One of the perils of being a small school is that sports requires a lot of travel. In Arizona (unlike Texas where I grew up) the private schools do not have their own prep league for athletics, but play with the public schools based on their size (e.g. 1A to 5A). Ours is a 1A school that generally plays 2A because we get more teams to play that way. In soccer we play 3A, which can be a tough road when a school that has barely 120 boys in the high school play schools with 900+ kids. But we made it to the state finals last year, so we hold our own.
Anyway, last week we actually played a school within the boundaries of Grand Canyon National Park, just a stones throw from the south rim visitors center and the El Tovar lodge. That was awesome - nothing like post-game parent cocktails on a deck looking at the sunset over the rim of the canyon. (I am on the road but will post a few photos next week).
The Grand Canyon is spectacular, but there is something about looking down into it that reduces its beauty. You only really see its real drama hiking down into it (e.g. the Bright Angel or the harder but more beautiful Kaibab trail from the South Rim). If you want to talk about really spectacular scenery, I think Sedona beats the Grand Canyon, at least from the rim.
This week my son's team played a small school in Sedona, a pretty old boarding school called Verde Valley HS. Its got an IB program and a lot of horses and a drop-dead location, and has been getting some popularity in this area and in SoCal. Anyway, I have seen some nice kids fields, but this one was pretty spectacular. Unfortunately I only had my crappy cell phone camera but here is a sample: