According to the Cambridge dictionary, a rivalry is defined as a situation in which people, businesses, teams, compete with each other for the same thing. Some famous, sporting, rivalries include the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears, Lakers and Celtics, Red Sox and Yankees, Ohio State and Michigan, and Mexico versus the US in soccer. Locally, there are some great high school rivalries starting with the oldest one in the Silver State, Douglas versus Carson. Reno and McQueen is a strong local sporting rivalry, and Damonte versus Bishop Manogue has become quite the local rivalry as well.
4.8 miles separate the two south Reno campuses. Bishop Manogue opened its doors in 1948 and was the first Catholic high school in the Silver State, named after Bishop Patrick Manogue, an Irish-born prelate who had been a miner, hence the school mascot. The school had been planted firmly in north Reno, but moved to the current south Reno location in 2004, bringing it into direct competition with the two existing high schools in south Reno: Damonte Ranch and Galena. Prior to 2004 Bishop Manogue had been in the 3A classification but made the move to 4A in 2004, after winning back-to-back 3A football state titles. That first year, in 4A, they went 7-4, 3-3 in the High Desert League, and made the playoffs. Since then, the Miners have been a highly successful team in the state’s largest classification.
The first football game between Damonte and Bishop Manogue was in 2006, a 28-14 victory for the Miners. The Miners won seven in a row before Damonte picked up its first win in the series, 27-20, in 2013. The Miners picked up a win in 2014, 36-35, and then Damonte won four in a row before losing an overtime thriller to the Miners.
In 2018 Damonte was the top ranked team in the state (MaxPreps), the team was loaded, led by senior signal caller Cade McNamara. The Mustangs had played Bishop Manogue that season, winning 63-28, but the Miners pulled off the overtime upset, winning the 4A Northern Title by a score of 49-48. Damonte won the next regular season contest, 27-10, but lost to Bishop Manogue in the playoffs 24-7. The Spring Season of 2020 saw the Mustangs run wild in a 61-42 shootout at Damonte. Last season they played two games at Bishop Manogue, the Miners winning 32-14 in the regular season and then a resounding 36-0 victory in the second round of the playoffs.
The two schools share more than a friendly rivalry, they share people as well. Christian Jamison led the state in tackles while playing for Damonte, but started his high school career at Bishop Manogue. Bishop Manogue was led to the 2018 Northern Title by Peyton Dixon, senior running back, who was zoned for Damonte, played for the Miners, and is now coaching at Damonte. The series has been a spirited one on both sides and the next chapter will be written Friday night at Damonte when the Mustangs host the Miners.
The Miners will bring a 7-2 overall record into the game, five wins and no losses in league play. The Miners league wins this year have been impressive: 51-15 over Reed, 52-24 over McQueen, 34-14 over Reno, 49-14 over Spanish Springs, 44-3 over Galena, and 77-28 over Carson. Logan Howren, senior quarterback, leads the state in passing. Their offense has terrific playmakers like Ben Scolari, Domenic Marconato, Marshaun Brown, Joe Hill, Dominic Damonte, and Cody Fleischmann. Their defense has size and speed, making it tough for opposing offenses to move the ball, with regularity, and is led by Mario Williams Jr., Gio Granata, Cian Stack, and Torrance DiGrazia.
Damonte enters the contest after a successful defense of the Cross Saw, a 56-12 victory at Galena. The second half of the season Damonte has played some terrific football, picking up wins over Galena, Douglas, and Reno. Senior running back Cameron Rodriguez is averaging more than 100 yards per game and the Mustangs have also seen Drew Vargas, Jackson Papke, Jett Norman, and DJ Gonzalez make plays on the offensive. On the defensive side of the ball the Mustangs are still hoping to get some players back from injuries while counting on those on the field to make plays. Senior linebacker Joe Brown has been a steadying force for the Mustangs along with senior linebacker Michael Venezia, junior defensive lineman Brelen Toles, and senior defensive end Alex Rodahaffer. Don’t miss this next entry in a storied south Reno rivalry,
it is senior night, and those festivities should start around 6:15 PM.
Freshman, Thursday, 3:30 PM, hosting Bishop Manogue
Junior Varsity, Thursday, 5:45 PM, hosting Bishop Manogue
Varsity, Friday, 7:00 PM, hosting Bishop Manogue
About Your Author – Lynn Ault covers Damonte Ranch Athletics for Battle Born Preps. Lynn’s wife, A’Laina, is the head of the math department at Damonte Ranch and both of his kids graduated from Damonte as well. When not covering Damonte athletics, Lynn is the youth pastor for Hope Community, a non-denominational south Reno church.