In the age-old tradition of meaningless offseason banter, I thought to myself-what was the best year for football in the Peoria School District. To determine this I wanted to be sure that I looked at the performance of all schools that belong to each district, rather than simply the efforts of one overwhelmingly dominant team that rolled while the rest of the district brethren stumbled. I'm also giving priority over district accomplishments since 1990, as it 's a bigger deal to me if you have three or more top-notch programs versus being a two-team school district where both teams are killers. My top five:
1) 2005-Only year since the opening of Sunrise Mountain that every school's varsity squad made the playoffs; Cactus won their first state title in 4A-1, Centennial was a state runner-up in 5A-2, Ironwood was a missed PAT away from playing Centennial for the 5A-2 title, Sunrise Mountain advanced to the second round of the playoffs for just the second time ever, and Peoria made the 5A-2 playoffs in a rebuilding year (five of their losses would come versus three 5A-2 semifinalists and two 5A-1 playoff teams).
2) 2010-Closest time(s) with the current lineup that every school in the district has made the playoffs. Centennial finishes as 5A-2 runner-up, Cactus wins 10-games, Liberty and Peoria win nine, Kellis notches seven, and Sunrise Mountain makes their first postseason appearance since 2006.
2011-Like the year before six of the district's seven teams made the playoffs, with Cactus finishing second in D-3 to the DJ Foster juggernaut at Saguaro while Centennial makes their eighth consecutive semifinal appearance in a one-point loss to eventual D-2 champ Chaparral. Liberty wins ten games, and Ironwood, Peoria, and Sunrise Mountain all hit seven wins.
2009-Cactus wins the 4A-2 crown over Santa Rita, Centennial spends much of the year in the national top ten before being upset by Marcos in the semifinals, Liberty wins 11 games with their first-ever senior class, Peoria wins eight games, Kellis seven, and Ironwood six.
5) 2014-Highlighted by Centennial and Liberty finishing 1-2 in Division 2, with Cactus, Peoria, and Sunrise Mountain winning nine games. Best I can tell the five squads with 9+ wins is a district record.
Honorable mention(s): 1987 (the zenith of the Cactus-Peoria rivalry, with the two squads squaring off for the 4A title), 1995 (first time since Centennial opened that all district schools were playoff qualifiers).
Curious what other people think and what this conversation looks like for other districts. The subject as it pertains to the Mesa District looks particularly daunting since there were numerous years where the state title game doubled as a city title game.