TUBA CITY, Ariz. - Tuba City High School honored their athletes with an awards banquet on May 18. All teams, including the chess teams were recognized. Athletic Director James Roe grew up in Tuba City and went to college in Oklahoma, but came back to run the athletic program. His daughter Jamie now is carrying on his legacy.
Roe is also the AIA president and extended his appreciation to the coaches who volunteered their time throughout the year and was happy to say they would be compensated for their dedication.
Softball assistant coach Kevin Majo is proud to say that sports gives the students discipline in school since they have to make the grades to play and makes them good citizens as well. Marilyn Atcitty Dean of students also stressed that many of the sports participants are honor students.
Roe commented that most of the teams qualified for state and under the coaching of retiring Evelyn Kiyaani the girl's volleyball team won first runner-up in the state finals the first time ever for TCHS. Even the chess team had three contenders for state finals.
Softball coach Jonathan Yazzie was named coach of the year by the AIA and the marksmanship team ranks in the top three in the country. Roe is proud of his program at Tuba High.
Giving recognition to the football team were coaches Gary Huble, Keith Begay, Ross Williams, John Piestewa and Loren Nez.
The volleyball team bade farewell to retiring Coach Evelyn Kiyaani, who gave a teary farewell to everyone. She recalled the time when students in P.E. wore the white shirt and the green shorts for PE.
Mike Bedonie, coach of the chess team recalled how when he replaced previous coach John Nesbitt, he had to recruit members by buying pizza and feeding the kids to get them to play chess.
The cross country teams celebrated yet another state title for the boys and girls team. The combined total for both boys and girls is 30 titles in the last 30 seasons. The cross-country program is well known and TCHS has a sister team in Hawaii that may come in the fall to participate in the Bud Davis invitational according to Carl Perry, head boys cross country coach.
Of honorable mention was Billy Orman who has competed in numerous prestigious meets placing second in the Nike Southwest championship among other events. Coach Perry is leaving for Flagstaff after this year but sees a bright future ahead for TCHS. Under the direction of volunteer coach Thomas Hatathlie, he sees continuing excellence and stresses his motto of "if you want it today, work for it today."
The marksmanship team for TCHS also had a respectable year in nine competitions placing second and ranking seventh out of 800 teams in the nation.
Ross Williams, girls basketball coach thanked the volunteers for coaching and recognized parents for taking on the responsibility as well.
For the wrestling team, coach John Yazzie stated that the team placed fourth in regional's with a small team of nine members.
The girls softball team was the 3A North runner-up this season and Charnelle Williams will play on the All Star team this summer on June 12.
The boys baseball team under the father-son coaching team of Anthony and Eugene Honanie finished 15th in state and will be attending summer baseball camps in New Mexico.
Sgt. Michael Earl Johnson, drill team commander deemed his team "few but feared by many" and "respected by all' in drill team circles. They placed 1st in three events and 2nd in two and were 2nd in state.
John Goatcher, track team coach, came on stage with his best Johnny Cash impersonation before recognizing his team.
He proclaimed Jamie Roe the fastest woman on the reservation as she is the 3A North champion in the 800 meter run, 3200m state runner up and placed 6th in state for the 900m run.
Special recognition was given to Ryan Yazzie and Billy Orman who Goatcher stated that in the 36 years of coaching he has never seen athletes of their caliber.
Orman led the team to state four times in the 800m, set a new record in the 3200m relay and came from behind to win the 1600m by 2/100 of a second and took second in the 800m. Goatcher proclaimed him the best athlete of the first part of this century.
Ryan Yazzie was also praised by Goatcher for his numerous accomplishments, including setting eight records, hepling to win three straight state titles, winning Navajo Times All-Star seven times, state in Cross country, 800m, being a four-time 800m relay champ - he also plays basketball.
According to Goatcher, Yazzie is Tuba City's most decorated athlete.
For the girls Elizabeth Holve won athlete of the year she is also the valedictorian for her class.
The food was prepared by the new food service for the district Southwest foods.