VOLUME 13, ISSUE 1
Brought To You By Paul Klein Editor in Chief Linda Reeve Art Director Kenneth G. Moen, Jen Schmidt Contributing Photographers Harry Spencer, Joe Santoro, Steve Hunt Scott Oxarart, Randy Connors
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Published By: KMPM Publishing Inc. Kenneth G. Moen President and Publisher Contact US: KMPM Publishing Inc. PO Box 6031 • Sparks, NV 89432 • (775) 240-0533 www.packedge.com The Wolf Pack Edge is published 12 times per year. Cost of one-year subscription is $45.00. The Wolf Pack Edge is a publication of KMPM Publishing, PO Box 6031, Sparks, NV 89432. Phone (775) 240-0533 or visit www.packedge.com. The Wolf Pack Edge welcomes your comments, questions and letters. They will be treated as intended for publication and are subject to editing and comment. All material contained herein is the copyright of the Wolf Pack Edge. Any reproduction in whole or part without written consent is strictly prohibited. For subscription and advertising information, call (775) 240-0533. POSTMASTER: Return Service requested to:The Wolf Pack Edge, PO Box 6031, Sparks, NV 89432. Third class postage paid at Sparks, NV and additional offices. ©The Wolf Pack Edge, 2009 ISSN: 1543-8880
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SEPTEMBER ‘09 VOLUME 13, ISSUE 1
ON THE COVER:
Coach Chris Ault and Colin Kaepernick Please support the businesses that support the Wolf Pack Edge.
COVER PHOTO BY KENNETH G. MOEN
FEATURES A Golden Opportunity for Wolf Pack Football ........................................................4 Champions All: Don Burke ....................................................................................7 Where Are They Now? Mike Allen ........................................................................8 A New Hope: Soccer............................................................................................10 Nevada’s Net Warriors Prepare for Fall’s Battles ................................................12 Hall Of Fame: Sonny Allen ..................................................................................14 Fleet 2009-2010 Nevada Football Schedule ......................................................16
ON THE COVER: MCQUEEN FOOTBALL HEAD COACH JIM SNELLING 2009 High School Football Preview ....................................................................17 PACK EDGE PICK-UP RACKS: Area High Schools Reno Post Office - Vassar Sparks Post Office - 4th St. & Vista Blvd Sparks YMCA Western Nevada Supply Mr. Pickles - Barring Blvd Downtown Reno Bus Station Downtown Reno Library Joe Crowley, Student Union Red's Little Wal
Jimmy John's Subs - 9th St UNR Library Legacy Hall Ticket Office Lawlor Ticket Office Lombardi Rec Center Reno Orthopedic Clinic, UNR Charter Cable Smith’s - Baring Blvd. Fitness for $10 - Sparks Blvd Great Basin Brewery Peg's Glorified Ham & Eggs Piasan’s Tommy' Grandstand - Kleppe Lane
Alf Sorensen Juicey's Giant Hamburgers - Glendale Basalite - Greg St WB Baseball - Longley Lane Gordon's Photo - Smithridge Border's Books - S. Virginia Sport's Authority - S. Virginia St Les Schwab - Prater Way, S. Virginia St Shopper's Square Champion Laundry - Vassar & Wells Scruples - Plumb Lane Mackay Stadium - Entrance Butcher Boy N. Rock / S. Virgina
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SEPTEMBER 2009 • THE WOLF PACK EDGE 3
A Golden Opportunity
for Wolf Pack Football By Randy Connors
his year the Nevada football program can shine in the spotlight as never before. The team kicks off its schedule September 5, on national television at Notre Dame Stadium, home of the Fighting Irish and the Golden Dome. The game is the first ever meeting on the gridiron between the two universities. Opening the season against one of the most storied and popular teams in college football presents the Wolf Pack with a huge opportunity to show the country a very good Nevada football team. Beyond the auspicious opening in South Bend, the team plays nationally televised games against Missouri, Louisiana Tech, San Jose State and a finale at arch rival and highly ranked Boise State. From beginning to end this season will be tough work for the men in silver and blue. Despite the challenges, head Coach Chris Ault likes the schedule.
“The interesting thing to me is that we open at Notre Dame and we all understand the significance of that game, then we have a bye week, and then we have 11-straight weeks of football games. And that is like it was back in the day,” Ault said at a preseason media session. “Our home schedule is one of the best I’ve ever been associated with. We have great teams coming here, in particular Missouri, UNLV, Louisiana Tech, Hawaii, and Fresno – that is a great home schedule. I want to encourage our fans to be at our games because we are going to need them at those games,” Ault said.
