By Greg Perkins
Generally by the fifth week of the season, which is the midpoint of the regular campaign for many local teams, coaches, fans and parents begin to get an idea of where they lie in the hierarchy of power as compared to their divisional and sectional foes. Within our area some things haven’t changed much in recent years. The White Mountain teams of Blue Ridge, Snowflake and Show Low still dominate the local landscape. Winslow once again has proven to be the best on the next level below those three, at least locally. Holbrook comes in well below Winslow, but well ahead of regional teams from the reservation.
What this usually equates to is what we have seen once again this year, not a lot of close competitive games being played out on Friday nights. This week will most likely be a continuance of that scenario at least on two fields. Snowflake plays at Monument Valley, and Holbrook is at Ganado. Neither of those games is expected to be close.
On the flip side of that, Winslow could find itself in a battle tonight (Sept. 27). The Bulldogs are making a long trip south to face Estrella Foothills. Like Winslow, the Wolves are 2-2 on the season, with the losses coming against Snowflake and Seton Catholic, two very good teams. The Bulldogs’ losses were to Blue Ridge and Snowflake, two of the top teams in Division IV. Snowflake is the common opponent for both teams, and beat both by similar margins. Winslow has remained relatively healthy and will bring a balanced offensive attack to Goodyear. The question is, will it be enough to come home with a road win? This should be the best game of the night.
Snowflake will make the long trip to Kayenta to face a Mustang team with a 3-1 record. Their three wins were over lesser teams, while their only loss came last week to Show Low, 69-6. Snowflake will not run the score up like Show Low is prone to do, but the Lobos will have little problem moving to 5-0, setting up a huge game with Blue Ridge next week. Monument Valley does have a good quarterback in Redmond Delmar, who has already set several school records. He passed for 256 yards vs. Show Low, but threw three interceptions in the process. The Lobos will roll in this one.
Joseph City fell to 1-3 with last week’s loss to Mogollon. The Wildcats are on the road again for the fourth time in five weeks to meet up with the Mayer Wildcats. Mayer is 3-2 on the season with one loss coming to St. David in a two score game. St. David also beat Joseph City in a shoot out in week two of the season. Like the Winslow game this could be another close contest. Joseph City needs to bounce back from last week’s loss to keep from dropping two in a row.
Holbrook travels to Ganado tonight, where the Roadrunners find themselves in a situation similar to last week’s. Once again the Birds, despite being just 2-2 on the season, will be heavily favored to win against an undefeated team. The Hornets are 4-0, but like Window Rock last week, those four wins don’t command much respect. The Scouts have beaten Many Farms, Hopi, Red Mesa and Chinle, not exactly a list of powerhouse programs. The Roadrunners were easily the better team last week and will once again be the better team on the field tonight.
The Birds are currently in a nice stretch of games in their schedule taking full advantage of their move to a lower division. With Valley Sanders and Alchesay on the docket the next couple of weeks, Holbrook should be looking at a four-game winning streak. Two streaks will come to an end tonight. Holbrook will break its road losing streak and the Hornets will lose their unbeaten streak.
By Greg Perkins