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YUHSD athletic programs begin championship pursuits Wednesday night

CHS vs SLHS boys soccerDespite competing in a second-consecutive winter athletic season with the ever-changing backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, Yuma Union High School District athletes and coaches found a way to advance multiple programs beyond the regular season.  

San Luis High School’s boys soccer team (11-0) finished the regular season undefeated for the second year in a row and were an automatic qualifier for the playoffs by finishing in the top 8 of the Arizona Interscholastic Association’s (AIA) 6A Conference. They have qualified for the playoffs in every season since the school began varsity sports nearly two decades ago. Their quest to avenge a 2021 loss in the state finals begins on Saturday, Feb. 12 as they host an opening round playoff game at 3 p.m. at the Snake Pit. 

Cibola High School, who also finished in the top 8 of the 6A Conference, will host a boys soccer first-round game on Saturday at 3 p.m. as well. It is the third-consecutive year the Raiders (11-2) have qualified for the playoffs. They were eliminated in the play-in round in 2019 as well. 

The boys soccer team at Cibola was not the only automatic qualifier for the state playoffs. The girls basketball team, which finished the regular season ranked sixth in the 6A Conference with a 16-1 record, will host a first-round playoff game on Wednesday, Feb. 16 at 7 p.m. The Raiders lost in the opening round of the 2021 playoffs, and qualified for the play-in tournament in 2020.

Five more YUHSD programs will head out on the road for play-in games this week. Here is the full YUHSD play-in schedule:

CHS girls hoops No. 5Wednesday, Feb. 9
6A Boys Soccer
No. 19 Kofa at No. 14 Chandler

6A Girls Soccer
No. 20 Kofa at No. 13 Desert Ridge

5A Boys Soccer
No. 24 Gila Ridge at No. 9 Desert View

5A Girls Soccer
No. 22 Gila Ridge at No. 11 Gilbert

Friday, Feb. 11
6A Boys Basketball
No. 24 Cibola at No. 9 Hamilton

While eight YUHSD team sports will continue beyond the regular season, nine girls wrestlers from four schools qualified for the state championship tournament. Boys wrestling at all five campuses will compete in the sectional tournament this weekend to determine who will advance to state. 

Here are the YUHSD state qualifiers for girls wrestling: 
Marianna Reyes (235 lbs)

Gila Ridge
Kennedy Farrar (100 lbs)
Clarice Pavon (132 lbs)
Jaymi Baker (138 lbs)
Payton Kessler (165 lbs)
Yohena Silva (185 lbs)

Issis Stevens (145 lbs)
Ravine Nerva (152 lbs)

Divina Diaz (100 lbs)

The girls state tournament begins Friday, Feb. 18 at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix. Division I-III for boys wrestling begins Thursday, Feb. 17 with Division IV starting the following day. For daily updates on all state playoffs and play-in results, please visit the AIA’s official media site:

Eric Patten