#18 L.J. Washington
THE WOLF PACK EDGE • SEPTEMBER 2009
Last year the Pack faced off against some of college football’s biggest stars. Texas Tech featured quarterback Graham Herrell and wide out Michael Crabtree. Missouri lined up quarterback Chase Daniel, wide receiver Jeremy Maclin and tight end Chase Coffman. This year the Pack will face more top college talent including: Missouri running back Derrick Washington (1036 yards, 17 touchdowns rushing) and linebacker Sean Weatherspoon (three interceptions, 18.5 tackles for loss, 5 sacks); Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen (3172 yards, 25 touchdowns passing) and receiver Golden Tate (1080 yards, 10 touchdowns receiving); Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore (3486 yards, 25 touchdowns passing), running back Jeremy Avery (614 yards, four touchdowns rushWWW.PACKEDGE.COM
ing), and defensive end Ryan Winterswyk (11.5 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks). But Nevada packs some star power of its own. The Wolf Pack features a top national running game with three outstanding athletes that have rushed for over a thousand yards in a season: Via Taua (1521 yards 15 touchdowns rushing); Luke Lippencott (1380 yards, 18 touchdowns rushing - 2007); and quarterback Colin Kaepernick (1130 yards 15 touchdowns rushing and 2849 yards 22 touchdowns passing). Kap’s stats made him 11th in the nation in total offense. So the Pistol is loaded again. Up front the “Union” on the offensive line is anchored by seniors Ken Ackerman and Alonzo Durham. The Wolf Pack also has playmakers on defense. Defensive ends Dontay Moch and Kevin Basped (informally known as the Bash Brothers) are eager to maintain the team’s reputation as run stoppers and quarterback crunchers. The duo combined for 36 tackles for loss and 21.5 sacks last year. “I have a goal of getting a sack in every game I play,” Basped said. Both really enjoy playing football and talk about have a tag team approach to quarterback sacks and tackles behind the line of scrimmage. In the middle of the big “D” line are Chris Slack and Nate Agaiava. Behind them are hard hitters safety Jonathon Amaya and linebackers Mike Bethea and James-Michael Johnson. The Nevada squad goes into the 2009 season with an experienced roster. “With eight starters back on defense and seven starters back on offense… I expect us to be a good football team,” Ault said. Not only does the team have experience; the team has all-conference type talent. Five of the Pack’s offensive and defensive players were named to various national award watch lists - a first in Pack history. “We have very good players but they have to take it up a notch,” Ault said reflecting on the talent of his team. The talent and desire are there, the challenge for the team and coaches is to make it all work on the turf. Fans can expect another high-powered Pistol offense with a new twist or two and a ratchet up in the passing game. “We have to do better as a passing team. If you want to compete at the championship level we have to be better WWW.PACKEDGE.COM
at passing. We are going to throw the ball more,” Ault said. Anyone watching college football knows that the aerial game is where the top national teams are putting their emphasis. The weaknesses of the Nevada team showed most on pass defense and special teams. Coach Ault says that his defense will be the most improved in the conference, in large part by matching the defensive scheme to the players – not the other way around which is more typical. Expect a lot of hard hitting.
“Our home schedule is one of the best I’ve ever been associated with.” — Chris Ault It is critical that the Wolf Pack has it together early in the season because the four game non-conference schedule has no easy days. Notre Dame thumped fellow WAC team Hawaii (49-21) last season and looks ready to reestablish a winning tradition. Quarterback Clausen, in his third year as a starter, has more talent with him than ever before. The Irish offensive line has some of the best big men in college football. Center Dan Wenger, guards Chris Stewart and Eric Olsen and tackle Sam Young have all been ranked in the country’s top 25. Receivers Golden Tate and Michael Floyd have get-away speed and have been rated as the top receiver duo in the nation. Running backs Armando Allen (4.35 speed in the 40 yard dash) and Robert Hughes welcome Cierre Wood, a number six ranked recruit. The defense features more of Head Coach Charlie Weis’ top recruits and a veteran secondary led by strong safety Kyle McCarthy (110 tackles). The Pack travels to Fort Collins to challenge old rival Colorado State. The Rams lead the series eight to one, but
the teams have not met since 2006 when the Pack beat the Rams at Mackay. Second year Head Coach Steve Fairchild has turned the program around going seven and six last year including a decisive bowl win against Fresno State. The team played with a balanced offense in 2008 (456 rushes, 427 passes) and can be expected to play much the same this season. The Rams are weak in the offensive backfield but the line and receiver corps are solid. The defense has a few standouts including linebacker Mychal Sisson and corners Nick Oppenneer and Gerard Thomas. The Missouri Tigers come to Mackay Stadium with a Big 12 attitude but without a tested passing game. Sophomore Blaine Gabbert (6-5, 240) has little game experience (five career completions) and will be looking to hook up with seniors Danario Alexander (6-5, 215) and Jared Perry (567 yards, 4 touchdowns receiving) to continue Missouri’s passing tradition. The Pack will be thinking grudge match against the Tigers who chewed up Nevada 6917 last year. Finally, the non-conference schedule finishes up with the battle for the Fremont Cannon. UNLV should be an improved team but still struggling to produce a winning season. Regardless the Pack will not want to take this game for granted. The defense is anchored by linebacker Jason Beauchamp. Quarterback Omar Clayton should be healthy and could be dangerous. His triple threat receiver corps of Ryan Wolfe, Phillip Payne and Rodelin Anthony may be the best in their conference and could open the game up. The spotlight will shine on the Wolf Pack early and often. Coach Ault says the increased television and national exposure is earned and welcomed, but he scoffed at some media rankings that put the Wolf Pack as high as the midthirties nationally. “We have 12 rankings we have to worry about – winning the twelve games we play,” Ault said. The schedule is as competitive as ever and the Pack is being watched across the country as much as ever. If Nevada makes a good show of it, and makes the most of this year’s non-conference opportunities, the Wolf Pack football program will continue to have a bright future in the WAC.
