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Mon, June 01

AIA votes to change football classifications

WILLIAMS, Ariz. — After another postseason of lopsided football results, the AIA voted on Feb. 22 to change how they classify schools.

The legislative council approved a model that will see schools, from 2A to 6A, placed in conferences based on performances, not enrollment.

This past season Chandler won the 6A state championship game 65-28, Peoria Centennial the 5A title 60-7 and Scottsdale Saguaro the 4A 42-16.

Under the new model, teams would be put into the top five conferences (8-man 1A football would be separate) based on their average weighted Maxpreps power rating over the previous three seasons. It goes into effect for the 2020 season and realignment will take place every year instead of the current every two years.

The AIA also recently approved an open division for the top three conferences. Starting in 2019, the top eight teams in the three biggest conferences will compete in the open division state tournament.

The conference tournaments, 4A, 5A and 6A will remain and the open tournament champion will be crowned state champion.

Saguaro has won six state championships in a row.

Tucson Salpointe Catholic went months without playing a close game last season. Their last close game was a 28-12 win over Tucson Sahuaro in September, but the Lancers beat the Cougars 53-6 in their rematch in the state semifinals.

Then Saguaro beat Salpointe 42-16 in the state championship game.

Schools would only move up or down one conference.

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