R-C Sports Notebook: Why not align leagues geographically? | RecordCourier.com

R-C Sports Notebook: Why not align leagues geographically?

by Joey Crandall

Starting in the fall of 2008, the Northern 4A Region is going to look quite different from today’s 15-team set-up.

During the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association board of control meeting last week, a plan to re-align the classifications of schools on a sport-by-sport basis was revisited.

Basically, they decided they would not go forward with allowing schools to vary their classification of play by sport.

Instead, it now appears Hug and Wooster will remain at the 4A level (they were both expected to drop to the 3A in the previous proposal) and Elko, Fallon and South Tahoe will move to 3A in 2008.

What this will do is leave the Northern 4A with 12 teams, presumably to be divided up into two six-team divisions.

Since the leagues will be shuffling up slightly anyway, it’s our opinion that a few minor shifts could create two very competitive divisions in all sports.

What we suggest is that the leagues be regrouped more or less on a geographical basis, to save a little on gas mileage both for the school districts and the spectators traveling to see the games and to promote some long-standing ” and some still developing ” rivalries in the region.

Under our hypothetical proposal, we’d have the Sierra League consist of the southern-most schools in the region with Douglas, Carson, Galena, Bishop Manogue, Damonte Ranch and Wooster.

The High Desert would consist of the northern schools with Reed, McQueen, Spanish Springs, North Valleys, Hug and Reno.

With Galena and Bishop Manogue hypothetically moving into the Sierra, it would bring together a budding trilogy of a rivalry between themselves and Damonte Ranch.

The Douglas-Carson rivalry obviously remains intact as well.

On the other side, Reno gets hooked up with McQueen, a growing rival in football and baseball, and Hug brings its strong football and basketball program into the mix.

This is all, of course, just our idea ” ill-researched and poorly though out ” but it still begs the question: Why not?

Douglas linebacker Brent Koontz, just recently named the Northern 4A Defensive Player of the Year, is reportedly garnering moderate to strong interest from the University of Nevada.

According to sources at the high school, Wolf Pack coaches are calling him about two times a week but the depth of their interest, or what kind of a financial aid package they might offer, is unknown.

Koontz grew by leaps and bounds in each of his three seasons in the Tigers’ starting lineup and came into his own this last season. His work ethic and hard-nosed approach to the game will be attractive to the Nevada coaching staff ” propagators of “Nevaditude.”

The Douglas boys’ basketball team’s amped-up transition game and dual 3-point threats on offense weren’t the only flashy additions shown off during last week’s opening three wins at the South Tahoe Invitational.

The Tigers are sporting new uniforms this season, designed much in the mold of Gonzaga or Stanford, with split-line lettering and numbers and swooping side panels.

Even with their new duds, however, their play last week was more impressive.

Douglas outscored its opponents 238-165 over the first three games and hit 86 field goals against three aggressive, full-court press defenses.

For the last three seasons, Douglas has had a legitimate Division I recruit taking the floor every night in Keith Olson.

This season, however, Olson is joined by two more ” junior Jeff Nady and sophomore James McLaughlin.

Several weeks ago, when UC Irvine was in town to take on Nevada, the Anteaters’ coaching staff spent an entire afternoon at a Douglas practice watching both younger players.

Olson has already signed with Northern Arizona.

As solid as those three are, perhaps the most telling thing about the Tigers’ opening three games was the amount of depth the team showed.

For the first time in recent memory, the Tigers can literally put just about anyone on the bench out on the floor and not see much of a drop off from its starting five.

The Tigers’ success this season will depend strongly on the performance of their role players.

At first glance, the team’s size will impress, even intimidate most, but the hustle, work-ethic and effort shown by the entire roster may be what leaves the most lasting impression on opponents.

Koontz and Sean Molina, football. Koontz was the Northern 4A Defensive Player of the Year in football and the Sierra League Co-player of the Year.

He was also a first-teamer on both the all-region and all-league lists at linebacker and a second-team all-leaguer at tight end.

Molina was an all-region pick at defensive tackle and was the Sierra League Defensive Player of the Year.

Others considered for this week’s athlete of the week were Mike Gransbery, James McLaughlin and Keith Olson in boys’ basketball; Jessica Waggoner and Bridget Maestretti in girls’ basketball; and Ryan Pruitt, Devin Barker and Tony Ferris in wrestling.