SEPTEMBER 2009 • THE WOLF PACK EDGE 5
THE WOLF PACK EDGE • SEPTEMBER 2009
CHAMPIONS ALL BY HARRY SPENCER — CLASS OF ‘51
DON BURKE events were held on a regional basis around the country and a National championship Golf Tourney was held once a year. Through Burke’s efforts Reno was a site for the National and I recall attending one such where the banquet was held at the MGM (now the Grand Sierra Resort). The banquet itself had all the trappings that have become familiar on TV with the annual ESPY awards show.
lthough he never donned the Silver and Blue colors of a Nevada varsity athlete the late Don Burke was one of the most loyal of Wolf Pack fans.
Spending more than half his adult life in the Reno area the former standout for USC and the San Francisco 49ers never failed to make Nevada home games — particularly of the oblate spheroid variety. I usually spotted him and his wife Carole on the sunny side of Mackay stadium as we took our usual halftime stroll around the pedestrian track at Mackay. Shortly after moving here permanently in 1977 Don became a driving force in the development of the local chapter of the NFL Alumni Association. He was joined in those efforts by two local products who had Pro football careers; Ed Pine with the Niners and Glenn Carano with the Dallas Cowboys. Another sparkplug for the association was localite Don Manoukian, who played for the early day Oakland Raiders. The hallmark event for the NFL Alumni was an annual golf tournament. Such WWW.PACKEDGE.COM
One of the top invited guests was famed Sports artist Leroy Neiman and when Burke asked if I could give Neiman a ride to the airport on the following day, I said I would be glad to oblige if Neiman would autograph one of his Tennis prints I had purchased for my son Zach. Neiman was happy to do so and turned out to be a marvelous interview for a subsequent newspaper piece. Burke first arrived on the local scene courtesy of another native Nevadan, Newt Crumley of Elko, who was a fine athlete in his own right. Crumley had sold the family resorts in Elko and purchased the Holiday Hotel (now the Siena) in the late ‘50s. He then recruited Burke to represent his hotel in the Bay Area and subsequently Don was interfacing with us local PR men at the Chamber of Commerce Promotion Committee meetings. We all immediately took a liking to Don, who was outspoken and filled with excellent Promotional ideas. He was so well known in the Bay Area that when
Crumley met his untimely death in an airplane crash a few years later, the then manager of the Chamber, Jud Allen, was quick to recruit Burke to open a Reno office on busy Market street in San Francisco. From that spot Don began his long career of funneling tourists to Reno. His hallmark promotion was the creation of the Reno Fun Train, which hauled some 700 passengers over the hill during the Winter weekends. The Fun Train still runs to this day and is a sellout every weekend. As mentioned above, Burke pretty much bled scarlet and gold when cut since the team colors at USC and San Francisco closely resembled one another. Although I worked hand in glove with him on numerous endeavors my favorite time was during the Mapes Invitational Golf tournaments. Crumley had started the three-day events at the Holiday which were quickly duplicated by Harrah’s. Since Crumley’s big draw was the presence of former Hall of Fame baseball players we were able to inveigle Burke to supply NFL stalwarts to appear at the Mapes event. Don was in charge and never failed to deliver top names. Burke’s other local connection was the fact that he had played High School football in Oakland with Jackie Jensen, a permanent resident of Crystal Bay and Lee DeLauer, longtime Renoite and a “Who’s Who” at the University during his college days.
SEPTEMBER 2009 • THE WOLF PACK EDGE 7
to win an event or two on the PGA Tour and see what materializes. Wolf Pack Edge recently caught up with him and here’s what he had to say. “It was a good period of growing up, getting away from the family and getting out on your own,” Allen said of his time in Reno. “It gave me an opportunity to play. We had a great time up here. We had a good bunch of guys on the team. So much of the time, we had a great time partying and enjoying Reno. It was a great place to go to school. I loved Reno and being near Tahoe and skiing.” Once he completed his college eligibility, Allen’s education continued in more ways than one as he joined the European Tour. “That was the great thing for me, traveling around when I was young,” he recalled. “You always played and went wherever the game was. I went to South Africa my first week and I could see how apartheid was and how other parts of the world were.”
Allen reading a put on the 10th hole at the RTO by Jen Schmidt
WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
Living the Life By Steve Hunt
hat a life professional golfers lead. Sure, there are the weekly pressures to contend or win, but they are still getting paid to play a game they love. Such is the life for ex-Nevada golfer Michael Allen. He has played on the European, Nationwide, Champions and PGA Tours but made big headlines in May by winning the Senior Championship in his Champions Tour debut.
