Arizona Football Coaches Association (AzFBCA) members had the opportunity to vent their frustrations with the Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA) at the organization’s August executive board meeting held in Phoenix.
About a dozen football coaches from around the state attended the meeting where they expressed their displeasure over a number of AIA decisions that directly affect the sport, the coaches and the players.
Lee Brush, executive director of AzFBCA, told board members that coaches no longer trust AIA leaders including associate executive director Chuck Schmidt.
The coaches’ chief concern is that they have little or no say in the decisions that affect football, such as the mandatory computer selection of all-division and all-section players rather than choosing them in head-to-head meetings as coaches had done prior to the mandated reconfiguration of member schools from regions and conferences to sections and divisions.
Last year, some coaches refused to select honorees online, saying they were going to continue with choosing the players in post-season meetings.
Another concern expressed was with the deal the AIA recently made with the online network MaxPreps to collect, compile and store statistics from all games.
Coaches said they wanted to know more about the financial details of the AIA’s agreement with Max Preps.
Some coaches said they will protest the AIA/Max Preps deal by not posting their team rosters on Max Preps.
Although Payson High School’s football roster had not been posted on Max Preps by press time, first-year coach Jake Swartwood said it had nothing to do with protesting the AIA-Max Preps agreement.
Swartwood said he agreed with the AzFBCA’s concerns, but would use Max Preps this season because it is an important recruiting link to college scouts and others.
Also, Swartwood said, the players seem to enjoy tracking their accomplishments on Max Preps.
Probably the most significant demand the coaches expressed in their discussions with the executive board was to have a representative on the executive board who could funnel their concerns to AIA high-ups.
It’s unclear whether AIA by laws would have to be changed to add a football coach as a voting member but, if that scenario should occur, coaches could no longer complain their concerns weren’t being heard.
It seems common sense to add a coach to the executive board, but who knows if it will occur.
Lady Horns scrimmage
The Lady Longhorn soccer team conducted a three-way, season-opening scrimmage Saturday at Rumsey Park against Show Low and Camp Verde.
Head coach Amy Wilcox and JV assistant Randy Wilcox, her father, seemed satisfied with the results of the scrimmage.
While the boys soccer team will not field a junior varsity squad, Randy Wilcox said the Lady Horns will play a JV schedule possibly juggling some players between varsity and jayvee levels.
The girls open their season today, Aug. 28, against Desert Christian High School at Rumsey Park. Game time is 4 p.m.
I’m sure both coaches and the players would sincerely appreciate a strong turnout of fans to support the young athletes as they begin pursuit of both team and individual honors.
The boys do not debut until Sept. 8 vs. Chino Valley at Rumsey.