League Previews and Season Predictions
In this article I will be providing the links of my team previews of the schools competing in the 5A-II, 5A-III and 3A in Northern Nevada. This is part two of our two part preview, with the 5A-II and 5A-III having been released on Tuesday. I will also provide my feelings on projected order of finish for each league. As always, these articles are intended to create conversation within our community and hopefully motivate teams that maybe think me/we are "sleeping" on them. Without further ado, here it goes...
Churchill County Greenwave
South Tahoe (Calif.)
*** No Team Preview for South Tahoe ***
Class 3A Predicted Order of Finish
1. Truckee (Calif.)
The Reigning State Champion Truckee Wolverines will look to win their 14th State Championship in school history and it's only right that we start the season in the place that they finished last season. With a tough non-conference schedule and seven grueling league games in front of them the Wolverines will need their best to keep in front of the new "old" 3A this season. The tide has turned and the boys from Cali are back to being the hunted after almost a decade of being the hunters.
The Indians are one of the favorites as we enter this season due to their plethora of offensive weapons that return. The most notable of the bunch is RB/DE Eli Finlayson who would easily be one of the top three RBs if he played in the large class. He has speed to burn, can hit like a mack truck and has a little wiggle once he sees the cutback lanes open. Not to be outdone by Finlayson is last season's East League MVP Cael Sellers who has returned for his senior season and has a 'chip' on his shoulder with the way last season ended.
3. Churchill County
The Greenwave finished their season in disappointing fashion last season, falling 21-20 to Spring Creek in the northern regional semifinals after securing the No. 1 overall seed heading into the playoffs. During my conversation with Coach Hill he said that the players who are returning this season were "disappointed, and left with a bad taste in their mouth." Coach Hill is hopeful that the Greenwave players use that disappointment this season and that it fuels them into a deep postseason run this season. Only time will tell...
4. Spring Creek
With a new coaching staff in place the Spartans head to Reno for a big time matchup against 5A D-III favorite Galena. If they can sneak out a victory against the Grizzlies on the road it will turn a lot of heads and get their season off on the right foot. If they stumble out of the gate it'll take a good couple weeks to get back into a rhythm as the league season approaches quickly with seven games to get through. I believe that Austin Reasbeck, Colin Banning, and Cody Acord will lead this team to another top four finish in the Northern 3A.
Now four years removed from their magical run to the State Championship the Vaqueros will look to make some noise again back in the traditional 3A. Coach Sloan has said that his program health is really good and he's excited for what the future holds. His team finished last season playing arguably their best football and will look to carry that momentum into this season. If they are able to finish in the top four during the regular season they will assuredly host a first round home playoff game.
The Buckaroos are my wildcard team this season in the Northern 3A as we begin this season. I could see them going on a run a la Spring Creek last year if they get hot at the right time. Coach Cabatbat will have his work cut out for him this season after the Bucks suffered a ton of injuries early in their season last year ultimately digging themselves into a hole that was simply too insurmountable to get out of. The future is bright for these Bucks.
The Railroaders will start this season toward the bottom of our rankings but with the right breaks they could see themselves in the top half at the end of the season. Their head coach Kurt Kaufman is optimistic that his squad can turn things around in year two pointing out that they had a full offseason to teach their system and earn their players trust through interpersonal connection and competition.
8. South Tahoe (Calif.)
I was unable to get any information on this year's version of the Vikings. They have a new coaching staff and don't return a ton of starters off a team that struggled through last season, ultimately finishing 1-7 overall, and 1-4 in league with their only victory coming against Sparks.
J. Ray Dockter has been covering high school sports since 2022. If you have a story worth telling let him know via Twitter @J_RayDoc.