Douglas running back Gabe Foster stiff arms a Reno player last spring. Foster will have a big role on the Tigers’ football team this fall as a senior at linebacker and running back.
Photo by Ron Harpin.
Head coaching changes are not commonplace when it comes to Douglas High School football.
However, with Ernie Monfiletto retiring following the spring season, the Tigers will be entering a new era.
Kyle Mays will be Douglas’ fourth head coach since 1970 this season and the first-year Tiger coach is looking forward to the challenges that lay ahead.
“It’s been fast and furious,” said Mays of his transition from freshman coach to varsity head coach. “Our kids and coaches work so hard. The kids just love the game of football and being out there with each other.”
The Tigers graduated a large senior class of 14 from the shortened spring season, so Mays will start with a bit of a younger squad.
Offensive tendencies for Douglas this season will be akin to what Tiger fans have seen in the past
“It’ll be similar. We brought in a new offensive coordinator,” said Mays. “It’ll still be shotgun and spread concepts. There really won’t be too many differences.”
Matt Tretton will serve as the Tigers’ offensive coordinator.
The biggest change for Douglas this season may be who is behind center as spring quarterback Aden Flory will start the year out wide as a receiver.
Mays said he will turn to senior Anthony Menzer to open the season at quarterback.
“It’s still a competition at this moment,” said Mays.
In the backfield, Mays and the Tigers will continue to use multiple pieces to try to gain yards on the ground.
Christopher Smalley – who committed to play football at the University of Nevada, Reno this summer – is dealing with a broken hand, so Mays anticipates the senior to miss the first few weeks of the season.
Gabe Foster will once again be a downhill back for the Tigers, who hope to replace the production of graduated senior back Trevor Kruger.
Douglas’ offensive line will have some similarities, as Ben Hirt will be returning at center. Jacob Brady and Hector Mata-Sanchez will fill the guard positions while Theo Reid and Hunter Ulmer will be set at tackle.
Joining Flory out wide will be Camden Altringer and senior Mason Anscott while Ben Schinzing is expected to be the Tigers’ tight end.
Tiger defensive tenacity
Douglas’ defense in the spring was vital to the team’s success.
Tiger fans should expect a strong, talented linebacker core to lead the defensive efforts this season.
Smalley and Foster will be stationed at linebacker along with Schinzing, as the trio will be the leading tacklers returning from the spring team.
Chris Smalley’s younger brother, Cole, will also be in the mix along with some underclassmen in the season’s early going.
On the defensive line, Douglas will have some guys going both ways.
Ayden Kizer will be the Tigers’ nose tackle to start the year while Ulmer and Brady Tonzi will lineup on either side of Kizer.
At corner will be Altringer and Robert Costello with Gavin Ross and Trevor Middaugh playing behind them in the secondary.
The kicking game will be one of Mays’ first challenges as head coach, noting that it’ll be a process of managing opportunity costs on fourth down.
Douglas has a bit of the injury bug, per Mays, in the season’s early going.
As a first-year head coach Mays has every plan to be competitive in league play.
“Our kids have been working hard,” said Mays. “With only nine teams, I think we can easily be in the top half. If things go our way, we can compete for the top three. We will see if us as coaches can prepare these kids the right way.”
The Tigers hit the road to start the year with non-league contests at Lowry (Winnemucca) and Center, California.
Douglas will have a nice run of league games before a bye week Oct. 8, prior to hosting rival Carson the following weekend.
Douglas will conclude the 2021 fall regular season at Spanish Springs.
8/20 – at Lowry
8/27 – at Center (CA)
9/3 – v. McQueen
9/10 – v. Reno
9/17 – at Galena
9/24 – v. Reed
10/1 – at Damonte Ranch
10/8 – BYE
10/15 – v. Carson
10/22 – at Spanish Springs