second-to-smallest division.

The Academy also appealed to move its boys basketball program from D-III to D-IV for scheduling purposes. The girls team is in D-IV, and the KAHS administration had hoped the two teams would be in the same division, but the AIA decided against it because of the Tigers success since joining the association.

"We're disappointed, but we'll go where they put us," said assistant to the athletic director Mike Bradley. "We're just hoping we don't get the boys and girls scheduled to be home on the same date."

Lee Williams appealed for five sports to be dropped a division. The Volunteers wanted baseball, volleyball, girls basketball and softball to move down to D-IV and for football to be returned to D-V. The AIA denied all five appeals.

"I expected football to be denied, but I am disappointed with the others," said LWHS athletic director Cory Williams. "I felt I was doing the right thing by trying to get our athletes and coaches the best opportunities for success. We'll compete where they've put us because we have good coaches and good kids."

Kingman was denied appeals down for volleyball and girls basketball. Both of those Bulldog programs have had success in the recent past, so KHS athletic director John Venenga was not surprised with the denials. He wanted the girls basketball team to move down to D-IV to coincide with the boys team being placed there.

The AIA heard appeals for baseball and softball on Tuesday. Kingman was the only local school on Tuesday's schedule with the request to move up from D-IV to D-III for both sports in order to be aligned with many of the Colorado River Region teams.

The Bulldogs were unanimously approved to move up to D-III in both sports.

The next step in the process is for the AIA is to assign sections within the divisions. Schools will have to opportunity to appeal section placements as well. The divisions and sections will be completed by March 17, after all appeals are heard.