New coach brings change to Holbrook
Not since the 2016 season has the Holbrook football team seen some stability in its coaching ranks.
Then-head coach Brady Pond mentored the program in back-to-back seasons. Since then the program has had three different coaches.
New head coach Christopher Starkey is hoping to buck that trend.
“It’s kind of a rough patch here at Holbrook,” Starkey said. “This group of seniors have experienced a different coach every year they have been with the program. I have taken it upon myself to make sure the younger kids don’t get to experience that in the future. I’m here for the long haul.”
Starkey, who is originally from Cedarville, Missouri, coached football and basketball the last couple of years at River Valley High in Fort Mohave, Arizona. While there, he also served as the middle school’s athletic director.
“I’ve had some good conversations with the administration here at Holbrook,” he said. “I felt that this was a good opportunity for me to come here and build something special.”
Starkey said he’s starting from scratch as he is looking to tear down the program and build it from the ground up.
“I’ll be very involved with the youth and junior high programs so once those kids come up to the high school they would have known me for a few years and they’ll know my expectations and my traditions,” he said. “I’ve been dealing with the youth football programs for quite some time now.”
In addition to introducing himself to the youth in Holbrook, Starkey has spent considerable time getting to know his players.
In fact, the Roadrunners have gotten an early jump to the upcoming season by taking part in a handful of 7-on-7 competitions at Monument Valley, Blue Ridge and Newcomb.
On July 14, Holbrook will conclude its summer training with a camp.
Starkey said he’s seen a huge change since the start of offseason training.
“When we went to Blue Ridge we made it all the way to the semifinals,” he said. “That was a tough tournament with some of the White Mountain schools competing and making it that far was pretty productive.
“We still have a ways to go,” he added. “We’re still working on the adjustments, working on the commitment.”