Friday, October 1st, will be the first home game for the Damonte Ranch Mustangs. Read that sentence again, because it doesn’t really sound possible. The Mustangs were supposed to start the season, at home, hosting Central (Fresno, CA), but due to poor air quality the game was moved to Central before being cancelled, forcing Mustangs to pick-up a game with Clovis West (Fresno, CA). Next, the Mustangs travelled to Las Vegas for a matchup with Faith Lutheran. The Mustangs then played their first game in Northern Nevada, at Reed High School, before travelling down to the Bay Area for a matchup with Acalanes (Lafayette, CA). A short trip to Reno High School last Friday night closed out the longest stretch the Mustangs have ever been on the road, making them true Road Warriors!
Miles Travelled – 2036
Time Spent on the Road Travelling – 33.4 hours
I am not aware of a Nevada team that has travelled, like this, outside of Bishop Gorman, who regularly travels great distances for their out-of-league schedule. As the Mustangs start a three-game home stand, their win loss record stands at 2-3, having defeated Reno and Acalanes with losses coming to West Clovis, Faith Lutheran, and Reed. Friday night the Mustangs host a familiar foe, the Douglas Tigers.
Gone are the days of the Sierra and High Desert Leagues, replaced by one 5A Northern Nevada football league with Douglas, Carson City, Damonte, Galena, Bishop Manogue, Reno, McQueen, Spanish Springs, and Reed. With a 1-1 league record, Damonte sits fifth in the league standings, with games coming against the aforementioned Tigers, Spanish Springs, Galena, and Bishop Manogue.
For those who have not had the opportunity to see the Mustangs play, the starting quarterback is, junior, Cooper Anderson, however, due to Covid protocols Anderson has only played three games. Tyler Clark, senior defensive back and wideout, filled in for Anderson until suffering a broken collarbone, in Vegas, during the Faith Lutheran game. Freshman Joey Jamison also saw time filling in for Anderson. Anderson hit a streaking Drew Vargas, junior wideout, late in the fourth quarter of the game at Reno High School, for the winning score. After facing a difficult non-league schedule, Anderson should be primed for a strong second half of the season. The Mustangs ground game has been formidable this season with Senior Mason Reasoner leading the team in rushing, closely followed by junior Cameron Rodriguez.
On the defensive side of the ball, the leading tackler is junior Michael Venezia with Nate Meredith not far behind. Sophomore Braelen Toles has four sacks along with Meredith. As the Mustangs enter league play, and foes more familiar, it will be interesting to see how the defense asserts itself.
Finally, Head Coach Shawn Dupris is nearing his 100th career win. After the win at Reno High School, Coach is sitting on 98 wins, the 100th should happen in October. For those interested in how many he has at Damonte, your author has him with 73 wins since moving north from Las Vegas.
THE REST OF THE WAY
October 1st – 7:00 PM, Mustangs hosting the Douglas Tigers, “pink out” game to raise awareness and money for breast cancer and Damonte will be recognizing its Sierra Youth Football League (SYFL) football and cheer teams
October 8th – 7:00 PM, Mustangs hosting the Spanish Springs Cougars
October 15th – Mustangs hosting the Galena Grizzlies, it is the “Battle for the Cross Saw” game, the Cross Saw will be awarded to the winning team following the conclusion of the contest; before the game we will be honoring our senior cheerleaders and football players; it is also Homecoming and at halftime we will have the parade of floats and meet our Homecoming court including the crowning of a King and Queen
October 22nd – the Mustangs are back on the road, 7:00 PM, Bishop Manogue
October 28th (Thursday Night, Nevada Day Weekend) – first round playoff game, location yet to be determined
ABOUT YOUR AUTHOR – Lynn Ault covers Damonte Ranch Athletics for Battle Born Preps. Both his kids graduated from Damonte Ranch where his wife, A’Laina, is the head of the math department. Lynn is also the youth pastor for Hope Community Church.