It was a different sort of year for high school sports in Arizona, all thanks to the coronavirus pandemic. In fall, many schools cancelled their sports schedules all together. They were mostly in northern areas of the state or tribal areas that were severely affected by the pandemic.

There almost wasn’t a winter sports season at all. With record numbers of new coronavirus cases in the state at the time, the Arizona Interscholastic Association cancelled the entire season. They later reversed themselves, but not without a lot of spirited debate among the AIA board members. The winter sports season went on, but with face mask mandates and restrictions on attendance.

Sports seasons started later than usual and were shorter than normal. Nowhere was this more obvious than in wrestling. All meets were duals, with none of the big multi-school meets that could last an entire afternoon. Some of the meets were over with so quickly, one had to wonder if making the trip was worth the effort.

With the number of new cases in the state plummeting by March, the spring sports season went off almost as it normally would have. That’s an improvement over 2020, when the spring sports season was cancelled after Gov. Doug Ducey ordered schools closed to in-person classes.

One thing that didn’t change was the sports season saw some outstanding performances, and some outstanding athletes. The Parker Pioneer, in cooperation with the coaches at Parker High, now presents our selections for “Broncs of the Year, 2020-21.”

To see the athletes, click on the photo at the top of the page.


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