Ahwatukee schools among 15 largest in state - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Sports

Ahwatukee schools among 15 largest in state

Open enrollment counted as one reason for growth

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Posted: Wednesday, October 27, 2010 11:00 am | Updated: 10:57 am, Tue Feb 8, 2011.

Ahwatukee Foothills is often seen as this small little community tucked behind South Mountain with a funky name.

Yet, when the Arizona Interscholastic Association released its enrollment figures for 2010 that determine conference placement for 2011-12 and 2012-12 athletic seasons, both of the Ahwatukee-based public high schools ranked in the top 15 in the state.

The funky name might still be accurate, but when it comes to enrollment figures Ahwatukee is hardly a little suburb anymore.

Desert Vista is the ninth largest high school in Arizona with an enrollment figure of 2,929 and Mountain Pointe comes in at 15th biggest in the state at 2,648 students.

"The impressive fact is the numbers we have turned in over the last six years," Mountain Pointe athletic director Ian Moses said. "We have grown in a non-growth area. It's a reflection of what we offer overall as a school and not just athletics."

Moses estimated that an astounding 43 percent of the Mountain Pointe's student population comes from open enrollment. That means students and their families are choosing to attend Mountain Pointe as freshmen instead of the school boundaries they actually belong to.

That explains why there are about four bus loads of children coming and going to Maricopa every day.

Moses also pointed out that the other schools (Corona del Sol, Marcos de Niza and McClintock) in the Tempe Union High School District have also seen levels of growth in the latest two-year block.

"Again, this is a non-growth district and we are growing almost across the board," he said. "The leadership we have at 500 W. Guadalupe is very teacher and kid friendly. It shines through and it is one of the reasons we have been able to grow in a favorable atmosphere."

The AIA also released the placement of school by sport for the next two-year block. For the first time, schools can appeal the decision by sport instead of a school as a whole.

In other words, if a team is extremely strong in one sport but weak in another, the school can petition to have the lesser program to play at a lower division, or vice versa, by petitioning up a level.

Desert Vista and Mountain Pointe, which had to petition up to the biggest division in 2004, are in the Division I across the board.

Horizon Honors' placement differs by sport.

The school, which has an enrollment of 412, is in Division IV in cross country, girls volleyball and track and field. But in basketball, soccer, baseball and golf Horizon Honors is slated to be in Division III, which has schools with enrollment figures above 1,200.

Schools had to appeal their placement by Monday.

The AIA also announced the wrestling sectionals.

Mountain Pointe and Desert Vista are in Section I.

The other 14 teams are Cesar Chavez, Cibola, Kofa, La Joya, Maryvale, Mountain Ridge, San Luis, Sandra Day O'Connor, Tolleson, Trevor Browne, Valley Vista, Westview, Willow Canyon and Yuma.

The five individuals in each weight class from each of the three sectionals advance to state. The best sixth place, based on record, finisher from three sections makes up the final at-large bid in the 16-man bracket.

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