Administrators at Mohave High School are hoping to convince the Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA) to reverse a decision to place the school’s boys varsity soccer team on probation for the next year. Last week’s decision, if allowed to stand, would nullify the team’s chances of participating in post-season play this year.
Mohave was ranked No. 3 in Div. III with only one loss on the year when the decision was handed down last week by the AIA Executive Board.
“We are aggressively pursuing an appeal,” said principal Steve Lawrence. “We are hoping to get this resolved quickly because the playoff start next week.”
The AIA is scheduled to release its brackets for the post-season on Friday (Jan. 29).
The disciplinary action against Mohave stems from an incident on Dec. 14 when the T-Birds traveled to Avondale for a match against Estrella Foothills. During the game a Mohave player allegedly pushed an official.
The official reported the incident to the AIA. Lawrence said, a team meeting with players and coaches to discuss the situation was held, but that additional action was taken against the player, although he did not disclose what action was taken. AIA executives didn’t feel the school went far enough.
“We took our own disciplinary action against the player like we always do,” Lawrence said.
It’s unknown how quickly the AIA executive board will hear Mohave’s appeal. Lawrence notified the AIA on Monday that Mohave was appealing the decision. The formal appeal was faxed that afternoon and a copy was sent overnight to Phoenix.
“We just hope this can be handled and addressed in a timely manner,” Lawrence said. “We know how serious this is and hope the boys will be allowed to participate in the playoffs.”