DHS dominates Carson Country football squad
Eleven Douglas High football players were named to the 2003 Nevada Appeal all-Carson Country football team.
The team is headed by senior quarterback Luke Rippee, who passed for 1,698 yards and 17 TDs this year, and ran for 10 scores. The talented Rippee was named the Northern Nevada 4A Player of the Year for the second straight season. As a junior, he shared the honor with McQueen’s Zach Borba.
Also named to the team were running back Dusty Cooper, wide receiver Andy McIntosh, offensive linemen David Silvestro, Garrett Hostetler and Paul Mannelly, kicker Eric Emm, defensive back Tommy Welton, linebacker Jake Peterson, defensive tackle Tyson Estes and defensive end Nick Summers.
Here’s a position-by-position look at the entire team.
Luke Rippee, 5-10, 170, sr., Douglas: Started every game at QB for the Tigers each of the last three seasons and is now Northern 4A and Sierra League Player of the Year. Was 120-for-213 for 1,698 yards passing with 17 TDs this season, plus he ran for 10 TDs and scored another on an interception return. Was a first-team all-region defensive back for the 11-1 Tigers in their march to the Northern 4A title game.
Dusty Cooper, 5-8, 160, sr., Douglas: Emerged into a big-time player in his third varsity season, rushing for 1,633 yards (7.2 yard average) and 22 TDs (six from 40 yards or more). He also caught three TD passes and ran back a kick for a score. He was named to the first-team all-region and all-league teams.
Austin Watson, 5-10, 160, jr., Carson: A pleasant surprise who emerged as a player to watch when he rushed for 202 yards and two TDs in week 2 against Galena. Quick and a hard runner, he finished as the Senators’ leading rusher with 750 yards (7.7 yard average) and 6 TDs (two from beyond 60 yards). Was named second-team all-league.
Tommy Menesini, 6-0, 180, sr., Yerington: Wore No. 1, which was fitting because he was a standout all-purpose player and home run threat for the Lions this season. He rushed for 740 yards (8.0 average) and was a solid lead blocker in the Lions’ fly offense. Scored five TDs in the Lions’ 31-14 win against Lowry.
Andy McIntosh, 5-11, 190, sr., Douglas: A third-year varsity starter who caught 50 passes for a school single season record 884 yards (17.7 average) and eight TDs. Didn’t start this season at full strength as he recovered from a quad tear in the spring, but still earned first-team all-region and all-league honors. Is now the school career record holder for receptions.
Ryan Clifford, 6-2, 190, sr., Fernley: Caught a school single-season record 42 passes, good for 517 yards and earned second-team all-conference honors. His nine receptions against Lowry set another school record (he had 199 yards in that game). Was the Vaqueros’ Offensive Player of the Year.
Frank Kurnick, 6-2, 190, sr., Galena: A wide receiver last year, he switched to tight end and emerged as a solid blocker as well as the major focus of Galena’s passing game. Led the team in receiving with 23 catches for 500 yards and one TD. Was also a team captain and a second-team all-league selection.
David Silvestro, 6-0, 215, sr., Douglas: The Tigers set school records in nearly every offensive category this season — including an average of 373 yards per game — and that success can be traced to a strong offensive line. Silvestro was named first-team all-region and all-league tackle.
Paul Mannelly, 5-8, 180, sr., Douglas: A two-year starter on the offensive line, Mannelly was the blocker the Tigers ran behind when they needed to gain a yard on third- or fourth-down. “One of the best driver blockers we have,” according to coach Mike Rippee, Mannelly was named first-team all-region and all-league guard.
Rob Ghiglieri, 6-3, 200, sr., Carson: Described by coach Shane Quilling as “the best center I’ve coached.” Hadn’t played center before this season, but was a good technician who showed a knack for getting to inside linebackers to make key blocks in the Senators’ veer scheme. Played defensive end last year.
Garrett Hostetler, 5-11, 225, sr., Douglas: Stepped into the starting lineup on offense as a guard in September and responded with a performance that brought him first-team all-league and second-team all-region honors.
Kyle Bateson, 6-2, 200, sr., Galena: A converted linebacker who played both ways on the line this season. Was named first-team all-league and second-team all region at offensive tackle and described by coach Steve Struzyk as the “heart and soul of our team.” Team captain — he played quarterback as a freshman.
Mike Handley, 5-9, 160, sr., Carson: A second-team all-league receiver, Handley was a “go-to” player the Senators liked to get the ball to. Ranked among the top receivers in the North with 19 receptions for 225 yards for an 11.8 yard average. Injuries prevented him from reaching full potential during a season in which he played free safety, cornerback, returned punts, wide receiver and even quarterback.
Eric Emm, 5-11, 155, jr., Douglas: Named first-team All-Northern 4A and first-team all-league during a season in which he converted 57-of-63 PAT attempts and 4-of-5 field goal field goals (his longest was 37 yards). His kickoffs were also a factor in the Tigers’ ability to establish field position.