The 50-year-old linkster was happy to end a long victory drought with that win but admits he isn’t ready to hit the former Senior Tour full-time just yet. He would still like 8
THE WOLF PACK EDGE • SEPTEMBER 2009
However, if there was one exotic locale that was truly an eyeopening experience for this card-carrying PGA pro, it was the Orient. “I went to Asia and you talk about a foreign place where you can’t read anything,” he said. “Just getting to the golf course in Hong Kong was quite an experience. You had to take a bus to get to a train and then a subway to a taxi. You did that every day. It was great to try different things and see a different life.” While playing golf overseas often meant getting used to different cultures, it’s an experience that Allen wouldn’t trade for anything. “It was great to travel around, see the world and how other people live,” he said. “It just gives you a lot of ideas and you see the other side of things. I just got back from Paris with my family. It was great to show them the other side of life. It’s great in America but it’s not the only way to live. People see things differently over there.” “I enjoy seeing the world and appreciate those times so greatly in my life,” he stated. “It’s great to see that different aspects of life are important to them (people abroad). That’s what golf has given me, an opportunity to see the world, an opportunity to travel and to see life. We do play golf for a living. I work hard at it and I appreciate it but it’s just a small part of life. Life is short. It’s important to see as much as you can and take it all in.” Allen found himself center stage when he won the Senior Championship to end a two-decade victory drought. “It’s been a long time,” he admitted. “It was great to win that. I won the Scottish Open, my last real major victory. It’s been phenomeWWW.PACKEDGE.COM
nal to come back after quitting. I played on the tour for seven years and quit. Then I tried to live a regular life. You realize how hard that is and appreciate golf a lot more. I feel like that’s a great stepping stone and achievement, but I’m looking forward to a whole lot more.” By winning that event, Allen’s name now appears on a trophy alongside such golfing legends as Arnold Palmer and Gene Sarazen. “It’s fantastic,” he said. “To be on a trophy
“That’s what golf has given me, an opportunity to see the world, an opportunity to travel and to see life.” – Michael Allen with Gene Sarazen, those are the guys I’ve read about my entire life. It’s pretty neat stuff. What an honor, to be on there with Jack Nicklaus and those guys. That’s my first time being on a trophy like that. It’s great.” Despite that success, he wants to continue playing on the PGA Tour at least for now. “Right now, my plans are to keep my card on the PGA Tour and win on the PGA Tour first,” Allen said. “I will play a little Champions Tour here and there. That Champions Tour win has been great for me, but I plan on playing most of my golf on the PGA Tour for the next year or two.”
On rivalry: Q. With the RTO being in Nevada, you have a UNLV guys and Wolf Pack guys playing, is there a rivalry between the two groups? MICHAEL ALLEN: It's not friendly at all. We want to kick their butt, are you kidding me? Most of the guys out here, you're friends with all the time. But you've got to try to defend home turf here. It's important. We want to win out here, certainly beat the UNLV guys. WWW.PACKEDGE.COM
SEPTEMBER 2009 • THE WOLF PACK EDGE 9
A New Hope
“What I really wanted out of this year’s class is more depth in the program” – Jaime Frias
By Scott Oxarart
evada soccer coach Jaime Frias is in his second year as head of the soccer program.
His home is firmly established in the community. His family has adjusted to the move from Stephen F. Austin University. He is more comfortable in his role as head coach and is a popular figure in the athletic department because of his positive attitude and general friendliness. But when fall practices began in August, Frias was all business. After going 3-13-3 last season, the Wolf Pack played well toward the end of the season getting to the semifinals of the Western Athletic Conference Tournament before losing to eventual tournament champion Fresno State. This season, Nevada has revamped its roster with new young talent, an added piece to the coaching staff and the urge to get to its fifth straight WAC Tournament and second NCAA Tournament berth. NEWCOMERS The Wolf Pack lost six seniors from last 10
year’s squad from a 21-player roster. Frias signed 12 recruits and now has the flexibility and depth on a 26-player roster. The quantity of the recruiting class is large and the quality is deep. The Web site topdrawersoccer.com, a national collegiate soccer site, ranked the Wolf Pack recruiting class best in the WAC. The 12 players is Frias’ largest class in his four years in collegiate coaching. “What I really wanted out of this year’s class is more depth in the program,” Frias said. “Especially at the collegiate level, you want about 24 or 25 players. We’re at a good number where we can draw a good competitive environment. We wanted that culture and we were committed to that.” Last season, Frias inherited players recruited under former coach Terri Patraw. Frias wanted to make sure his first class had plenty of players he could grow with and surround the upperclassmen with good talent.
THE WOLF PACK EDGE • SEPTEMBER 2009
Part of the growing process in college soccer for freshmen is adapting to a new environment and team. While some players in other programs may tease and give new players a hard time, Nevada’s upperclassmen know that building strong relationships and teaching new players is what will bring home conference titles. Marie Cove, Nevada’s returning goal keeper, made sure that the new players adjusted to college life and if they had questions or problems that she was available to talk. “It’s not like two separated teams like I thought it could be, it’s one big team,” said Cove, who had 32 saves in eight games last season. “I always go up and try to break the ice. Freshmen are always nervous. I just welcome them in. I’m always the one who let them know if they need a ride, or if they need this. The whole team does this, but I like to make jokes with them and make them feel comfortable.” Also to help the adaption process is the team’s leading scorer from last season, Cristen Drummond. The junior from Los Angeles scored four goals last seaWWW.PACKEDGE.COM
son and was named to the All-WAC first team and WAC all-tournament team. The 5-foot-4 speedster was named to the preseason All-WAC team and undoubtedly provides the experience and knowledge to provide to the upcoming class. FITNESS PROGRAM One of the reasons Frias had success at Stephen F. Austin (36-17-3, two Southland Conference Titles) was his experience as a player. After playing on an under-18 Premier Youth Squad in 1998, Frias played professional soccer in Mexico City before heading to Centenary College in Shreveport, La. Drawing from his experiences, establishing a difficult and nearly futile training regimen is one of his philosophies as a coach. Frias has a list of voluntary workouts for his players to do during the summer hoping that they come into camp in great shape.
