Print AIA realignment still means traveling for rural schools
Written by Staci Gasser   
Thursday, 09 August 2012 00:00

Arizona high schools are still getting used to the Arizona Interscholastic Association’s changes that were put in place last year, and they will still feel the effects throughout this year.

After a disappointing 2011 season, the Mingus Union High School football program has been working overtime this summer to bring back the Marauder magic for 2012. After a series of excellent seasons, MUHS football finished 5-6 last season.The changes regrouped Arizona school districts so that the high school athletic teams would play teams closer to home, decreasing the time and cost of travel. They also condensed the previous conferences in order to have fewer state championships which saves money for the state.

“The AIA changes didn’t really affect us that much,” said Mark Owens, the athletic director for Mingus Union High School. “The only thing is that we still travel quite a bit.”

Owens, who is starting his second year as MUHS athletic director, explained that as a rural school, traveling will always be part of athletics at MUHS.

“We didn’t benefit from the changes like Tucson or Phoenix did.”

Even with the new system in place, MUHS still had a great year in sports. The girls track and field team won the state championship, the softball team made it the state playoffs, baseball went to the elite eight, tennis made an appearance in the final four, wrestling won second place at state, and boys and girls soccer were both state qualifiers.

For the full story, please see the Wednesday, Aug. 8, issue of the Cottonwood Journal Extra.