Yes for Academy, no for Lee Williams

Volunteers to take placement decision to AIA Executive Board

KINGMAN - Tuesday's Arizona Interscholastic Association Conference Appeals hearings revealed that Lee Williams High School has more work to do, and Kingman Academy can join Kingman in waiting for the region placements to be announced.

Kingman was placed in the 3A Conference, and as the largest school in the conference, did not appeal. Lee Williams is the smallest school placed in the 4A Conference with 1,046 students. The 3A Conference Hearing Committee denied Lee Williams's request to join its conference by a vote of 5-0.

"Round 1 was denied, and we're going on to Round 2," said LWHS principal Gretchen Dorner. "Wherever we end up, we'll do it. We'll respect any final decision."

Lee Williams has until Nov. 5 to file paperwork with the AIA requesting another appeal, this time with the AIA Executive Board. That hearing is scheduled to take place Nov. 16. By the end of that day, the AIA is expected to release the final conference placements.

"There were a few comments made at the appeal that led me to go down the road of appeal to the Executive Board," Dorner said. "I made the presentation and feel duty bound to talk to the AIA board. I want to make sure we do the right thing for our kids."

Whereas Lee Williams was denied, the 2A Conference Committee approved Kingman Academy's request to join that conference. The Academy went from the fourth-smallest 3A school to about the 15th largest in the 2A Conference, which has approximately 45 schools.

"We're very pleased and very happy," said Kingman Academy of Learning district athletic director Michael Perrine. "We're just happy our kids can compete against schools with like size enrollments."

If Lee Williams fails in its appeal to the board to move down to 3A, then that would mean Lee Williams and Kingman Academy would not be meeting on the football field for at least two years. In all sports except football, schools may compete with each other regardless of conference placement. However, in football, teams may only play up and down one conference. Lee Williams, a 4A team, could not play Kingman Academy, a 2A team.

Region placements within the conferences are scheduled to occur from Nov. 17 until Dec. 7.