Cove said that the players are in peak shape coming into camp. Frias hopes the regimen will increase endurance throughout the 19-game regular season and into postseason play. TOUGH SCHEDULE In his second season, Frias is working with a schedule that was established by the previous coaching staff. Since schedules are produced up to three years in advance, Frias is already working on future matchups. This season, though not under his control, offers a very difficult schedule with opponents from the Big Ten, Big West, Pac-10 and Atlantic 10 – and Frias is perfectly fine with that.
“She won a world cup with the U.S. National Team and a national championship in college. All those experiences set her apart from the other candidates.” Perkins lived and coached in New Zealand and is well versed internationally in soccer.
Minnesota won the Big Ten and got to the third round of the NCAA Tournament before falling to No. 1 Notre Dame in overtime.
“It’s strenuous,” Cove said. “Last year we were on a little different schedule because we weren’t as fit coming in. This year we’re not really building our fitness, we’re maintaining it. Summer is when we do all our fitness and make sure we’re up to par when we come in.” Among the most difficult test is referred to the “beep test.”
The WAC schedule will be a tough test, also.
Players have to run 22 yards in the span of two beeps. The time between two beeps gets quicker as the drill progresses meaning the player has to run harder and harder. The drill lasts about 20 minutes.”
NEW COACH The Wolf Pack announced the hiring of new assistant coach Jessica Perkin, a solid player in her own right with credentials in the coaching scene.
“Jessica could have gone anywhere in the country, to be honest with you,” Frias said.
The non-conference slate includes Cal, UC Santa Barbara and Minnesota, all of which went to the NCAA Tournament last year.
Fordham got to the Atlantic 10 Tournament final for the second straight year and was one win away from the NCAA Tournament. Other games include very prominent west coast teams including Oregon State, Sacramento State, St. Mary’s, UC Irvine and UC Davis.
“Well, I’m not a fan of the ‘beep test,’” Drummond said. “It’s really about endurance and mental and physical toughness.”
Virginia, Frias heard her name circulate as an up and comer in collegiate coaching and selected her from a deep pool of candidates.
Perkin was a member of Santa Clara’s 2001 National Championship team and part of the U.S. National Team.
After a year as a volunteer assistant at SEPTEMBER 2009 • THE WOLF PACK EDGE 11
Net Warriors Prepare for Fall's Battles By Dan McGee ne sure sign summer is ending is when Nevada's Volleyball team and coaching staff take the court. This time, unlike most years, the team's preseason came early, during their trip to Argentina and Chile. The trip gave the coach a preview of things to be addressed during practice.
"Based upon our Argentina tour, we were absolutely horrible at times and we were absolutely fantastic at times," she said. "And it was the same group in both of those situations." The coach added that one factor might have been having to play immediately after 18-hour long bus rides. "It wasn't a consistent decline, it was inconsistency in their abilities to come out and be ready to play every night. So it's there, they have the ability but it's just a matter if they can do it consistently," she said. The traveling team was made up of returning players along with graduated senior Allison Hernandez. And overall Scruggs felt it was very worthwhile. "It was definitely a challenge but it was absolutely fantastic for us," she said. "There's no trip that we'll go on this fall that will be harder than the road trips we went on in Argentina." The coach added the team's bus trip across the Andes was one the more interesting rides on the road. "It was one of the best days of the trip," she said. "Unbelievable, Lombard Street in San Francisco on steroids." This year's roster is a balanced with three freshmen, three sophomores, four juniors and a trio of seniors. And the coach had a chance to see the freshman at camp earlier this summer.
THE WOLF PACK EDGE â€˘ SEPTEMBER 2009
Liking what she saw and assessing her team, Scruggs said, "I think by just losing one and adding three we absolutely gained some athleticism, gained some volleyball knowledge and more depth at different positions. We're not quite as young, we'll be a little bit more experienced and we should be a little better than we were last year." The new members are Hawaiians Kelly Chang, Elissa Ji and Janelle Batista from Corvallis, Oregon. "Kelly will provide us more depth in libero and defensive playing," the coach said. "Elissa looked fantastic at camp and is an outside hitter that can play all six rotations. She has the ability to terminate, can pass and play defense. Janelle will provide us depth in the middle blocking position but she's a small middle so needs some work with her footwork and she can play both left and right." The team's captains this year are senior Lauren Kelly and junior Nicole Link. A slightly changed coaching staff will lead the team as one familiar face has moved on. "The unfortunate news is that I've lost my best and top assistant (Ray Batalon) to a fantastic program at my alma mater and it's a great opportunity for him," she said. "I'm super excited for him and it's perfect for what he needs to do for his career." Batalon moved to an assistant's position at Pacific but changes like this are expected and Scruggs is very pleased for him. "I encourage every single assistant I have to move on to a head position and/or upgrade their opportunities to be able to put themselves in a position to be hired," she said. "Ray did a ton for us and we're finding out more and more all the things he did but we've got it covered." WWW.PACKEDGE.COM
The coach said she's been inundated with prospects but won't actually fill the position until late November or early December. Until then last year's volunteer assistant Mike Bettinghouse is now an interim assistant coach and joins the other assistant Nate Hallett. While Nevada's team is changing so is the league, with the exception of Hawaii of course. According to the coach, they always recruit top players and she expects them to once again rule the WAC. In the preseason coach's poll, Nevada was ranked fifth, something the coach was comfortable with that but feels change maybe on the way. Asked about the poll, Scruggs said. "With the exception of Hawaii, every team that finished ahead of us (San Jose, Idaho, Utah State and New Mexico State) lost their best players and we'll be a bit better than we were last year. I think the conference is a race for second and anybody could be in that second through sixth seed." Of those ranked below Nevada it appears Boise State faces the biggest challenge. "They are going through a coaching change and didn't have a staff a month ago so I'm not sure how many players they'll have either," Scruggs said, "... that's going to be a program I think is going to take some time to turn around."
