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Cortez loses after Flagstaff's shock in 4A boys soccer event – The Arizona Republic

SHUT DOWN

The day after Phoenix Cortez # 10 upset Flagstaff # 7 2-1 in the first round of the 4A boys' soccer tournament that week, the Colts lost the game.

The Arizona Interscholastic Association was told that Cortez had a player playing in a club game or tournament over the weekend, AIA executive director David Hines said.

An AIA bylaws states that high school athletes cannot participate in club competitions during their high school season.

Cortez head coach Jose Corona argues with the umpire during the 4A boys soccer final against Gila Ridge at Williams Field High School in Gilbert on February 10, 2018. (Photo: Cheryl Evans / The Republic)

HInes said Cortez had investigated the situation and notified the AIA of its findings. The AIA board decided that Flagstaff will advance to Cortez's place for the quarter-finals on Saturday.

Cortez reached the 4A state final in 2018 before losing to Yuma Gila Ridge. Corona led Cortez in 2010, & # 39; 12 and & # 39; 13 to football titles and & # 39; 09 and & # 39; 16 to the final.

Flagstaff, the # 7 seed, will play at 2pm on Saturday at Prescott # 2.

"To be honest, we only have one more chance to play," Flagstaff manager Mike Jenkins said in an email. "Our boys are looking forward to another opportunity, even if it happens that way. We'll see what happens."

Cortez trainer Jose Corona and Athletic Director Brian Galbreath did not respond to emails from the Republic of Arizona.

Glendale Union High School District spokeswoman Kim Mesquita said in an email that Cortez was made aware of a possible violation of the statute in the boys' football program.

"After an investigation, the school found that a Cortez soccer player violated AIA statute 14.4 (non-school participation)," Mesquita said in an email. "Unfortunately the team had to lose their playoff game against Flagstaff on Monday."

Hines praised the district and Galbreath for gathering the information and participating in the investigation beforehand.

The AIA reduced the winter football season to seven weeks due to the pandemic. The season started more than a month later than usual. Club football can be played year round, but high school players should wait until their season is over before joining club teams.

"It's a challenge because our situation has been pushed back a bit," said Hines. "It's all across the board. Everyone feels bad for the kids because they worked hard to get into that position.

"There's a reason there is a rule there."

Contact Obert at richard.obert@arizonarepublic.com or 602-316-8827 for ideas for stories of human interest and other news. Follow him on Twitter @azc_obert.

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