Saturday, July 20, 2024

Loaded Holbrook team looking to stay red hot heading into fall season

Loaded Holbrook team looking to stay red hot heading into fall season

By Quentin Jodie
Navajo Times

WINDOW ROCK – By summer’s end the Holbrook football team will have competed in nearly a dozen 7-on-7 tournaments.

“That’s a lot of reps and that’s something that we need,” second-year Holbrook coach Paul Agramont said.

Of those tournaments, the Roadrunners made a huge statement on June 1 by finishing second at the Fort Lewis College tournament in Durango, Colorado, behind New Mexico Class 4A powerhouse Bloomfield High School. The Agramont-coached team also beat Rio Rancho, a top-ranked 5A team in New Mexico, at that same tournament.

“We beat Rio Rancho and we didn’t lose until the championship game, so that kind of pumped us,” Agramont said.

Two weeks ago the Roadrunners traveled to Window Rock and won that tournament, beating Monument Valley in the championship game.

The Agramont-coached team hosted a couple of tournaments, as well. They also went to Payson twice, facing the likes of Valley Christian, Snowflake, Blue Ridge, Show Low and Payson.

“I know it’s still only 7-on-7s but going against those teams and competing against them has given us a boost in confidence,” Agramont said. “We know what we can do. We’re seeing our mistakes and we’re recognizing them right away. We’re adjusting to them and we’re overcoming them.”

Besides the tournaments, Agramont has implemented a summer workout schedule.

“We condition and we weight lift in the morning,” Agramont said. “We practice 4 to 6 in the afternoon, and it’s clearly paid off.”

The Holbrook coach is hoping the successful summer run dips into the regular season when the Roadrunners start the season with Page (Aug. 30), Winslow (Sept. 6) and St. Johns (Sept. 13). Last year, Holbrook dropped all three of those freedom games before winning seven straight 2A Little Colorado Region games, finishing the regular season at 7-3 overall.

“Our ultimate goal is to win those three games,” Agramont said. “If we can do that it’ll help us with power points because our region doesn’t give us any power points.

“As long as those three teams get quality wins, we’re going to get power points from them,” he added. “It’s kind of crazy that we don’t get those points from our region because last year we beat an 8-0 Piñon team and we held them to negative yards and we moved down in the rankings and Piñon went up.”

As a matter of fact, Piñon finished one spot ahead of Holbrook in the final statewide power ranking polls at No. 21. As a result, Holbrook played top-ranked Pima in the 2A playoffs as the No. 16 seed.

“We’re tired of going south for our first playoff game,” Agramont said. “We landed with Pima last year. We played a good first quarter and then they creamed us.”

Agramont believes the summer workouts will pay off in the long run as he returns all but six players from last year’s squad.

“Our junior class is really deep,” he said. “We have a lot of good athletes and they’re ready to roll. What we’ve done this summer is increase everything in what we do. We’re trying to get as many reps as possible, and as much information into our athletes’ hands.

“We want to prepare them for anything and everything,” he added. “I feel like we’re on the right path.”

Leading off that junior class is running back Matthias Montijo. Last year, Montijo had a breakout season by rushing for 1,272 yards on 124 carries for an average of 10.3 yards per carry. For the season he finished with 18 touchdown scores.

“That kid is a beast,” the Holbrook coach said. “He’s a monster. He finished first in our region, and he finished fifth in the 2A Conference last year.”

The Roadrunners also return junior quarterback Darren Justman, who completed 56-of-104 passes for 1,029 yards and 18 TD receptions.

“He’s grown and matured as a quarterback,” Agramont said of his QB. “He’s learned to listen to his coaches. I got to give him credit because last year when we would tell him something he was kind of like he knew it all. Not anymore. He’s definitely understanding the offense and he’s leading the team in watching film right now.”

The junior QB has over two hours of film study to his credit as he’s seeing his mistakes and learning from it.

“I think I’ve grown a lot,” Justman said. “You know, my freshman year I didn’t have good form. I didn’t know anything. I didn’t know how to read a defense and now I can.”

Justman appreciates the feedback he’s receiving from his coaches, which include offensive coordinator Daniel “Butch” Moore.

“It makes me feel really good when they trust me,” Justman said. “It makes me feel more of a leader because I need to step up as a leader this year. It’s good to know that they can put the ball into my hands, and they have no problem with that.”

Junior Simeon Shaw is another threat the Roadrunners will have this season as Shaw led the receiving corps last season with 623 yards on 23 receptions for an average of 27.1 yards per catch.

“I’m going to try and break a 1,000 yards this year,” Shaw said. “I really want to play college football after I graduate from high school. That is what I’m looking forward to, and I want to study sports medicine.”

The Holbrook team will also lean on senior Chance Sahmie, junior Daniel John and sophomore William Kinds this year.

“We have a lot of speed on this team, and that’s going to be another strength that we have,” Agramont said. “We just have to keep rolling like the way we’re doing right now. As a team, the coaches and players have been talking and it’s a state championship or bust for us.

“If not this year, next year,” he continued. “I feel like there’s no stopping us. This team is ready to roll.”


About The Author

Quentin Jodie

Quentin Jodie is the Sports Editor for the Navajo Times. He started working for the Navajo Times in February 2010 and was promoted to the Sports Editor position at the end of summer in 2012. Previously, he wrote for the Gallup Independent. Reach him at qjodie@navajotimes.com

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