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Three Tigers in Sertoma Classic

by Chuck Smock

Douglas seniors Garrett Anderson, Joel Kruger and Matt Tretton have been invited to play in the 1999 Sertoma Classic All-Star football game.

The trio of Tigers will complete their Nevada high school football careers Friday, June 18, at 7:30 p.m. at Reed High School in Sparks.

The 18th annual game will feature 90 players from 28 2A, 3A, and 4A high schools in Nevada and the Lake Tahoe area.

Kruger, who will play baseball at Lassen Junior College next season, is currently playing amateur baseball with the Nevada Yankees. He said strapping on the pads for the last time will be an emotional experience.

“This is the last game I’m going to play,” Kruger said. “I just want to try to do my best and have fun. I want to go out there and hit some people for the last time. It’s going to be great. I can’t wait.”

Kruger added that the game will give him a chance to show his appreciation for Douglas coaches Mike Rippee, Ernie Monfiletto and Steve Wilcox.

“I want to give it all back to my coaches,” the three-year varsity player said. “They gave it all to me and I just want to represent them.”

Anderson said the game will be like a reunion.

“It’s one last chance to play with the high school players I’ve played with over the years,” said Anderson, who plans to walk on to the University of Nevada, Reno football team in the fall. “I’m just really glad that I got the chance to play. I’m just hoping for a good showing and to show some competitive spirit.”

Anderson also has been invited to play in the Down Under Bowl in Australia later this month. He’ll leave for the two-week trip to Australia, New Zealand and Hawaii on June 29.

Tretton earned Northern 4A All-Conference first-team honors at both offensive guard and defensive end as a senior, but he isn’t sure which position he’ll play in the Sertoma Classic.

He said being asked to play in the game is a great way to finish his high school football career.

“I’ve thought about it since the end of last year,” Tretton said. “I’m excited to play in it. I think it’ll be a blast.”

Tretton is playing amateur baseball for the South Tahoe Avalanche this summer. He plans to play baseball at Cerro Coso Junior College in Ridgecrest, Calif., in the fall.

Also playing for the Avalanche are Douglas seniors Kenny Nicoll, Chad Cooke, Nate Muren, Justin Ray and Justin Connolly.

Tahoe-Truckee’s Bob Shaffer will coach the West team. Shaffer coached the Truckee Wolverines to Nevada state championships in 1998 and 1996, as well as a runner-up finish in 1997. He was voted 3A Coach of the Year for 1998.

Fernley’s Dave Hart will coach the East team for the third straight year.

The Sertoma Classic is an all-volunteer, fund-raising event sponsored each year by the Sparks Sertoma Club. This year, Nevada Bell has become a major sponsor of the game. All proceeds are donated back into the community through local charities. Additionally, funds from the Classic are donated every year to academic and extra-curricular activities of participating high schools.