KEAMS CANYON, Ariz. - On Aug. 28, the 2A Hopi Bruins celebrated a huge 40-14 victory over the 3A Tuba City Warriors. Anderson Dominic had a big night for the Bruins starting in the first quarter with a short punt from Tuba City that he ran in for a touchdown.
According to Wallace Youvella Jr., Athletic Director for Hopi High, "We lost a lot of leadership from last year, but right now Courtney Ackley and Lane Benally (quarerback) have taken on leadership roles."
Their first game was a scrimmage against 3A Holbrook. Youvella wanted to thank the community for the support, stating that the athletes appreciate the support as well. He hopes to see a winning season from Head Coach Steve Saban and assistant coaches Skip Keith and John Lomavaya.
Currently, Youvella is the AIA 2A North president. When asked about next year's alignment, he stated there is discussion about the possibility of creating a league from northern Arizona, New Mexico and southern Utah to create a more even playing field for Native youth and other smaller schools.
Right now, smaller schools could potentially go up against much larger schools and safety would be an issue since many of their players are much larger.
Tuba City's athletic director was in attendance as well and stated that quarterback Jeffrey Begaye, a senior, as well as Dexter Deerlove were this year's leaders for the team. When asked about the loss of Ross Williams, he stated that Tuba High lost a good teacher as well as a coach with his departure.
He hopes to improve on the 0-9 record from last year with the new coaching staff of Head Coach Gary Hubble and assistant coaches Keith Begaye and Clemson Lomayestewa.
As for the alignment, he stated that many of the individual sporting events have been doing well. Cross country, wrestling and track starts the realignment this year while team sports such as football and basketball start next year. For now the cross country teams from the reservation have been faring well against bigger schools as in years past.
As for the team sports, that is a different story. He understands also the disadvantage this puts some smaller schools in and their sports programs.
Next year he will be the president of the 3A North so he will be in a position to see the effects of the realignment from a management perspective.