By Kevin Cloe
Two teams will be gone and one new team has been added to the 3A West Region for the next two seasons in football, with Wickenburg High School being among five teams placed in that region by the Interscholastic Association (AIA) last week.
The Wranglers are scheduled to battle familiar rivals Chino Valley, River Valley and Kingman in the West for the next two seasons, with Dysart being added after dropping down from the 4A Conference.
Region champion Northwest Christian was denied its appeal to stay in the 3A Conference by the AIA and will move up to the 4A Conference for the next two years. Kingman Academy, which struggled last year and had to cancel half of its season (including its scheduled game against the Wranglers) due to lack of enough players to field a team, will compete in the smaller 2A Conference for the next two years.
Dysart finished the last three years with losing records of 5-6, 2-8 and 1-9.
Since there are only five teams now in the 3A West, the Wranglers will schedule six “freedom” (non-region) games to complete their 10-game schedule for the next two seasons. Those opponents have yet to be determined.
Wickenburg High officials had originally requested to drop down to the 2A Conference in the 2020-21 realignment plan but were denied by the AIA, which placed the Wranglers in the six-team 3A North Central Region for other sports. That region includes Bourgade Catholic, Camp Verde, Chino Valley, Fountain Hills and Northwest Christian.