Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

Maricopa High School sports could play teams closer to home next year if granted approval in a different 5A region next month.

Current conference standings for future 5A San Tan region football teams
Casteel (3A): 7-0
Higley (4A): 7-1
Williams Field (5A): 6-2
Campo Verde (5A): 5-2
Maricopa (5A): 5-3
Gilbert (6A): 3-3
Tempe (4A): 1-8

The Arizona Interscholastic Association set new placements for schools on Oct. 17 based on enrollment. MHS will maintain their 5A status, but would move into the San Tan region with Campo Verde, Casteel, Gilbert, Higley, Tempe and Williams Field.

Already in 5A San Tan is Williams Field and Campo Verde. Maricopa is currently in 5A Metro. Schools moving up conferences would be Tempe (4A), Higley (4A) and Casteel (3A). Gilbert would move down from 6A.

MHS Athletic Director Brian Winter said although student-athletes would be able to stay in class longer as away-game travel times would shorten, they would also be facing off against tough competition.

“Most of the teams proposed for the San Tan Conference/Region have extremely strong athletic programs, and so in certain sports we will be very challenged,” Winter said.

Predicted by Winter to be one of the most tested MHS programs would be Rams Football.

“Many of the teams in the proposed region have very strong, established football programs,” Winter said.

Schools have until Oct. 25 to appeal division placements. Winter did not indicate whether MHS desires to pursue an appeal.

MHS Football Coach Chris McDonald could not be immediately reached for comment.

The AIA will publish final division placements Nov. 15.

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