There’s a new, unexpected opening in the Chandler Basha football schedule. San Luis will forfeit its season-opening game against Basha due to lack of players in the program.
The game was originally slated for Aug. 24. Instead, the Bears will be officially credited with a victory and receive the full 50 power points.
“I’ve never dealt with this before,” Basha coach Tim McBurney said.
Messages left for San Luis athletic director Jamie Behr and football coach Jay Denton weren’t returned.
With slightly more than 2,000 students, San Luis moved up to 5A Division II this year.
The Bears have their open date on Sept. 14, and McBurney floated the idea of playing Kingman, since Kingman was scheduled to play San Luis the same date.
But later Thursday, Basha athletic director Saunders Montague said San Luis only canceled the game, not the Sidewinders’ season, and added that Basha is having preliminary talks about finding an opponent to fill the Sept. 14 slot and give the Bears a fifth home game.
If the Bears find a Sept. 14 opponent, Saunders said he must submit a proposal and appropriate paperwork to the Arizona Interscholastic Association by early September.
“We’d love to have a game if possible, but I don’t know if it’s possible,” he said.
The forfeit means Basha will have an extra week of practice before traveling to Tucson Salpointe for its first live game on Aug. 31.
In a move first conceived last spring, Phoenix Mountain Pointe will officially name its field Karl Kiefer Stadium on Aug. 31.
The ceremony will take place before the Pride’s season opener against Laveen Cesar Chavez, and a number of former players and coaches under Kiefer are expected to attend, as will AIA executive director Harold Slemmer.
“It’s a very humbling situation for me, I never expected anything when I started coaching,” Kiefer said.
“It’s a neat honor. It’s a neat thing, and I’m thankful I’m still around. Most of the time people are gone.”
Kiefer coached in the East Valley — including Mountain Pointe — for 45 years before retiring in 2005. He’s Arizona’s all-time winningest coach (308-138-3) and is currently a JV assistant at Mountain Pointe.
“It’s a fun deal,” Kiefer said of being an assistant. “Money can’t buy what I’m finding here.”