Despite being ranked at the bottom, LA Tech is headed by a coach that's been in the WAC before. As a result, Scruggs feels they might surprise a few teams so shouldn't be taken for granted by anyone. San Jose and Fresno are examples of how Scruggs' encouragement of those that have worked for her has born fruit as former Nevada assistant coaches lead both teams. "I think they'll be very good, especially Fresno as they were much like us last year in that did not lose a fair amount of seniors," she said. The coach knows there's a lot of work to be done during practice, including looking for an improvement the overall competitiveness and fire to win. Then looking ahead she said, "I'm cautiously optimistic but also realistic." After the Silver and Blue Scrimmage on Aug. 22, the team faces its first real opponent, Connecticut, on Friday, Aug. 28. After three more tournaments Nevada faces its first WAC opponent, Fresno State, at 7 p.m., Saturday Sept., in the Virginia Street Gym. A sure sign its fall.
SEPTEMBER 2009 â€˘ THE WOLF PACK EDGE 13
That hearkened me back to my Senior year at St. Anthony High in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida where we had the finest coach I have ever been able to play for. His name was Joe Gusweiler, who had been an All-American under Kentucky’s famed coach, Adolph Rupp. Later he had played with the “House of David”, a professional touring team, much in the mold of the Harlem Globetrotters. He said the toughest thing about being a member of that squad was all players had to grow long black beards.
Sonny Allen eading the reprint of the John Trent article on former Nevada basketball coach Sonny Allen that appeared in last month’s issue of this publication I was reminded of how exciting the Silver and Blue thin clads had been to watch when Sonny was at the helm from 1980 to 1987.
As a former player in High School and at the U I have always been an advocate of the “fast break” in basketball offense. In the John Trent article on Sonny, which originally appeared in the Silver and Blue publication’s Spring issue this year, a great deal of the story was devoted to Sonny’s miraculous recovery from a near fatal attack of West Nile virus a few years ago. However, the most interesting part of Trent’s yarn was the explanation of how Sonny had created the “numbered fast break” when he was coaching at Old Dominion College in 1966. Traditionally, fast breaks were designed by basketball coaches to involve only three of the five players on court, with Allen’s system all five players were in the mix, with each player getting a number of one through five. Since no two fast breaks ever develop in quite the same way the numbering system allowed Allen to simplify what each player’s responsibility was in any given situation.
THE WOLF PACK EDGE • SEPTEMBER 2009
Like Sonny Allen his coaching style was to get the ball downcourt as quickly as possible and he would drum into us, “A layup is the highest percentage shot in basketball!” Watching the Nevada squad during those years that Sonny was in charge carried me back to my High School days as the Nevada team would literally run other teams ragged with the constant fast break. Another thing that made those games of yore exciting was the rivalry between Nevada and UNLV. The “Running Rebels”, as Vegas was called, had the same philosophy as the Silver and Blue so the matchups were like watching a track meet. Adding to the excitement was that each of the coaches had an outstanding player at point guard and each of them happened to be the coach’s son. It was Billy Allen for Nevada and Danny Tarkanian for his dad Jerry at UNLV. The Sonny and BIlly show even carried over into the Nevada Athletic Hall of Fame, with Billy being inducted in 1994 and Sonny in 2005. A dozen or so years ago I got into numerous racquetball games with Sonny and I could still see the competitive fire in his eye every time we played. That spirit and his constant pursuit of staying in shape are two factors that I think helped him recover from his severe illness) that might have sounded the final bell for a lesser individual.
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SCHEDULE FOOTBALL DATE
Sat, Sep 05 Notre Dame
South Bend, Ind. 12:30 p.m.
Sat, Oct 24
Sat, Sep 19 Colorado State
Fort Collins, Colo. 2:00 p.m.
Sat, Oct 31
Fri, Sep 25
Sun, Nov 08 San Jose State *
San Jose, Calif.
Sat, Oct 03
Sat, Nov 14 Fresno State *
Fri, Oct 09
Louisiana Tech *
Sat, Nov 21 New Mexico State *Las Cruces, N.M. 5:00 p.m.
Sat, Oct 17
Utah State *
Fri, Nov 27
Boise State *
Fri, Sep 04
Sat, Oct 10
Utah State *
Fri, Sep 04
Eastern WashingtonTucson, Ariz.
Thu, Oct 15 Boise State *
Sat, Oct 17
Thu, Oct 22 Idaho *
Sat, Oct 24
Sat, Sep 12 Sam Houston State Reno, Nev.
Thu, Oct 29 San Jose State *
Sat, Sep 12 Portland State
Sat, Oct 31
Thu, Nov 05 UNLV
Sat, Nov 07 San Jose State *
San Jose, Calif.
Sat, Sep 05 Houston
Circus Circus Invitational Fri, Sep 11
Boise State *
Fri, Sep 18
Loyola Marymount Stockton, Calif.
Mon, Nov 09 Fresno State*
Fri, Sep 18
Thu, Nov 12 New Mexico State* Reno, Nev.
