There will be a 2020 season for the Parker Broncs volleyball team. It’s starting a later than usual with fewer games being played, but it looks like it will be played. The first match is set for 6 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 24, when the Broncs will face a non-region opponent, the River Valley Dust Devils.
A long-time rival, the Wickenburg Wranglers, has been added to Parker’s region. A non-region match against a nearby rival, the Lake Havasu Knights, is also planned.
The coronavirus pandemic put Arizona’s fall high school sports season in jeopardy. Several school districts around the state have cancelled fall sports. Many districts have found themselves unable to meet the benchmarks for returning to in-person classes set by the Arizona Department of Health Services. Many of the schools that have cancelled sports were on or close to Native American reservations, particularly in the northern part of the state. Tribal communities, and particularly the Navajo Nation, were hit hard by the pandemic.
On Aug. 14, the Phoenix Union High School District became the largest district in the state to cancel fall sports. One high school, Tohono O’odham, cancelled sports for the entire 2020-21 school year, not just the fall.
The Parker Unified School District has met all the ADHS benchmarks for reopening, and they began part-time in-person classes Tuesday, Sept. 8.
On Sept. 2, the Executive Board of the Arizona Interscholastic Association, the governing body for high school sports, voted to allow the fall sports season to proceed as scheduled. This came following a meeting with their Sports Medicine Advisory Committee. The season will continue with “modifications” to ensure the health and safety of everyone involved.
A link to those recommended modifications can be found on the website, azpreps365.com.
The Parker Broncs will be playing in the 3A West this year. The region has been modified from what was originally planned. One of the Broncs’ planned rivals, the Odyssey Institute Minotaurs of Buckeye, pulled out as the school became the first in metro Phoenix to cancel fall sports.
In order to compensate for other schools that have cancelled fall sports, two new teams were added to the 3A West: the Bourgade Catholic Golden Eagles and a familiar opponent for Parker, the Wickenburg Wranglers. Other teams in the region include the Kingman Bulldogs, the Tonopah Valley Phoenix, and the Yuma Catholic Shamrocks.
The Broncs will not be participating in any in-season tournaments this year due to travel restrictions. Coach Marie Maya said she liked to have the team play against teams from around the state in these tournaments. The Broncs do have several games scheduled against non-region rivals this season.
The following schedule is complete as of Sept. 15. As with everything else this season, changes could be made. Home dates are noted in bold, while region games are noted with “-R.”
Thu., Sept. 24 v. River Valley, 6 p.m.
Sat., Sept. 26 at Veritas Prep, 3 p.m.
Tue., Sept. 29 v Kingman, 6 p.m. –R
Thu., Oct. 1 at Yuma Catholic, 6 p.m. –R
Tue., Oct. 6 v. Bourgade Catholic, 6 p.m. –R
Thu., Oct. 8 at Tonopah Valley, 6 p.m. –R
Tue., Oct. 13 v. Wickenburg, 6 p.m. –R
Thu., Oct. 15 at Kingman, 6 p.m. –R
Sat., Oct. 17 v. Kingman Academy, 1 p.m.
Tue., Oct. 20 v. Yuma Catholic, 6 p.m. –R
Thu., Oct. 22 at Bourgade Catholic, 6 p.m. –R
Sat., Oct. 24 at Kingman Academy, 1 p.m.
Tue., Oct. 27 v. Tonopah Valley, 6 p.m. -R
Thu., Oct. 29 at Wickenburg, 6 p.m. –R
Tues., Nov. 3 at Arizona College Prep, 6 p.m.
Thu., Nov. 5 at Lake Havasu, 6 p.m.