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Tigers moving ahead with scheduling after realignment

Carter Eckl
ceckl@recordcourier.com
Douglas High wide receiver Isaiah Geilenfeldt sprints past a defender this past season. The Tiger football team will be playing in Class 5A next season after NIAA realignment.
Ron Harpin

NIAA realignment changes have altered the outlook of the fall sports scene for 2020 and Douglas High School is no exception.

While plenty of excitement sits around a realignment system that is designed in a unique way, skepticism still remains over certain areas of the change.

Douglas athletic director Marc Walling thinks Tiger sports will fit nicely in the new realignment system.

“I think it’s going to give the opportunity for schools to compete. I think its equitable and I think it opens the door for some more parity in both leagues,” said Walling.

With realignment only being announced for fall sports in 2020 (so far), Douglas will compete in Class 5A in football, volleyball, girls soccer, cross country and tennis.

However, the Tigers did have two sports – girls golf and boys soccer – that will drop into Class 3A in the fall.

Walling felt having sports move to Class 3A will help build interest in programs trying to regain solid footing in Northern Nevada.

“For those two programs I think it’s an opportunity for us to rally behind and to get better,” said Walling.

However, the decision to move Tiger girls golf down to Class 3A does still raise a few questions for Walling, though he will admit he is adjusting to the new realignment system like everyone else.

“The girls golf side, is one that I struggle with a little bit,” Walling said. “I know our participation is a roller coaster. … I know there are some programs in the same boat. … It’s an opportunity for us to get better, but that one is not as clear to me as our soccer program was.”

Scheduling has also had some added wrinkles due to programs being asked to travel to new locations.

For Douglas soccer, league doubleheaders had been the norm once league play had started. Now, with the soccer programs in two different classifications, the Tigers will have some extra work in the offseason piecing together schedules, travel plans and booking officials.

“We’re in the scheduling phase, which it’s posing some difficulties in transportation and scheduling officials, but I am optimistic,” Walling said.

Changes to the football scene

Douglas football head coach Ernie Monfiletto is excited about the opportunity to compete in one Northern Nevada league.

With one 5A league of nine teams, Douglas football will now play six league games — as opposed to four under the previous two-league system.

Along with more league games, eight of the nine teams will qualify for the postseason adding more impact to league contests.

“It makes a lot more of your schedule important, in how you perform in six games as opposed to four games. The impact of those wins and losses become more prevalent,” said Monfiletto.

With the elimination of Class 4A in Northern Nevada, some have wondered whether the northern part of the state would have been better off competing against Southern Nevada schools in 4A, leaving 5A as a Southern Nevada class only.

As with Walling, Monfiletto had some concerns over the new system but ultimately said he’s looking forward to competing for a Northern Nevada regional championship.

“We will go into things and compete for a northern zone championship in the northern 5A region,” Monfiletto said. “We feel like we’ve got some pieces to the puzzle in place to compete a little better than we have in the past and we’re excited about the upcoming season.”