Sat, Nov 14 Louisiana Tech *
Thu, Nov 19 Utah State *
Sat, Sep 19 CSU Bakersfield
Tue, Sep 22 Sacramento State Sacramento, Calif. 7:00 p.m. Sat, Sep 26 Fresno State *
Thu, Oct 01 New Mexico State *Las Cruces, N.M. 6:00 p.m.
Mon, Nov 23 - Wed, Nov 25 WAC Tournament at Las Vegas, Nev.
Sat, Oct 03
(Orleans Arena) TBA
Louisiana Tech *
Thu, Oct 08 Hawai`i *
Honolulu, Hawaii 10:00 p.m.
THE WOLF PACK EDGE â€˘ SEPTEMBER 2009
Football PREVIEW By Scott Oxarart
HIGH DESERT McQueen (Last season overall 14-0, league 6-0) Going into last season, the Lancers were the clear favorite in the north. When all was done, McQueen proved they were the best in the state after a 13-12 win over Palo Verde in the State Title Game. With a plethora of senior stars last year, this year’s squad will be a little different in addition to a new coach. Jim Snelling takes over team this season after being an assistant coach for the Lancers. Though he is new, he still has the same principles that former coach Ken Dalton had that brought the school five state titles. “I’ve been apart of the program for so long and coach Dalton let all the assistants have so much input that I don’t feel that a lot has changed,” Snelling said. “All the expectations remain the same. Bottom line, we expect everyone to work especially hard.” McQueen returns one starter from last year, but don’t expect pity from Snelling. He still expects his team to compete and fulfill the tradition that is one of the best programs in the state.
Elko (3-7, 1-5) The Indians struggled last year in the High Desert, but had some bright spots in the three wins.
the season progressed, injuries and a stacked northern league saw the team lose its last two games including a battle with eventual state champion McQueen in a 34-14 loss. Spanish Springs will be a contender this season as they bring back 25 seniors and a large pool of players for depth. A key returnee is Jalen Dixon. Dixon was an explosive playmaker last year with six touchdowns. He can play running back and catch passes from the backfield. He also had two interceptions last year and blocked a punt. This could be an interesting year for the Cougars.
Coach Ty Gregg takes the helm for North Valleys this season as the team comes off a disappointing season. The Panthers return a key part of the offense that could help this season in Ryan Mathes. The senior averaged 47.5 yards a game on the ground last season with three touchdowns. With 26 players from last year returning, including some big players on the line, the Panthers could play the upset role this season. The school is in an area where the depth in players could increase, which could lead to strong, effective competition for key roles on both offense and defense.
Reno (4-7, 3-3) The Huskies and coach Dan Avansino return some good skill players and hope to rebound from a mediocre 2008 season. Quarterback Nick Bietz returns for his senior season after a solid junior season. Bietz is a dual threat QB who can throw it and run it. Bietz averaged 45 yards a game on the ground and when the defense stacked the middle, he threw for over 75 yards a game. The senior will have to improve his passing, but with returning running back/receiver Trevor McElroy and talent from junior varsity coming up, Reno will look to improve and get back in the Northern spotlight.
Hug (8-2, 5-1) The Hug Hawks were considered one of the top teams in the state last season. With multiple players receiving attention from Division I college programs, the attention and hype was there.
Reed (7-5, 5-2) The Raiders return possibly the most skilled players to the upcoming squad, thus have a great shot to be the best in the north.
The Indians return quarterback Benjamin Suyematsu, a 5-foot-10 senior, and will look to build off the experience of the underclassmen.
After a battle with Hug last year in a 53-47 loss, the Raiders racked up four straight wins before losing to McQueen in the playoffs.
Spanish Springs (6-4, 4-4)
Reed should have about 20 seniors on the squad, including starting quarterback Taylor Pine.
Reed also will have running back Christian Thompson, who rushed for over 100 yards per game and scored seven touchdowns, and Aaron Greenblat, who caught 29 passes for 466 yards and four touchdowns.
North Valleys (3-6, 0-6)
Elko averaged 20 points a game but was let down by its defense that faced a tough league schedule.
The Cougars started the season hot last year winning its first four games. But as
Pine threw for over 2,000 yards last season with 22 touchdowns helping Reed become one of the most prolific scoring teams.
But the Hawks fell short of their goal to get to state by losing to underdog Damonte Ranch in the 4A playoffs. “The coaches took that loss very personal,” head coach Rollins Stallworth said. “We felt like we were unprepared. That loss was very hard on the players, but the coaches use that as motivation this season.” The Hawks are known for continually turning out strong prospects each season and this year isn’t different.
SEPTEMBER 2009 • THE WOLF PACK EDGE 17
The Hawks will look to get 6-foot-6 wide out Tre Johnson the ball as much as possible as Johnson hopes to build on a solid season last year. Johnson, who also excels on the Hawks’ basketball team, has the speed and agility to get passed defenders and the leaping ability and good hands to catch anything his way.
of scrimmage and power its way to wins this season. “We have to live up to our reputation,” Amantia said. “We’re going to play every freakin’ snap to the whistle for four quarters. We’re not going to let up. We’re not going to take plays off. That’s not who we are.”
Douglas (8-3, 6-1) The coaches will work on discipline and hope to guide the team back to the playoffs. “We always have three goals for the program,” Stallworth said. “Get to the playoffs, get to state and win state. We’ll see what we can do.”
