The Arizona Interscholastic Association announced football placements on Friday, and Lake Havasu will continue to compete in the 4A Conference.
All of the state’s football alignments are set until 2024. The Knights football program has competed in 4A since 2018 and competed in the playoffs once. The Knights were in the West Valley Region from 2018 to 2019 and were realigned to the Southwest from 2020 to 2021. They previously played in 5A in 2016-17.
Regions were not announced Friday and will be released at a later date. Schools have the option to appeal their initial placement and the deadline to do so is Jan. 5, 2022 at 2 p.m. The AIA Executive Board will discuss the appeals at its scheduled meeting on Jan. 18.
“I was talking with (Lake Havasu High athletic director) Mr. (Dustin) Zampogna earlier and I don’t know, it’s wide open,” Knights coach Karl Thompson said about the Knights potential region placement. “They could continue to keep us in the same grouping that we’ve been with. Knowing that there’s three Yuma schools in there now, they could send us back in that direction. It’ll be interesting to see what they’ll do, but I think they’ll be pretty fair about it.”
Yuma Catholic, Kofa and Gila Ridge are the Yuma-area schools that are in 4A. Yuma Catholic moved up from 3A while Kofa moved down from 5A. Gila Ridge competed in the West Valley Region last year. The three Yuma schools are the only other Western Arizona programs in 4A.
Yuma High School competed in 4A this past season, but were moved to 3A on Friday.
Other teams moved up or down to the conference including American Leadership Academy – Gilbert North, Alhambra, Independence, Maryvale and Snowflake.
Snowflake won the 3A championship after defeating Yuma Catholic 10-3 on Nov. 27. ALA – Gilbert North was the top seed in the Class 3A playoffs.
Notable teams moving up to 5A from 4A are ALA – Queen Creek, Cactus, Mesquite and state champion Casa Grande.
“There’s a lot of competitive football in Arizona and they’re doing a good job to even the playing field across the board,” Thompson said.
The Knights finished the 2021 season with a 7-2 record (4-0 in Southwest) and competed in the 4A playoffs as the No. 5 seed. Havasu fell to No. 12 Canyon del Oro in a 35-21 upset. It was the Knights first state playoff appearance since 2015.