Nick Summers, 5-11, 180, sr., Douglas: Northern 4A Lineman of the Year for his play at defensive end as well as tight end. As weakside end on defense, he logged 4-1/2 sacks, four fumble recoveries and an interception. Consistent. Combining with Stormy Herald at the other end, opponents rarely beat Douglas on the perimeter.
Brian Welch, 5-11, 180, jr., Carson: Doesn’t possess great size, but used his quickness to lead the North in sacks. First-team all-league and second-team all-region. Played in eight games and was the Senators’ Player of the Game three times.
Zach Harger, 6-0, 200, sr., Galena: An improved player who earned second-team all-league recognition as an offensive tackle. Scored the Grizzlies’ first TD of the season on defense when he recovered a fumble in the end zone against Spanish Springs.
Tyson Estes, 6-0, 220, jr., Douglas: First-team all-league. Won defensive tackle job in camp and only improved. Became solid run-stopper. Already good pass rusher. Led the team in sacks with 5-1/2 and 488 tackles and three fumble recoveries.
Joe Sandoval, 6-1, 205, sr., Dayton: A defensive tackle who played much of the season with an injured shoulder, yet made plays all over the field. He was a second-team all-league selection and named as the team’s MVP. “After the Manogue game, coach (Joe) Sellers came up and told us, ‘That guy could play for me.’ I thought that was quite a complement,” Dayton coach Rick Walker said.
Nick Shine, 6-3, 220, sr., Carson: Team captain and team MVP who never came off the field. As No. 77, Shine would line up on the offensive line and play defensive tackle. When he wore No. 40, he would line up at tight end and linebacker. All-Northern 4A and all-league as a linebacker. He was also a second-team all-region tight end. Is looking to play Division I football in college.
Jake Peterson, 6-1, 210, sr., Douglas: A third-year varsity starter, Peterson was a mainstay at middle linebacker for a defensive unit that limited nine opponents to 14 points or less. Earned first-team all-league and all-region honors. Had 74 tackles, one sack, one interception and one fumble recovery.
John Stewart, 6-3, 200, sr., Carson: A three-year varsity letterman, Stewart earned second-team all-league honors. Was hobbled by an Ankle sprain much of the season, but he still produced a highlight reel play when he ran down South Tahoe star running back Grant Swinney from behind inside the 10. The defense and the Senators went on to win the game. Team co-captain.
Adam Ledbetter, 6-0, 180, sr., Yerington: A two-year starter who led team in tackles and was an all-around leader for the Lions. To show versatility, he played fullback and moved to the offensive line last year, then came back this year to start at QB.
Ben Fry, 5-8, 160, jr., Galena: Emerged as one of the Grizzlies’ best all-around players in his second varsity season, earned first-team all-region and all-league honors as a defensive back and was second-team as a running back. Had three interceptions, including a key theft late in Galena’s overtime loss to McQueen. Led the team in rushing — he scored three TDs in wins against Spanish Springs and Fallon — and third in receiving. Was the Grizzlies’ team MVP.
Dan Rotter, 6-0, 175, sr., Carson: Was named first-team all-league, second-team all-region. His 50-yard interception return for a TD was the game-clincher for the Senators in their win over South Tahoe. Began season at outside linebacker. Moved back to free safety. Three interceptions and ranked among team leaders in tackles and called defensive signals.
Tommy Welton, 5-11, 175, sr., Douglas: Converted from offense to cornerback this season and earned second-team all-league recognition. Set a school single-season record with eight interceptions, one of which went for a TD. Returned a fumble for another TD in the Tigers’ playoff win against Hug.
Casey Skog, 5-10, 180, sr., Dayton: Missed two games late in the season with a shoulder injury, but still earned second-team all-conference and all-state recognition at safety. Led the team in interceptions with five and the hard hitter was strong on run support.
Carson: Jared Wulff, linebacker; Derek Shoaf, linebacker; Matt Mitchell, kicker; David Cadwallader, defensive line; Tilor Smith, defensive back; Mike Dittenber, quarterback.
Douglas: Tim Coleman, punter; Johnson Riggs, offensive line; Austin Glenn, offensive line; Nate Walsh, offensive line; Stormy Herald, defensive end; Anthony Ripoli, linebacker; Kyle Luken, linebacker; Dan Senger, defensive tackle; Jake Marsh, defensive tackle; Eddie Shope, defensive back
Dayton: Justin Cross, running back; Dan Hopper, defensive end; Tim Torres, linebacker; Trent Wood, kicker; Dylan Morris.
Fernley: Chris Leonard, defensive line; Dan Regalado, special teams return; Laine Turley, linebacker; Matt Kramer, linebacker;
Yerington: Everett Willie, offensive line; Josh Insarra, running back;
Galena: Hunter Mulhall, linebacker; Dennis Bolz, linebacker; Tyler Ewald, kicker; Rod Scurry, wide receiver.