Shiprock to reload with new leaders

Football player about to catch a ball in midair.

Navajo Times | Sunnie R. Clahchischiligi
A Shiprock High School football player catches a ball during preseason practice on Tuesday. The Chieftains have reloaded and are looking to their new leaders to lead them to a back-to-back 4A district 1 title.


While some football teams have had to rebuild for the upcoming season, others like the Shiprock Chieftains are reloading.

After graduating 19 seniors, Shiprock will look to some fresh, young new leaders to take the field.

Shiprock head coach Eric Stovall said his new youthful leaders have taken their roles in stride.

“We got some younger kids that are coming up and the positive thing is we got some senior leadership coming up and junior leadership that’s going to step up and help those little ones,” he said. “We’re excited, obviously our numbers are really growing and improving everyday.”

Some of those leaders include senior running back Quaid Shorty, senior running back Brandon Lapahe, defensive lineman Tyrell Benally, defensive back Tyris Newton, running back Tyrell Bruce, and newcomers Kieon Harvey and Cota Nahkai.

Both Harvey and Nahkai are members of the varsity basketball team and will make their varsity football debut this season.

Stovall said it was a nice surprise to gain the two members of the basketball team.

“Kieon’s just got great speed, great attitude, I’m real proud of him,” he said. “Both came out and embraced our concepts and it’s obvious transitioning to the rest of the team, they’re going to get better fundamentally with football and it’s going to help them with basketball as well.”

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Categories: Football

About Author

Sunnie R. Clahchischiligi

Sunnie Clahchischiligi has been the sports writer for the Navajo Times since 2008. She has a bachelor’s degree in print journalism from the University of New Mexico. Before joining the Times, she worked at the St. Cloud Times (Minn.), the Albuquerque Journal, the Santa Fe New Mexican, Sports Illustrated Magazine in New York City and the Salt Lake Tribune. She can be reached at or via cell at (505) 686-0769.