Our Sierra League preview this year consist of teams that compete from Minden all the way to South Reno giving Northern Nevada some fantastic football. We will break each team down by our projections for their season based upon roster, staff, schedule, and past performances.
TEAM: DAMONTE RANCH MUSTANGS
PRESEASON SIERRA LEAGUE RANKING: 1ST
HEAD COACH: SHAWN DUPRIS
This year the Mustangs return Michigan quarterback commit Cade McNamara who is projected to beat multiple state records. McNamara should not only continue his dominance as the best QB in Northern Nevada, but look to the ultimate goal of a state title. Cade will return as arguably one of the best quarterbacks in not only Northern Nevada but all of Nevada’s history. The Mustangs running game shows us a great comeback story as Derrick Knoblock comes off of a inury that ended his season early last season. Knoblock is optimistic after nearly a year of recovery and so are the Mustangs. He will not be the only contributor as the Mustangs have shown versatility at that position in past seasons. Damonte Ranch’s receiving core will stay intact for the most part this season as they come into the season with returners Tai Allison and Kyle McNamara two players Cade has a ton of confidence in and loves to throw too. Our biggest question mark this season for the Mustangs is the offensive line replacing a gritty tough player like Ryan Madole is a tall task for any team but when we asked Cade he was very confident in his line and loves their growth this past offseason. We flip to the other side of the field where the Mustangs find lots of speed and aggression living up to the team motto “Fast and Mean!” The defensive line should be headed by Samuel Kreins an all-league defensive lineman someone that keeps opposing offensive coordinators up late at night. The Damonte Ranch linebacking group is headed by the comeback kid Derrick Knoblock who is excited to return to the defense as well as offense. Derrick was a player that plays Coach Dupris system perfectly and only looks to get better. Another player to highlight this season will be Christian Jamison, he will contribute at the linebacker position having sure hands that not only look to help with sacks but interceptions. This season in the secondary the Mustangs return players that should not only should dominate but be a nightmare for opposing QB’s. Jake Polson returns bigger and stronger looking to uphold his title as a premier lockdown corner and one of the best in Northern Nevada. Jake will have Ethan Kulpin playing safety alongside him as he did for many years growing up in SYFL, this time he and the Mustangs looks for the ultimate goal of winning a state title. Expect Coach Dupris and staff to continue to improve as they look for the last piece of the pie to get them past Gorman this season. We expect the Mustangs to not only play a tough schedule but dominate in what should be their best year yet.
TEAM: BISHOP MANOGUE MINERS
PRESEASON SIERRA LEAGUE RANKING: 2ND
HEAD COACH: ERNIE HOWREN
The Bishop Manogue Miners come off of a terrific first year behind Ernie Howren as he did everything he could to set his team up for a good encore season. Though this past offseason I don’t even think Coach Howren could’ve predicted that his rising starting QB would get offered a scholarship to play baseball at UNLV and decide that he would no longer play football for the Miners. That being said Bishop Manogue returns a group of players that continue to mature and grow into a talented team. The Miners will start the season with Drew Scolari behind center the grandson of legendary Wolfpack Head Coach Chris Ault. The Miners will see how Drew progresses this season but after watching him this past Friday at the Bishop Manogue scrimmage they should be happy with the way he is already progressing. The Miners will return their very talented running back Peyton Dixon. Dixon should only look to get better as this season the Miners look to have multiple players contribute at the running back position. The Miners not only return a terrific running attack but will have players like Colby Crisb, Nick Robert, and Dontell Jackson to catch the ball. Bishop Manogue should have an offensive line unlike anything we have seen from their program before, they return players like Josh Malafu, Ronnie Nieto, Joey Wright, and Jameson Helu players with not only size but players that know what to do with it. Many of those players will contribute on the defensive line but also expect strong play from Gilberto Aguilar as he looks to only continue his growth as a defensive end. This year the Miners LB core is spearheaded by Preston Helu, Dylan Gossal, and Vai Kaho. All three players should not only be big time players but give the defense a different feel this season. In the secondary the Miners will have new starter Elijah Lee who has already impressed Coach Howren’s staff along with Mateo Reviglio taking over the same spot his brother played a year ago. Coach Howren’s staff enters year two and shows no sign of slowing down. We predict the Miners to do well this year, the biggest question mark is how fast they gel and how fast that ultimately equivalates to wins.
