Both the Coconino Panthers and Flagstaff Eagles football teams landed in the top 16 of the AIA’s first set of 4A Conference power rankings released Tuesday.
Coconino (3-0, 1-0 Grand Canyon Region) was ranked No. 3, behind Cactus and ALA-Queen Creek, who were both slated for the eight-team Open Division. Coconino defeated Lee Williams (3-3, 0-2 Grand Canyon) at home on Saturday.
The Panthers will host the sixth-ranked Prescott Badgers (4-1, 1-0 Grand Canyon) on Friday.
Flagstaff (4-2, 1-0 Grand Canyon) was ranked No. 13 following back-to-back one-score home losses to Winslow and Marcos de Niza in the past two games. Flagstaff has a bye week before hosting No. 22 Bradshaw Mountain (3-2, 1-0 Grand Canyon) on Oct. 22.
Grand Canyon Region rankings
19. Lee Williams
22. Bradshaw Mountain
34. Mingus Union
Track and field
The Eagles boys finished third overall in Saturday's O'Connor Invitational open division in Phoenix out of 10 teams. The girls finished in second place out of three teams in the freshman division.
Flagstaff senior Kevin Pawesiema Jr (17:59) took third in the boys open race. Junior Sami Fournier (19:20) was Flagstaff's next finisher, crossing the finish line 13th overall.
Soonwy Mana Lomayestewa (23:33) was Flagstaff's top finisher in the freshman girls race, placing fifth overall.
Flagstaff, Coconino, Northland Prep and Basis Flagstaff will participate in the Flagstaff City Meet on Wednesday at Buffalo Park.
The initial AIA conference alignment for the 2022-24 school years (used for all sports excluding football) were announced by the AIA on Tuesday.
Flagstaff is set to move to 5A, while Coconino will remain in 4A. If these are final, the Panthers and Eagles will no longer be region foes and will play as nonconference opponents.
These classifications are based on AIA's enrollment numbers. Flagstaff (1,730) is 20 more than Flowing Wells (1,710), which is the highest enrollment for 4A. Coconino (1,610) has 11th most of 4A schools.
Appeals to change conference or region can be submitted by Oct. 19.