Fountain Hills Wants No Part Of 3a East

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Fountain Hills High School officials apparently don’t want to be a member of the 3A East Region.

Following the Arizona Interscholastic Association realignment, which occurs every two years, Fountain Hills was assigned to the East.

But school officials immediately appealed that decision and asked to be moved to the South.

Early this week, the AIA granted the appeal and moved Fountain Hills out of the East and into the South.

Which means, the East is once again the smallest region in the state with only six teams.

The South now has eight teams, as does the North.

The West has seven teams.

Also, the East contains the same schools it has for the past two seasons — Alchesay, Blue Ridge, Payson, Round Valley, Show Low and Snowflake.

Payson, which was once the largest school in the East, has been surpassed by Blue Ridge, which has 914 students. PHS has 848 pupils and is the second largest school in the region. With only 514 students, Round Valley is the smallest high school in the East.

Also in the AIA realignment, Maricopa — formerly a 3A South team — has been sent to the 4A II East Sky Region.

Replacing Maricopa in the South is San Tan Foothills.

Hopi, a school with only 468 students that should actually be in the 2A conference, won its appeal to be a member of the 3A North.

There are three schools whose student bodies actually surpass the 3A maximum number but were allowed to remain in the smaller conference.

They are Chinle (1,058), Florence (1,046) and Estrella Foothills (1,097).

Also, three schools aligned in the big school conferences actually have 3A student body numbers.

They include Phoenix St. Mary’s, (778), Chandler Seton Catholic (547) and Notre Dame Prep (945).

St. Mary’s competes in the 5A Desert Valley Region and Seton and Notre Dame are in the 4A Division II East Sky Region.

The 3A conference now houses 29 schools and 22,407 students.

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