And just like the that regular season is over for High School football and volleyball. The Arizona Interscholastic Association released the post-season brackets for both sports Saturday. The Gila Valley is well represented.
The Safford Lady Bulldogs were assigned the #13 seed in the 24 team tournament. They will host #20 Window Rock on October 30th at 6pm. Safford recently won the Florence Tournament and should be a tough out in the State Tournament.
Teams seeded 9-24 will play on Tuesday. The winners will join the top 8 seeds and the AIA will then re-seed the tournament into a 16 team bracket. Because of this the top 8 seeds won’t know who they play in the next round until after the games on Tuesday.
Pima is the #12 seed and will host #21 Tonopah Valley on October 30th at 6pm. Just like the 3A, the top 8 seeds will get a bye in the “play-in” round and will await the winners and a re-seed before they know their official rankings and matchups.
Thatcher has been the #2 team in the rankings for most of the latter part of the season, so one could reasonably assume that they will be the #2 seed after the play in round is completed.
Bowie/San Simon has worked through some injuries to secure the #9 seed in the 16 team tournament. They will play #8 Anthem Prep on November 3rd at 3pm.
Safford will take their ground and pound attack on the road November 2nd to take on the Odyssey Institute in Buckeye. Safford is the 10 seed, OI is the 7th seed. Odyssey plays in the 3A Metro West and went 8-2 this season. Their 8 wins are all against non playoff teams. Their two losses are to Valley Christian and Yuma Catholic, both playoff teams.
It’s no surprise that Thatcher is the top overall seed. They will take on #16 North Pointe Prep on November 2nd at 7pm. NPP won the 2A Salt River region with an 8-2 record. Their 2 losses came to Trivium Prep and Veritas Prep. They love to run the football and have done so to nearly 3800 yards this season. Thatcher has not had a problem stopping the run this year. Expect the Eagles to pack the box and shut down the one dimensional Falcons.
Morenci is the #3 seed and will host #14 Parker. Morenci has been up and down in their last 4 weeks but with a home game on November 2nd, they should be ready to play. Parker was the runner-up in the Verde River Region with a 6-3 record. Their 3 losses were to Wickenburg(3A playoff team), Needles(California) and Trivium Prep.
Despite only winning 3 games this season the Pima Roughriders landed at #14 in the tournament. They will get a rematch with the Round Valley Elks, who beat them 44-6 in the final week of the regular season. It’s not often a team drops their last 4 games of the year and gets into the playoffs. We will see if John Bryant can dig deep into his bag of motivational speeches to have his squad ready for this game Friday.