Nov 282011

By Greg Perkins–

It has been 40 years since Holbrook has entered the basketball season as a defending state champion, but that’s the label they will wear on Monday night with their first game of the season played against Coconino High School in Flagstaff.

Head Coach Raul Mendoza and his staff lead a group of all seniors into their title defense, which begins with a three-team scrimmage at Muñoz Gym on Friday evening. Holbrook will be joined by Monument Valley and Flagstaff with each team playing six quarters throughout the night. The boys’ teams are expected to begin their scrimmage around 7:30 at the conclusion of the girls’ team scrimmages.

All Roadrunner fans remember last year’s title game win over Fountain Hills. Six of those players are still on this year’s team.

“We will have good experience at the guard position that will be helpful in starting the process of putting the team together. We have two starters back from last year’s team and two that played a lot of minutes. We have the rest of the seniors to fill in the gaps that were left by the graduating seniors from last year. Overall we feel that we will be very competitive for this coming season,” said Coach Mendoza.

This year’s varsity roster is made up of all seniors including Decoven Adams, Ryan Baldonado, Rashaun Baldwin, Torrian Epps, Seth Hadley, Jalen Jackson, Bryson Keoni, Dakota Lester, Jimrail Manygoats, Frank Martin and Hector Yazzie.

The junior varsity team, coached by Delmar Johnson, consists of juniors Brandon Bitsui, Sheldon Silversmith, Jesse Spangler, Nathan Turley and Robert Nelson; sophomores Kyle Chee, Andon Hatch, Dontae Hollins, and Tristan Zahne; and freshman Marlin Martin.

Don Tyler is coaching the freshman team this year, which consists of players Marcos Clark, Kelsey Foster, Nathan James, Quinlan Keoni, Marlin Martin, Tristan Notah, Brady Nowell, Jayson Puente, Alec Smith, Jordan Smith and Marcel Young.

After Monday’s game, the Roadrunners will have some practice time to prepare for their next game, which is Dec. 2 at St. Johns. Holbrook has just two home games prior to the Christmas break, but will play at home for seven of January’s eleven games.