TEAM: CARSON SENATORS
PRESEASON SIERRA LEAGUE RANKING: 3RD
HEAD COACH: BLAIR ROMAN
This year the Senators return an offense that comes off of a year that was forced to be very one sided after an injury to QB’s early in the year. The good news is this year Blake Menzel is under center and has an offseason under his belt looking to progress this year. Carson had a lot of graduates throughout their team this year and that will show in the running game but I believe we can see a good year out of Zach Glanzmann as he will take a bigger role this season. The Senators will have an interesting year on offense but if they expect to take things to the next level they will have to have some unsung heroes on the field. The Senators come off of a tough defensive year but after an offseason I think the Carson can grow as the year progresses. The Senators face some tough teams this season but if they stick to their schemes and continue to develop mentally and physically they can be a solid unit worst case scenario. Blair Roman is as steady as they come with that being said this year he will be coaching a young team and a team that has something to prove. Coach Roman is a great man with his staff holding his players to the same core values that he stands by and that is something everyone can appreciate.
TEAM: GALENA GRIZZLIES
PRESEASON SIERRA LEAGUE RANKING: 4TH
HEAD COACH: HANK ROBERTS
The Grizzlies return a team that will have similar players from last year but will look nothing like it did. When first interviewing new Head Coach Hank Roberts he admitted “to be completely honest I don’t know how to coach a QB under center, we will run a spread offense.” Coach will have Alex Laird and Michael Dennis a quarterback-running back combo that can help the Grizzlies transition into a new scheme. The Grizz could see Mateo Rasmussen play a plethora of positions this year. Nolan Craddock will return as well but outside of that Galena is looking for some younger players to not only step up but take control of a young offense/roster. Michael Dennis, Aiden Elliot, and Mateo Rasmussen should be the big contributors on what will be a defense looking completely different as well. The defense will look different not just because there is a new coach but the graduating players from last year was a high number. Look for all of these players to help Galena in the transition. Coach Hank Roberts seems fantastic in all of his interviews and concepts on what his program will look like but only time will tell what results he gets. I believe the key to Coach Roberts successes is his other staff members and getting his players to buy in. This shouldn’t be an issue considering if you check his twitter it has the team slogan “ALL IN!”
TEAM: DOUGLAS TIGERS
PRESEASON SIERRA LEAGUE RANKING: 4TH
HEAD COACH: ERNIE MONFILETTO
This year the Tigers are going to be a team that are growing but are hungry for the season to come. Douglas has lost some key players but will look to fill those gaps with guys like the two headed running back tandem in Gabe Wetzel and Isaiah John. The Tigers are also looking for contributions from their returning receiver and defensive back Luke Gansberg. Douglas returns tight end Clauidio Magana as to the offensive side as well as defensively. The offensive line has a nice mixture of returners as well as new starters and will see Andrew Browning who is a three-year returner will be a big-time player as well as a leader for this squad. After talking with Coach Monfiletto he said one thing that may surprise a lot of people and teams this year is how vastly his defense improved. The Tigers defense is having returning players like Gansberg and Magana but a player Coach Monfiletto is also excited about will be the young man Cameron Swain who not only plays safety but plays receiver a player surely that can be relied on for years to come. The Tigers will play the 3-4 defense which will not only help them this year for their team but help them versus a majority of teams that play in Northern Nevada. All the coaches in Northern Nevada represent amazing qualities but Coach Monfiletto and his staff are the total package. They not only do the best they can with the talent they have but they embrace representing the Carson Valley and giving Douglas High School quality values that their many players can not only take with them through their high school days but after as young men.
TEAM: WOOSTER COLTS
PRESEASON SIERRA LEAGUE RANKING: 5TH
HEAD COACH: BO SELLERS
The Wooster team graduated a lot of players last season and along with moving back up to the 4A the Colts will have their hands full. The Colts move back to the 4A where it’s all about the spread quick offensive attack with a few exceptions, last year for the Colts Jace Papke started finding his way giving the Colts some hope to grow. Wooster has a new offensive coordinator this year that is also used to running a more spread attack as he comes from Reed. The Colts offense has a lot of question marks but not in a bad way, they point in the direction of optimism and growth and that’s not only something I think Coach Bo Sellers will do but keep quiet about. Wooster defensively has always taught some of the best fundamentals starting back to the great Joe Sellers (father of now Head Coach Bo) when he would spend extra time teaching players how to tackle properly. Needless to say, Coach Bo Sellers has picked that up, that alone may not even be enough the Colts come off of a graduating class that may be a major obstacle this year. Expect a growing year for the Colts as they transition all schemes and concepts back to the 4A. Coach Bo Sellers and his staff are doing something that is hard to do they not only are moving leagues but are coming off of a year where they graduate a lot of seniors. If these were the only obstacles to overcome it would be a difficult season let alone they may possibly be changing offensive schemes considering the new offensive coordinator hire.