Yukon senior quarterback Holden Kee primed for breakout season

Yukon’s Holden Kee aims a pass downfield as head coach Brent Barnes looks on in the background. (Photo by Harmon Ray)

By Blake Colston
Sports Writer

A few days after Yukon High School announced Brent Barnes as its next head football coach, he spoke to a gathering of YHS parents and players for the first time. 

During his first speech to his new team, Barnes noticed one particular player in the crowd.

“I remember seeing someone who had their eyes on me every time I looked over in their direction who was locked into the message,” he recalled.

At the time, Barnes wasn’t able to pick out senior quarterback Holden Kee from the crowd, but in only a few months since that first meeting, Kee has gone from an unknown commodity to the Millers’ starting quarterback.

“Knowing what I know now, it’s not a surprise that it was him because he’s a natural leader,” Barnes said.



Kee’s career has been filled with twists and turns. As a sophomore at Norman High School, he battled for the Tigers’ starting job in the preseason before ultimately settling into a backup role.

Kee’s family moved into the Yukon district
before the next season and he worked hard to become the frontrunner to be the Millers’ starting quarterback. But during a summer team camp in Edmond, a self-described “freak accident” resulted in a serious injury to Kee’s left leg just three months before the season opener.

“I cut up the field and was losing my balance a little bit,” Kee said. “I fell on my ankle kind of weird and heard a pop.”

The broken fibula wasn’t anticipated to sideline Kee for the entire season, but a string of setbacks, including some complications following surgery, forced him to miss all 10 games as YHS finished 1-9.

“Throughout my whole career, I’d never had to just sit and watch. It gave me a new perspective,” he said. “It taught me how to be patient and to understand that you can’t take anything for granted.”

Kee didn’t feel 100% healthy until this May when he was able for the first time to show his new coach what he could do during spring practice. 

“I didn’t know what to expect, but the first strength I noticed was leadership. It was natural for him,” Barnes said. “He spins it well, he has a great arm and he can make plays with his feet.”

Playing in Barnes’ spread passing attack was a big change from what Kee had gotten used to while running Yukon’s run-heavy, option style offense earlier in his career, but the 6-foot-1, 205-pound senior fit naturally into the new scheme.

“It’s a blessing. The system and passing as much as we do in it has helped me develop as a player,” Kee said.

“I probably have the expectation of him being more seasoned than he actually is because of what he’s shown us,” Barnes added.

Kee’s lack of varsity playing has never become a factor, though, Barnes said. Because even if he had played more as a younger player, he still would’ve had to learn Barnes’ system from scratch.

Barnes said Kee fits the mold of previous quarterbacks that have had success in his scheme. During a six-year span while an assistant and later head coach at Norman North, six senior quarterbacks totaled 3,000 or more yards passing in their only season as a starter. 

“It should come naturally for Holden, too” Barnes said.

Now more than a year removed from the broken leg that cost him his junior season, Kee has no regrets about his career to this point. 

When the Millers take the field for their season opener Sept. 1 vs. Westmoore, Barnes expects Kee to be ready.

“That injury is a thing of the past,” he said.