Young Wolves in rebuilding mode
Improvement is going to be key for a young Coleville High football team that opens its season Saturday at home against Smith Valley.
The opener, which kicks off at 1 p.m., is a non-league game between Northern Division IV 8-man football rivals. The rivals play a league game on Sept. 26 at Smith Valley.
With a 19-player roster that includes three seniors and eight freshmen, the Wolves are clearly building for the future.
“We have a very good freshman class,” coach Will Sandy said. “It’s just that they just have no experience.”
Coleville, 4-5 overall (3-3 league) in 2014, also comes into the season without senior quarterback Ricky Gieser, who accounted for 1,867 rushing and passing yards in just six games last season.
Three seniors return who put up good numbers last year. Gage Sullivan led the Wolves in receiving last year with 27 receptions for 648 yards and eight touchdowns. Ryan Staats rushed for 252 yards and two touchdowns to go with 172 yards receiving last year.
On defense, Eric Hubbard was the team leader in tackles with 84 (46 solo, 38 assists).
“He’s not very big, but he’s a tough kid,” Sandy said of the 5-foot-7, 150-pound Hubbard. “He plays linebacker, tight end and running back, so he’s probably one of our most versatile players.”
Sophomore Andrew Robles has moved in as the starting quarterback behind an offensive line that includes 6-2, 265-pound junior Slone McCann.
The Wolves are also shorthanded after sustaining some injuries during their league scrimmage Saturday at Virginia City, including concussions sustained by sophomore Judson Roberts (5-8, 160) and junior Lucas Loggins (5-7, 160).
Freshmen Vernon Painter (5-9, 209) and Brenden Casanova give the Wolves some added size, as does 6-4, 187-pound junior Kelly Vannoy, who is expected to see playing time as a wide receiver.
“We have a lot of work to do,” Sandy said. “But we’ll work on it and get it done the best we can.”