Sollenberger Classic to be played at Bishop Gorman


For the second time in the eight-year history of the Sollenberger Classic — two football games featuring the top teams from Arizona and Nevada — the games are heading to Nevada.

The 2013 games, in fact, will be played at one of the nation's most beautiful high school facilities, Bishop Gorman High School's Summerlin campus in Las Vegas.

On Friday, Aug. 23, the Arizona Interscholastic Association's (AIA) 2012 Division I runner-up,Mountain Pointe (Phoenix), will compete against the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association's (NIAA) 2012 Division I champion and perennial national power Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) at 7 p.m.

The following night, an AIA Division II semifinal team, Salpointe Catholic (Tucson), will compete against the NIAA's Division I runner-up, Liberty (Henderson), at 7 pm.

Mountain Pointe, coached by Norris Vaughan, defeated Hamilton in the opening game of the 2012 season, 17-14, and went on to become the No. 1 seed in the Division I state playoffs. Mountain Pointe reached the championship game, again playing Hamilton, but were defeated 31-16. The Pride finished the year with 12 wins and two losses.

Salpointe is coached by Dennis Bene, and entered the 2012 Division II state playoffs as the No. 1 seed with no losses to Arizona schools. In their semifinal game, Salpointe lost to No. 4 Centennial 28-14, and finished the year with a record of 12 wins and two losses.

Bishop Gorman won its fourth-straight Division I championship in Nevada by defeating the Patriots 63-10. The Gaels, coached by Tony Sanchez, finished the year 13-1. Liberty coach Rich Muraco leads the Patriots to their first Sollenberger Classic after an 11-2 season.

Tickets for the Sollenberger Classic are $10 for adults, $5 for students (ages 6-18) and children 5 and younger admitted free. Information will follow regarding broadcast arrangements and, at a minimum, the games will be available online at www.aia365.com.

The Sollenberger Classic honors the late Barry Sollenberger, a former AIA employee. As a sports historian, Sollenberger was devoted to the task of documenting the achievements of high school athletes in the state of Arizona.