Kingman's high schools will compete for three section titles
AIA finalizes division and section placements
KINGMAN - The appeals process is complete and the Arizona Interscholastic Association announced this week its final placement of high school teams in divisions and sections for the three-year block 2015-2018.
Kingman's three high schools have been placed in the same section when placed in the same division. Any separation of section has only occurred due to a team having been placed in a different division.
Football, baseball and softball have all three local schools playing in the same division and section.
Kingman, Kingman Academy and Lee Williams will battle for the Division IV, Section III football championship with Lake Havasu, Mohave, Parker, River Valley and Wickenburg. All three Kingman teams are satisfied with the alignment.
"I'm tickled pink," said KAHS football coach Dan Stroup. "We'll have two in-town games. We're very excited for the travel and we can get some natural rivalries."
Travel and the costs associated with it are a major concern for every school's budget. This section ensures a majority of road trips for the Kingman schools will be no more than two hours away.
"The big thing is that all three of us are there," said KHS football coach Greg Tonjes. "That should generate a lot of excitement in our community, especially being that the other two made the playoffs last year."
The section looks to be very competitive. River Valley won the 2014 D-IV state championship, and all but Kingman and Mohave finished the year with winning records.
"This is a great thing for the whole city of Kingman," said LWHS football coach Eugene Kramer. "All three teams can be competitive, and it should make for some good football and great competition."
All three coaches commended the AIA for the job the organization did in trying to get the northwest schools in the same section. The only real question would be the inclusion of Lake Havasu. The Knights reported an enrollment of approximately 1,900 students and are in a division and section with a school of about 425 kids - Kingman Academy. Though the difference is large, the Tigers aren't about to back down from the challenge.
"I'm not going to complain about Lake Havasu," Stroup said. "They are a little out of place, but I'm looking at them as if they aren't any different than Yuma Catholic."
Normally, the AIA organizes by using a two-year block but went to the extended version this go around to line up with neighboring states and their respective associations to make scheduling easier for Arizona schools wanting to play out-of-state schools.
For so-called individual sports - wrestling, cross country, track, golf, swim and spiritline - final placements are scheduled to be announced by April 20, according to the AIA.