Tolleson Union High School District football teams

After making the playoffs last year with an 8-3 season, La Joya Community High School—and other Tolleson Union High School District football teams—will be able to return to action with a limited schedule beginning Oct. 26. But the TUHSD teams will not qualify for the AIA playoffs.

After petitioning the Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA) to play an alternative schedule for the fall, the Phoenix Union High School District and the Tolleson Union High School District agreed to play football and girls volleyball together.

The districts are still in discussion about potential competitions in golf, swim, cross country and badminton.

TUHSD schools in Avondale, Glendale and Tolleson include Copper Canyon, La Joya Community, Sierra Linda, Tolleson Union, University, West Point and Westview high schools.

While other high schools have started football, Tolleson Union and Phoenix Union districts will begin games Oct. 23.

Due to the community spread of COVID-19 and following the AIA’s initial release of Guidelines for Returning to Athletic Activity, the two districts were unable to meet the metrics or guidelines, forcing both to postpone the start of the season.

“We’re just happy to be able to get started with permissive practice and work our way towards safe competition and get games going for our student-athletes,” said Derek Fahleson, director of athletics, safety and security for the Tolleson Union High School District. “We realize it has been tough for our students who love to compete, and we would like to thank our communities for their patience and the AIA for their flexibility in allowing our alternate schedules.”

The two districts are able to schedule competition after better COVID-19 positivity rates over the last few weeks. 

Because of the delays due to COVID-19, both districts required additional time to prepare student-athletes and create an alternative plan to put students, coaches and schools in the best environment for safe competition.

Due to the alternative schedule, neither district will participate in AIA-sanctioned playoffs for the fall season.