Navajo Times All-Stars

Roster includes best of the best

By Candace Begody
Navajo Times

WINDOW ROCK, April 28, 2011

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(Special to the Times - Donovan Quintero)

TOP: Winslow's Kraig Shirley
BOTTOM: Window Rock's Ashley Mitchell




Some of the top high school athletes in Arizona, New Mexico and Utah are featured on the Navajo Times 2011 All-Star team for basketball.

The Navajo Times sports department took nominations from coaches to name the cream of the crop of the Navajo Nation and surrounding areas - the athletes of the year for boys' and girls' basketball as well as coaches of the year.

Window Rock's Ashley Mitchell and Gallup's Justina Prairie Chief have been named co-athletes of the year.

Mitchell, a senior, led her team to the Arizona 3A state championship over the Monument Valley Mustangs after three close title runs during her prior years.

Mitchell remained confident throughout the season but led her team humbly on and off the court.

If you watched Prairie Chief, you know she is a "game changer" even in the last seconds of a game. Her attitude and confidence carried the Lady Bengals to the New Mexico Class 4A state championship over Kirtland Central.

Navajo Pine's Aretha Mariano is the Navajo Times coach of the year for girls' basketball.

In her first year, Mariano dealt with many ups and downs. At one point, she benched her top players and also had to deal with poor attitudes. The team turned around for the better in the latter part of the season to go on and win the New Mexico Class 2A state championship, the school's first-ever state title.

Winslow's Kraig Shirley and Whitehorse's Shawn Dickson are the co-athletes of the year for boys' basketball.

Shirley and the Bulldogs did not reach the Arizona 3A state finals, but his game was top-notch. He hustled against any team and player and led his team with a quiet and humbling attitude.

Dickson's stats speak for themselves. As a freshman, Dickson was known for having the hot hands shooting three-pointers anytime during the game from anywhere in Utah's Class 1A.

Though the Raiders are in Class 1A, the team played against quality opponents such as Monument Valley, Bloomfield and Navajo Prep. His stats only improved in his senior year as he averaged 24 points per game. As junior he averaged 22 points per game. He averaged 17 as a sophomore year, and 14 his freshman year.

Holbrook's Raul Mendoza is the Navajo Times boys' coach of the year.

Mendoza led the Roadrunners to a come-from-behind victory over Estrella after trailing by 20 points to win the 3A state championship. He is well respected by fellow coaches and knows his players' strengths and weaknesses.


Although he coached for over 30 years, Mendoza was finally brought home a state title.

The Navajo Times All-Star basketball team includes the following players.

Girls

Ñ Krynisha Betoni, Bloomfield
Cheyanne Corley, Bloomfield
Karla Kee, Chinle
Tia Dalton, Chinle
Keely Yanito, Cortez
Kelia Yanito, Cortez
Kelsi Benally, Crownpoint
Mystri Jodie, Crownpoint
Christiana Yeppa, Dulce
Chenoa Simpson, Farmington
Illiana Johnson, Flagstaff
Teige Zeller, Grants
Julie Gallegas, Grants
April Blackhat, Greyhills
Justina Prairie Chief, Gallup
Patti Billy, Gallup
Aaren Billie, Holbrook
Megan Yazzie, Kirtland Central
Karley Dodge, Kirtland Central
Tinaya Murphey, Los Lunas
Bradley Nash, Monument Valley
Mckara Kescoli, Monument Valley
Chantel Becenti, Many Farms
Rhonda Lee, Many Farms
Hailey Augustine, Monument Valley - Utah
Carolynda Tosos, Monument Valley - Utah
Iris Chief, Navajo Mountain - Utah
Haleigh Glass, Menaul
Shantelle Smith, Miyamura
Heather Rodgers, Navajo Prep
Brienna Kee, Navajo Prep
Nakisha Antonio, Navajo Prep
Cinandre Dolfin, Navajo Pine
Demetira Clichee, Navajo Pine
Chelsea Yazzie, Navajo Pine
Cassidy Thomas, Newcomb
Bretta Bitsilly, Newcomb
Kristyn Bates, Piedra Vista
Sarah Mong, Page
Amber Tso, Page
Lisa Tsinijinnie, Piñon
Kristyn Bates, Piedra Vista
Ariel Begay, Rehoboth Christian
Megan Joe, Rehoboth Christian
Haley Taliman, Shiprock
Ashley Dailey, Shiprock
Jenine Coriz, Santa Fe Indian
Bridget Lee, Santa Fe Indian
Danielle Nelson, Santa Fe Indian
Shelby Montano, Thoreau
Felicia House, Thoreau
Taneka Ben, Tohatchi
Jaime Roe, Tuba City
Vernene Sheppard, Tuba City
Chelena Betoney, Valley
Gabby Stacey, Winslow
Felencia Keams, Winslow
Tamarika Lee, Winslow
Mattea Begaii, Winslow
Ashley Mitchell, Window Rock
Coralie Clark, Window Rock
Arianne Sheka, Window Rock
Jaylyn Jay, Wingate
Lanaya Perry, Wingate
Shaundeen Fildred, Whitehorse
Austin Billie, Whitehorse
Robyn Hubbell, Wingate
Tamara Homer, Zuni

Boys

Ñ Brandon Keetso, Cuba
Mikel Jake, Cuba
Kenneth Smith, Crownpoint
Tyler Dixon, Crownpoint
Kevin Yazzie, Chinle
Bryant Wood, Dulce
Nick August, Gallup
Adam Sowers, Gallup
Jeremy Ward, Gallup
Ryan Nichols, Gallup Catholic
TJ Lopez, Gallup Catholic
Marcus Begay, Ganado
Brandon White Rock, Greyhills
Kory Koerperich, Holbrook
Jalen Jackson, Holbrook
Tremaine Begay, Hopi
Kyle Yoyokie, Hopi
DJ Frank, Kirtland Central
Quentin Benioh, Kirtland Central
Chris Lopez, Grants
Eddie Gonzales, Grants
Jordyn Manahan, Menaul
Preston Parrish, Monument Valley
Zack Keith, Monument Valley
Alan Todachine, Monument Valley
Loren Benally, Mesa Mountain View
Paul Chavez, Miyamura
Joshua Poyer, Navajo Pine
Arvin Curley, Navajo Pine
Kyle Yazzie, Newcomb
Cornelius Tsipai, Newcomb
Damian Walley, Pine Hill
Troyal Turquoise, Round Valley
Mike Ciminski, Round Valley
Ryan Postma, Rehoboth Christian
Conner Joy, Rehoboth Christian
Tyrell Morgan, Ramah
Alex Neidhardt, Ramah
Deion Benally, Shiprock
Robert Lapahie, Shiprock
Briton Patterson, St. Johns
Zack Wengert, St. Johns
Kurtis Silversmith, St. Michael
Samuel Hardy, St. Michael
TyWray Hardy, St. Michael
Miles Begay, Thoreau
Lydale Thomas, Tohatchi
Anthony Toledo, Tse Yi Gai
Corey Quigley, Valley
Arlysn Chapo, Valley
Forrest Lowley, Wingate
Kraig Shirley, Winslow
Jevon Estelle, Winslow
Tyler Williams, Winslow
Shawn Dickson, Whitehorse
Travis Martin, Whitehorse
Jay-Diamond Taliman, Window Rock
Kyler Ashley, Window Rock
Trei Hicks, Wingate
Lambert Michalski, Wingate
Dominic Valez, Piedra Vista
Jalen Yepa, Zuni
Randell Battiest, Zuni

The Navajo Times All-Star wrestling team will be released next week.

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