Pima football: 2013 may hold more traveling for Aztecs

2013-07-09T00:00:00Z Pima football: 2013 may hold more traveling for AztecsZack Rosenblatt Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
July 09, 2013 12:00 am  • 

You can call it whatever you want - homesickness, maybe? - but Pima football's 0-5 record away from home in 2012 was not good. Its 1-5 record at home isn't anything to, well, write home about, either. But, the Aztecs might have even fewer chances to win at home in 2013.

Due to a scheduling change in the Western States Football League, the Aztecs will be guaranteed only four home games in the upcoming season.

In the last few years, each school would play two of the nine teams twice, and the rest once. Now, there will be a playoff at the end of the season. Depending on where a team is seeded in the playoffs, it might actually have 5 or 6 home games.

Pima head coach Pat Nugent didn't exactly sound ecstatic about the change.

"I like the fact that you can have a true champion in the playoffs," Nugent said. "But, in reality, it didn't work out the way we all wanted it to."

Added Pima athletic director Edgar Soto: "So it's pretty much the dorm schools are going to play each other, and the non-dorm schools will play each other."

The schools with dormitories include New Mexico Military, Arizona Western, Snow and Eastern Arizona.

The Aztecs went 1-10 last year, and if they continue to struggle on the road there's a good chance they'd end up on the short end of the stick in terms of seeding, and in turn, number of home games.

In the new system, the top four teams will play for the league title while the bottom five will "just kind of play it out," Nugent said.

"The purpose of the playoff is to play meaningful games," he added. "But, in reality, if you're in the bottom five you're not playing anything meaningful because you're just playing games just to play them, which is what we did last year anyway."

Nugent's biggest concerns with having more road games than home are budgetary.

"If you're on the road for six different games," Nugent said, "you're obviously paying more money than we used to. Hopefully we have a high enough seed where we may end up with 5 or 6 games, but it's wait-and-see right now."

The playoffs are scheduled Oct. 26, Nov. 2 and Nov. 9.

The Aztecs will open their season at 7 p.m. on Aug. 24 at Arizona Western.

Wanted: home field

Of those four scheduled home games, three will be played at Kino Stadium - Pima's home field. The fourth one - with Glendale Community College Sept. 28 - is TBA, as Kino has another event scheduled.

Nugent said that Pima is in negotiation with a few schools as possible spots for the game - he listed Marana, Amphitheater and Sahuarita as candidates.

The Aztecs played one home game at Sahuarita last year, losing 44-21 to Scottsdale Community College.

2013 schedule

Aug. 24 at AZ Western 7 p.m.

Aug. 31 at Phoenix College 7 p.m.

Sept. 7 Mesa CC 7 p.m.

Sept. 14 Snow College 7 p.m.

Sept. 21 at Scottsdale CC 7 p.m.

Sept. 28 Glendale CC* 7 p.m.

Oct. 12 Eastern Arizona 1:30 p.m.

Oct. 19 at NM Military Inst. 2 p.m.

Home games in bold.

* Location to be announced. Other home games at Kino Stadium

Contact reporter Zack Rosenblatt at zrosenblatt@azstarnet.com or 573-4145. On Twitter @zackblatt

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