The Coleville High football team, after having its practice time limited for more than a week, was dealt another bad break Saturday when its season-opening game against Smith Valley was called off due to the smoke-filled sky.
Coleville’s nonconference home game was among the casualties of a directive from the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association office on Thursday that cancelled sporting events scheduled for the weekend in Washoe, Douglas, Carson City, Lyon, Storey, Churchill, El Dorado and Mono counties.
The Wolves will now have to wait until Friday night to kick off their season in Eureka.
“The boys are disappointed,” Coleville coach Will Sandy said. “You just can’t do anything about the smoke.”
That is just part of the problem, too, because the Wolves have mostly been restricted to indoor practices for the better part of two weeks.
The Wolves have been outside only briefly, including one practice last week in Lee Vining, Calif., about 60 miles to the south. The order issued by the NIAA covered Mono County which precluded consideration of an option for Coleville and Smith Valley of playing in Lee Vining.
“The way the wind changed, we might not have been able to play there anyway, and with our limited budget, we can’t afford to travel much further than that,” Sandy said.
Indoor practice facilities have even been limited since the volleyball program uses the school’s gym.
“We’ve been practicing in the multi-purpose room,” Sandy said. “It’s pretty small; we have to wear sneakers, but we’re able to put the pads on and do blocking and tackling drills. We just can’t put anybody down on the ground.”
On top of everything else, the team has been hit by injuries to key players.
Matt Clark, a junior multipurpose player expected to fill many roles, has been lost for the season after undergoing surgery for a dislocated kneecap. Junior Josh Disbro, an experienced lineman and the team’s biggest player at 6-1, 248 pounds, has been hobbled since twisting his knee at practice, according to Sandy.
Senior lineman Matt Algeo has also been battling illness, which would have made his status questionable if the Wolves had played on Saturday, the coach added.
“The line is one area where we were really thin so we can’t afford to have any bad luck as far as having guys go down,” Sandy said.
No doubt, the Wolves are looking forward to playing against a Eureka team that lost its season opener Saturday at home against Virginia City, 52-0.
“We’re at a real disadvantage,” Sandy said. “We’re doing the best we can, but we’re way behind right now. We just need to get out on a field.”