Reno Huskies Season Preview
The high school football season begins in less than two weeks, with that being said we are previewing over twenty teams from our local area. Today's team: Reno.
2022 record: 6-5 overall, 3-3 league
Head coach: CJ Wintch, first season as head coach at Reno (previously worked as Reno's DC)
The Reno Huskies were once the model of consistency when it came to their head coaching position, for 17 years one man held the top job. Dan Avansino won a large class state championship in his second season at the helm and was unceremoniously let go after the 2018 season. In the five years that have gone by Reno is now on their third head coach. This is not an indictment on anyone just stating the fact that it's hard to sustain a model of success when you go through that many head coaches in five seasons.
I think Coach Ehlen did an excellent job getting the Huskies pointed in the right direction the last three seasons during some very difficult times in our recent past, namely navigating the COVID-19 pandemic, and ultimately coaching is a very laborious job that often times does not love you back the way you may love it. With that being said, we turn the page on another chapter in Reno's history and welcome CJ Wintch as Reno's newest head varsity football coach. Coach Wintch is the region's only new head coach at the large class and will look to build off the Huskies momentum of last season.
In my conversation with Wintch, he told me that the Huskies have entered camp with a Starting QB Battle between two seniors that should be settled around Aug. 18th, the strength of Wintch's Huskies will be their offensive line's ability to have "five [playing] as one." The Huskies plan is to control the clock, run the ball and impose their will on their opponents.
Offensively the Huskies will break in a new offensive coordinator this season while employing the "Spread, Two Back" scheme. The plan is to utilize their Tight End for mismatches and "Get Downhill in The Run Game." The Huskies offense returns six starters from last season and will "run to [open up the] pass." Coach Wintch is confident in his offensive line "[we] will impose our will."
Defensively the Huskies will also be breaking another coordinator on that side of the ball as their last defensive coordinator is not the head coach, and the new defensive coordinator was last year's LBs coach. Wintch said the Huskies will utilize the same concepts as they have for a handful of years now, '3-4 base defense' where we can read and react - do our best to force turnovers. The Huskies have great production coming back with seven starters slated to return this season.
The lead dogs:
RB/DB/P (Athlete) Jackson Sellers, Senior: If you've been around Northern Nevada for any amount of time you know that one name is synonymous with 'Greatness' in our area, that name is Sellers and similar to what I wrote about Jackson last year He's a Stud!!! A ballhawk on defense and willing to make his opponents pay, he makes his presence felt for a full 48 minutes, impacting the game in every facet. Wintch told me he'll see a little more time at RB this season, and that opposing defenders should watch out because "[he's] a downhill runner," that isn't afraid to lay the wood.
RB/DB Breck Worthen, Senior: Worthern came on around mid-season as the RB1 for the Huskies and he is another "downhill runner, but with a little wiggle" according to Wintch. He will be expected to team with Sellers in what will surely be a 1-2 combo that will be tough for opposing defenses to scheme against. Worthern averaged six yards per carry last season, rushing for 742 yards and 14 TDs. The Huskies will do their best to impose their will against their opponents and Worthern will be there to drop the hammer.
LB Champ Notyce, Senior: Stocky like Mike Tyson Champ packs a punch. Last season he was responsible for 93 tackles, a forced fumble and an interception. I think he's poised for an even greater senior season. When I watch him I see a little NaVorro Bowman to his game in the way that he pursue sideline-to-sidleline with great vision. Coach Wintch was quick to point out that Champ "[has] great leadership, and he'll finish his career as a three year varsity starter." If the Huskies are gonna make noise defensively this season, it'll be because Champ put opposing offenses on Notyce.
LB Colton Ouellette, Senior: Ouellete will begin his senior season as someone who the Huskies will look to for continued success. He was a flamethrower on the mound for Coach Savage and his crew during the spring and I wouldn't be surprised if Colton brought some fieriness to the gridiron this season. He's my breakout candidate on this Huskies squad.
DE/WR Cody Fisher, Senior: Fisher was pointed out by Coach Wintch as someone who has really improved over the last year. Wintch went on to say "[He's] 6-foot-6, looked good in the summer. We expect big things from him this season."
WR/DB Chris Winters, Senior: Winters was described as a "smart player, [that has] good hands and [is a] crisp route runner." He'll be expected to help fill the role that Drew Dutton succeeded in last year as Reno's WR1.
MLB Jackson Hernandez, Senior: Hernandez was credited with 27 tackles and four sacks last season. Him and Champ will be Reno's version of the 'Bash Brothers' in the middle of their defense this season.
FB/LB Arturo Nova, Senior: Nova is listed at 5-foot-6 and 205 pounds so you know he's built like a bowling ball. He will pave the way for Reno's ballcarriers as a fullback offensively and defensively he'll be expected to force turnovers.
Special shoutout to Junior Aiden Goss who Coach Wintch described as fast, with speed to burn, we like his quickness. He was on our 4x100, 4x200, and 4x400 relay teams for track this past spring.
Aug. 18 vs. Christian Brothers (Sacramento, Calif.)
Aug. 25 vs. Northgate (Walnut Creek, Calif.)
Sep. 1 at Grant (Sacramento, Calif.)
Sep. 8 vs. North Valleys
Sep. 15 at Wooster
Sep. 22 at Damonte Ranch
Sep. 29 vs. Reed
Oct. 6 at Spanish Springs
Oct. 13 vs. Bishop Manogue
Oct. 20 vs. McQueen
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.