SIERRA LEAGUE Damonte Ranch
Coach Mike Rippee has 23 juniors from last year’s team likely coming back and after losing quarterback Tim Rudnick to graduation, the Tigers have an excellent running game returning. Last year’s leading rusher Johnny Pollack, who rushed for 773 yards and three touchdowns while averaging nearly six yards per carry, and Jordan Cruz, who gained 355 yards and six touchdowns, will likely anchor the running attack.
(Last season overall 7-4, league 5-2) The Mustangs and coach Tony Amantia pulled off one of the biggest upsets in the state last year on the ultimate stage. In the first round of the playoffs playing at Hug, considered the second best team in the north behind McQueen, Damonte Ranch stunned the Hawks in a 9-7 victory, which Amantia called the biggest win in program history. “I tell the kids that if you buy in to what we’re teaching, I promise you that you will find positive results,” Amantia said. “Ever since we started this program we’ve relied on being more disciplined than our opponent and being in better shape.”
Douglas has four linemen returning that weigh over 200 pounds. The Tigers beat Reed and its high-powered offense easily in the regular season with a 40-13 win. The Raiders, however, got revenge in the playoffs with a 44-22 win in the first round. The Tigers will undoubtedly look forward to that game this year as well as rival Carson High.
South Tahoe (2-8, 2-5) The Vikings return just eight juniors from last year’s team, and with a program still trying to build depth at all positions South Tahoe will depend on upcoming prospects to fill the voids.
Damonte looks to build on the success with five offensive starters and five defensive starters returning.
Among those returning is Garrett Tinlin, a 6-foot-2, 170-pound tight end/linebacker.
Mike Rogers, Cody Killgore and Alex Springmeyer will anchor an experienced offensive line and pave the way for senior running back Mike Artemis.
Tinlin was a dependable option through the air last season catching a team-high 25 passes for 329 yards and four touchdowns. Tinlin wasn’t much of a deep threat, but could get open in the red zone and used his height and stretched arms to make him a viable target.
Artemis ran for nearly 700 yards last year with five touchdowns. He also recorded more than 70 tackles and is expected to be a force at the safety position. The Mustangs have established a reputation for playing hard and with experience in offensive and defensive line, the team looks to win the battle at the line 18
If South Tahoe can build a win streak this season and show that the team is on the rise, the team hopes participation will go up and strong and athletic players will develop.
schedule with a powerful offense and stingy defense. Bishop Manogue scored 33 points or more eight times throughout the season and during a three-game stretch averaged 47 points per game. But when the Miners tried to make its mark as the best team in the north, they fell in the Northern 4A Championship to McQueen, 38-0.
Carson (3-7, 3-5) The Senators were believed to be the first team in the area to fully run the Pistol offense and went through some growing pains last season in the process. Carson, however, has two key returnees in the backfield to help that process in the Pistol, which is a hybrid of the shotgun where the quarterback stands three yards behind the ball and the running back is somewhat disguised two yards behind the quarterback. Blake Plattsmier will quarterback the offense while leading rusher Mark Sinnott will take the handoffs. The Senators had 31 juniors last year, including a few sophomores and some size on the offensive and defensive line. If the Pistol can be modified, area defenses could have a problem defending it.
Fallon (2-8, 1-6) The services of first team All Northern 4A player Trent deBraga and Anthony Tisdale will be missed, but the Green Wave always seem to shovel in talented and athletic players to each year’s squad. The challenge will be for Fallon to stay consistent and use their size on the line of scrimmage. The Green Wave should have at least three linemen returning that weigh over 240 pounds including Matt Derose (240), Remy Fabel (250) and Will Hurlburt (310). Fallon’s Andy Fiske and Alvin Juris return at running back and should have plenty of room to run.
Wooster (1-9, 0-8) The Wooster Colts started the season in grand fashion, beating the Lowry Buckaroos 14-0. The rest of the season wasn’t so nice.
Bishop Manogue (11-2, 7-0) The Miners breezed through league
THE WOLF PACK EDGE • SEPTEMBER 2009
The Colts lost nine straight to end the WWW.PACKEDGE.COM
season, getting shut out three times and failing to score more than 14 points in a game. Hayden McSwiggin and Dwayne Johnny return this year as a solid quarterback-rushing attack, but the loss of Anthonie Wright, a 6-foot-2 wide receiver with six touchdowns last season, will hurt. With 15 juniors on last year’s team, the team will look to add depth and find another playmaker.
Galena (4-7, 4-3) The Grizzlies had a horrible start to the season last year, losing its first five games. Some teams would have folded the remainder of the year. The Grizzlies, though, reeled off four straight wins and made the playoffs before losing in the first round to McQueen. Beau Bickel will return to play quarterback, where he passed for nearly 1,000 yards and 14 touchdowns last season. Galena will need running backs and receivers to step up early as leading rusher Jarod Faust and receivers Nick Dufur and Luke Hess are gone. Coach Steve Struzyk has been good in the past at making his team rebound, we’ll see how it goes this year.
SEPT. ‘09 VOLUME 2, ISSUE 1
ON THE COVER:
First Year Head Coach Jim Snelling takes over the Defending State Champions McQueen Lancers. Retired Head Coach Ken Dalton has been the only head coach the Lancers have ever had in their storied 30-year history.
COVER PHOTO BY KENNETH G. MOEN
SEPTEMBER 2009 • THE WOLF PACK EDGE 19