By Greg Perkins–
With the completion of the spring sports seasons, Roadrunner fans can now look ahead to what will be a new frontier for all team sports at Holbrook High School beginning in the fall with football, volleyball and soccer. The Arizona Interscholastic Association has restructured the alignments for all team sports and done away with regions.
For at least the next two seasons, Holbrook will no longer belong to the now defunct 3A North Region. Instead, teams now belong to different sections within different layers or divisions around the state. What this has done is essentially widened the overall pool of competition for each of the team sports. Individual sports such as cross country, wrestling, track and golf all went through similar changes last season.
Beginning with football, the Roadrunners now belong to Section One of Division IV. They join Alchesay, Blue Ridge, Chinle, Ganado, Monument Valley, Page, Show Low, Snowflake, Tuba City, Window Rock and Winslow in that section. Of those schools, Chinle has the largest enrollment with 1,099 students based on last year’s student count. Page is next with 1,012. Holbrook is actually the third smallest school with 689 students. Ten teams belong in Section Two and another ten are in Section Three. All three sections will be in competition for a state title. Eight of those 32 teams have an enrollment of at least 1,000 students. Three teams from each section will automatically qualify for the state tournament, leaving seven at large teams to fill in the 16-team state bracket. All teams will be ranked according to power points garnered from regular season play. Across the state there are six separate divisions for football.
Unlike football, in volleyball there are now only four divisions, leaving larger sections and much more competition for just four state titles. Holbrook belongs to Section One of Division IV. There are 15 schools in the Lady Roadrunners section with Holbrook being the largest in terms of student population. Alchesay, Camp Verde, Ganado, Greyhills, Hopi, Many Farms, Northland Prep, Piñon, Red Mesa, Round Valley, Sedona, St. Johns, Valley and Williams are all in Holbrook’s section. Only Holbrook with 689 and Alchesay with 608 have more than 600 students. Williams is the smallest in this section with 237.
Section Two has 17 schools, with Wickenburg being the largest and Tempe Prep the smallest. Section Three has 14 schools, with Globe as the largest and Baboquivari as the smallest. All total, 46 teams will be vying for one state title. Each of the three sections will automatically qualify three teams based on power points. Like football, there will be seven additional at large teams to fill out the 16-team bracket.
In girls’ soccer, Holbrook is in Section Two of Division IV, joined by Round Valley, Snowflake, and St. Johns. Section One and Section Three have five teams each for a total of only 14 teams competing for the state title. Each section qualifies three teams based on power points. The overall top eight teams will reach the state tournament and be seeded according to power points.
Boys’ soccer has a total of 24 teams in Division IV. Holbrook is in Section One of that division, joined by Blue Ridge, Round Valley, Show Low, Snowflake, St. Johns and St. Michael. Like the girls’ teams, three teams from each section automatically reach the state bracket. They will be joined by seven at large qualifiers based on power points and move into a 16-team bracket.
For basketball, Holbrook has been placed in Division III, joining 57 other teams competing for the same state title. Holbrook is in Section One of Division III, joined by 18 other schools, including Alchesay, Blue Ridge, Chinle, Ganado, Greyhills, Hopi, Many Farms, Monument Valley, Page, Piñon, Round Valley, Show Low, Snowflake, St. Johns, Tuba City, Valley, Window Rock and Winslow. Chinle has the highest enrollment and Valley is the smallest of those.
Section Two has 20 teams, with Rio Rico the largest with over 1,200 students and Gilbert Christian the smallest with 155. Section Three has 18 teams, with Cortez and Buckeye both having over 1,200 students, and Valley Christian the smallest with 329.
The top eight teams in each section, based on power points, will reach the sectional tournament. From those the top four at the sectional tournament will automatically qualify for the state tournament. Another 12 teams will gain at large berths into a 24-team state bracket. All sectional tournament games will now count toward power points for state seeding.
For both baseball and softball, Holbrook belongs to Section One of Division III. They are joined by Alchesay, Blue Ridge, Chinle, Ganado, Greyhills, Hopi, Many Farms, Monument Valley, Page, Piñon, Round Valley, Show Low, Snowflake, Tuba City, Window Rock and Winslow. Again Chinle is the largest and Greyhills the smallest in that section. There are 18 teams in Section Two and another 19 in Section Three for a total of 54 teams chasing the same state title. For the state tournament, each of the three sections will qualify four teams based on power points. Those 12 plus the next 12 at large teams will be placed into a 24-team bracket with seeds one through eight getting a first round bye.
As for game schedules, fans will see some familiar faces and some new ones throughout the sports seasons.
In football, Holbrook plays Blue Ridge, Window Rock, Round Valley, Chinle, Alchesay, Show Low, Snowflake, St. Johns and Winslow.
For volleyball, the Lady Roadrunners will face Blue Ridge, Coconino, Window Rock, Ganado, Show Low, Winslow, Joseph City, Snowflake and Mogollon, meeting some of those opponents twice.
The girls’ soccer squad will face Blue Ridge, Northland Prep, Round Valley, Desert Christian, Snowflake, River Valley, St. Johns and Payson.
Boys’ soccer opponents include Grand Canyon, Blue Ridge, Snowflake, St. Johns, Northland Prep, St. Michael and Show Low.
Both basketball teams will face Chinle, Mogollon, Valley, Snowflake, Winslow, Joseph City and St. Johns twice, as well as Blue Ridge, Alchesay, Window Rock and Coconino just once.
Baseball opponents are Flagstaff, Valley, Blue Ridge, Joseph City, St. Johns, Winslow, Mogollon, St. Michael, Snowflake and Round Valley.
The softball squad faces Alchesay, Valley, Blue Ridge, Snowflake, Winslow, Joseph City, St. Johns, Mogollon and Round Valley.
The soccer, volleyball, basketball, baseball and softball teams will also compete in various tournaments during their respective seasons.