Football: Pop Warner teams advance in postseason
The Douglas Pop Warner Unlimited Tigers are attempting to raise money for a trip to Florida, where the team will play in a series of exhibition games in the first week of December.
The Unlimited Tigers, playing in a division that does not seperate players by weight class, wrapped up the Sagebrush Empire League championship with a 28-0 victory over Carson City last week.
Douglas went 7-0 on the year in a divison consisting of three other teams – Carson, Fallon and Sparks.
Winning the league championship garnered an invitation for Douglas to represent the Pacific Northwest Region in a pair of exhibition games at the Pop Warner Super Bowl in Florida starting Dec. 1.
Team members include Sonny Robison, Kenneth Cruz III, Isaiah Schat, Ryan Adams, Austin Aiken, Tahomah Smokey, Colton Patterson, Richard Castellanos, Tre Jackson, Joshua Meza, Cade Pankey, Cade Pinther, Brandon Thielmann, Benjamin Howell, Cameron Northcutt, Reagan Roberson, Taran Grove, Dawson Cockman, Ryland Desomber, Cody Tackett Lewis, Nicholas Green, Brendyn Walker Carpenter and Daniel Rich.
The team’s head coach is Mark Jackson. Assistant coaches include Dan Graham, Doug Leet, Rod Robison, Casey Tierney Charlie Pankey, Shannon Roberson and Lance Hipple.
The team is scrambling to raise money for the trip, with a number of fundraisers planned over the next week.
An Indian Taco sale will be Saturday at the Dresslerville Gym (1585 Watasheamu Drive) from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. with proceeds going to the team. Also on Saturday, Chili’s in Indian Hills will donate a portion of its sales to the team, although customers must bring in a form that can be obtained from Pop Warner.
On Sunday and Nov. 25, Paul Schat’s Bakery (1212 South Stewart Street in Carson) will donate a portion of its sales to the team. Also on Sunday, the team will host a car wash at Grand Prix Car Wash in Gardnerville from 12 to 2 p.m. On Nov. 28, El Rancho Grande in Gardnerville (1404 Highway 395) will donate a portion of its sales between 3 and 9 p.m.
The Pop Warner Northern Nevada Championship Snow Bowl was played last Sunday for the first time ever at the University of Nevada’s Mackay Stadium.
For the Douglas Pee Wee team it would be a game they will not soon forget. It was the Tigers against the Reno Wolf Pack in a game that, for many of the young athletes, represented a rematch of last years Championship. The crowd was electric, the venue was incredible, and the game was a fierce back and forth battle that would see the Tigers prevail as the clock ticked zero in a close 26-19 victory.
The tone of the game was set early as the Tigers deferred the opening coin toss and trusted their defense who came up with an opening drive defensive stop in four plays to put the ball right into the hands of the offense. From there on out, it was strong power running football and the Tigers would take an early 6-0 lead on their first posession on a Luke Gansberg 40-yard touchdown run off the left side. Reno, however, would answer on their next drive and tie the game at 6-6.
The second quarter was mostly a defensive battle where both teams would struggle to gain traction on offense until late in the quarter when the Tigers, on a third down play, motioned to their spread formation. As the quick defense of the Wolf Pack made their shift the Tigers surprised them with an off-tackle run play, again to Gasnberg who scampered 25 yards right down the middle of the field for another score. The Tigers would take that lead into halftime with a 13-6 advantage.
Douglas would strike again on their opening drive of the third quarter on a touchdown by fullback Gabe Wetzel who knifed through the Reno defense on a dive play from 8 yards out. The extra point pass from quarterback Brady Rodina to Lake Saladis would put the Tigers up 20-6.
Reno would not go away without a fight as they scored on their next posession on a breakaway run through the right side of the Tiger defense. The Tigers answer would come quickly on their next posession as Saladis followed his escort of Tigers with one good straight arm to get to the sideline and sprint 50 yards for another Tiger score. As the fourth quarter wound down, Reno would manage to get another touchdown late in the period, but in the end, they were outmatched by the Tigers who walked away with the 2012 Snow Bowl Championship. For much of the team, this represents Back-To-Back titles and for some their first.
Said coach Troy Valenzuela after the game, “It takes the heart of a champion to win through a season of adversity and heart is what these boys showed today, well done Tigers.”
The team roster includes: Tyler Crittenden, Cole Kudrna, Brady Rodina, Luke Gansberg, Lake Saladis, Teegan Valenzuela, Byron Fair, Dawson Jorgensen, Jordan Bailey, Gabe Wetzel, Austin Clark, Dylan Wetzel, Ethan Carson, Michael Ball Jr., Spencer Camp-Campbell, Jonathon Sloan, Bryce Bowlen, Anthony Munoz, Shane Trivitt, Chance Goheen, Nathan Beisner, Andrew Andrews, Jack Overton, Joshua Shaw, Sarek Morgan, Michael Biaggini, Leo Ceballos, Matthew Hanifan, and Zach Romero.
The Tigers will travel this weekend to play in the Pacific Northwest Regional Championship to be held in Santa Clara, California. The winner there moves on the the Best of the West Championship against the West Conference champions.
Last Saturday, the Mitey Mite White squad headed to Golden Eagle Park in Sparks to play in the Snow Bowl against Reno White.
The Tigers raced to a 33-0 win over Reno.
A crucial block from Kyle Nuzum allowed the Tigers to score and the Tiger defense was solid throughout the entire snowbowl game.
Touchdowns by Gabe Foster, Race Cockman, Wyatt Grisell and Luke Ackermann helped boost the Tigers.
Mitey Mite White went 10-0 through their season.
Head coach Jon Grisell said, “What a magical season we had, we talked to the boys a lot about taking care of business and finishing what we started for Douglas Pop Warner and our entire community. We talked about getting better every week and caring for each other and not letting down their teammates. These guys are young but this is a crew of warriors and I am more proud of them then they will ever know. I would like to thank the best group of coaches, Team managers and the best parents for a great year.”