By Greg Perkins
The inaugural week of the 2012 football season begins tonight (Aug. 24) for area teams, with Snowflake visiting Holbrook, Winslow traveling to Sedona and Joseph City welcoming Rock Point.
The action at Roadrunner Stadium will feature two teams that played at opposite ends of the competitive spectrum last year.
Holbrook has a new head coach in John Bokker and a young group of players, although several do have varsity experience. “We have a good core group of kids and are looking to make improvements from last year. We are not returning very many starters, but do have players with varsity experience,” said Coach Bokker. “Quite a few guys have worked hard in the off season and you can tell the improvements at practice. Judging from our scrimmage on Friday, we have shown great progress. Our team is looking forward to the upcoming season.”
While Holbrook performed well in its scrimmage at Ganado, the Roadrunners will be facing a much tougher test against the Lobos. Snowflake lost its field general from last season due to a summertime injury, but still has a quality group of veteran players returning. Even though the Lobos will be searching for a new quarterback, they still have too many weapons for the Roadrunners to handle. If the Holbrook squad has indeed shown early season improvements from a year ago, it needs to stay much closer than last year’s 61-0 shutout in Snowflake.
Joseph City will open its defense of another state title when the Rock Point Cougars make a visit. The Wild-cats graduated several marquee players from last year’s title team, including Remington Baldwin and Dallas Elmer, but Coach John Bryant still has a solid group of players with varsity experience, which should help the Wildcats make another deep playoff run in Division IV. This game last year was an 82-12 romp by the Wildcats at Rock Point. Don’t expect Joseph City to score in the 80s, but do expect the Cats to start their season with a dominating win.
Winslow and Sedona battled to a 34-20 Bulldog win in Winslow last season. The Bulldogs were a relatively young team a year ago and return several skill position players. Sedona went just 4-6 last season, with all four wins coming against reservation teams. Don’t look for the Scorpions’ season to get off to a better start this year. Despite playing at home, Sedona fans can look for the visiting Bulldogs to roll to a big win.
All three games kick off at 7 o’clock tonight.
By Greg Perkins