AIA statement on return of Sollenberger Classic

July 19, 2016 by Jose Garcia, AZPreps365

10th annual Sollenberger Classic heading to flagstaff

Coconino High School to host

PHOENIX, AZ (July 19, 2016) – The Sollenberger Classic is back again, and going back to its roots, with two games involving all AIA member school matchups taking place on Saturday, August 20 at Coconino High School in Flagstaff, Ariz.

The TIKATAP Sollenberger Classic presented by the U.S. Army will feature the Brophy Prep Broncos vs. the Pinnacle Pioneers at 1p.m., followed by the Centennial Coyotes vs. the Desert Edge Scorpions at 6 p.m.

Brophy Prep and Pinnacle played twice in the 2015 season, splitting a win a piece, each one-point victories.

Brophy Prep, coached by Scooter Molander, finished the 2015 campaign with seven wins and five losses.  Brophy entered the AIA Division I playoffs as a No. 7 seed defeating No. 10 Pinnacle 38 to 37 in double overtime, before losing to Mountain Pointe 35-31 in the quarterfinals.

Pinnacle finished 2015 with an opening round loss in the Division I football playoffs to Brophy Prep. Pinnacle defeated Brophy Prep in the regular season 32-31.  Coached by Dana Zupke, Pinnacle finished the season with a record of five wins and six losses. 

Centennial, coached by Richard Taylor, started the 2015 season with a one-point loss to Long Beach Poly (CA). That didn’t hamper their efforts as Centennial went on to record 11 wins with just three loses en route to capturing the Division I State Football Championship. This will be the second time Centennial has played in the Sollenberger Classic.  The first time was in 2009 when Centennial defeated McQueen (NV) 51-20.

Desert Edge is coached by Rich Wellbrock, and entered the 2015 AIA Division III State Football Tournament as the No. 3 seed.  Desert Ridge won the Division III state football championship by defeating No. 1 Paradise Valley 29-27, finishing the year with 12 wins and two losses.

Tickets for the Sollenberger Classic are $10.00 for adults, $5.00 for seniors/military and students (ages 6-18. Children 5 and younger admitted free. Both games can also be watched live on

Sollenberger Classic History

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.

The first game honoring Barry was held at Sun Devil Stadium on the campus of Arizona State University.  Chandler Hamilton, the 2005 AIA 5A Division I state runner-ups, defeated Mesa Red Mountain 21-7 on Friday, August 25, 2006.

The Phoenix Brophy Prep Broncos hosted Tucson Salpointe Catholic at Phoenix College on Thursday, August 23, 2007.  The Broncos defeated Salpointe Catholic 33-17 to take hold of the Sollenberger Classic Trophy.

In 2008, Phoenix Brophy Prep, the 2007 AIA 5A D-I state champions, defeated Las Vegas Bishop Gorman, the 2007 NIAA 4A state champions, 16-6.  The game was played on August 23, 2008 at University of Phoenix Stadium, home to the Arizona Cardinals.

In 2009, the Sollenberger Classic was played in Reno, Nevada at MacKay Stadium on the campus of the University of Nevada, Reno.  AIA 5A D-II defending state champion Peoria Centennial defeated NIAA 4A defending state champion Reno McQueen 51-20 on August 22, 2009.

The Hamilton Huskies and Bishop Gorman Gaels made their second Sollenberger Classic appearance in 2010 at NAU’s J. Lawrence Walkup Skydome.  The Huskies, the AIA defending 5A-I state champion, defeated the Gaels, the NIAA defending 4A state champion, 24 to 17, in a tightly contested game.

In 2011, the Sollenberger Classic was hosted at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz.  This marked the first year the Classic would feature two games.  In the first game, the NIAA Class 3A runner-up Moapa Valley defeated the AIA Class 3A defending state champion Show Low, 28 to 26.  In the second game, the NIAA Class 4A defending state champion Bishop Gorman defeated the AIA Class 5A-II defending state champion Chaparral, 42-22.

In 2012, University of Phoenix Stadium was host for the second straight year, and third time in the history of the Sollenberger Classic.  In the first game, the AIA Division IV defending state champions, Blue Ridge High School, defeated the NIAA Class 3A runner-up, Moapa Valley, 23-14.  In the second game, the AIA Division I state champion Desert Vista defeated the NIAA 4A Sunset Region runner-up, Palo Verde, 20-10.

In 2013, Fertitta Field on the campus of Bishop Gorman High School played host to the 2013 Sollenberger Classic, presented by Station Casinos.  In the first game 2012 AIA Division I State Runner-up Mountain Pointe defeated 2012 NIAA Division I Champion Bishop Gorman 28 to 21.  In the second game AIA Division II State Semi-finalist Salpointe Catholic defeated 2012 NIAA Division I State Runner-up Liberty 48 to 7.

In 2014, the Sollenberger Classic, presented by Station Casinos, was again held at Fertitta Field on the campus of Bishop Gorman High School.  In the first game, 2013 NIAA Division I Champion Bishop Gorman defeated 2013 AIA Division I quarterfinalist Brophy Prep 44-0.  In the second game, 2013 AIA Division I Champion Mountain Pointe defeated 2013 NIAA Division I runner-up Reed 66-13.

In 2015, the Sollenberger Classic did not take place.

AIA Media Contact: Brian Bolitho; Director of Business Media;; 602-385-3822