SNOW BOWL SCHEDULE
Saturday at Golden Eagle Regional Park, Sparks:
Unlimited: Douglas vs. Reno Wolfpack, 9 a.m.
Junior Midgets: Douglas vs. Reno Wolfpack, 11 a.m.
Pee Wees: Douglas vs. South Lake Tahoe, 1 p.m.
Junior Pee Wees: Douglas vs. Reno South, 3 p.m.
Mity Mites: Douglas vs. Sparks Cardinals, 9 a.m.
It’s no accident the Douglas Tigers unlimited division Pop Warner football team is undefeated coming into its Snow Bowl championship game Saturday in Reno.
That 7-0 record, including a 28-0 playoff victory against Fernley last week, is the result of tireless work on the field and preparation off it dating back to the spring. Now, the Tigers are ready to take their shot at the Snow Bowl — the Sagebrush Empire League championship game — against the Reno Wolfpack in a 9 a.m. contest at the Golden Eagle Regional Park sports complex in Sparks.
“Win or Lose this Saturday, my coaches and I couldn’t be more proud of these players,” Quarry said of the Tigers, a team comprised of sixth, seventh and eighth grade students.
The Tigers have won seven straight games, all by 20 points or more. This is a team that had not played together previously, which meant Quarry and his staff had some work to do before practice even began.
“We started with 12 sign ups and having a meeting for the players to call their friends,” Quarry noted. “Then I started contacting numerous players I have known throughout the years playing for me either in Pop Warner or Excel Athletics. Two weeks later we had a roster and I was able to take 22 kids, of which only a few have played together before.”
Preparation for the season actually began back in the spring when Quarry contacted Ernie Monfiletto, Douglas High School’s varsity coach. Quarry’s goal went beyond winning games this season. It was to provide future benefits for the high school football program.
“I don’t have a kid in either program but want to do everything I can to help the high school and it should start with our youth programs,” Quarry said.
Quarry went on to extend his gratitude to Monfiletto and J.P. Albert, who coaches the high school freshmen, for their efforts.
“Several coaches including Monfiletto and Albert have spent hours with me providing guidance on the base of their offense and how to coach it.”
The goal has been to help create a better bridge for players moving from Pop Warner to Douglas High School.
“Tim came over and had a conversation with us to understand how important it is for those kids in their transition into the program that they understand the foundation of what we’re trying to do,” Monfiletto said. “He’s done a great job with that group of kids. He bought into our philosophy and in making that transition from Pop Warner to the high school an easier process.
“I really appreciate his commitment to learning the system,” the coach added. “Those are the kinds of things we need to have happen to build a relationship with the Pop Warner program and to help those kids move on to the high school.”
The real advantage will come next year and the year after when these young Tigers move up to the high school having already been schooled in the base offense and defense being used all the way up to the varsity level.
“Those kids have a fundamental understanding of our schemes and what the expectations are of them,” said Albert, who played as a quarterback in the Douglas Pop Warner and high school programs in the 1990s. “We didn’t have an opportunity like this when I was playing. We were pretty good, but who knows, we might have been even better if we’d had that head start.”
Albert saw his squad finished with a 4-4 record after its 27-13 win over Carson on Oct. 31 and then had an opportunity to watch the Douglas Unlimited team in its playoff win against Fernley.
“They looked pretty good,” Albert said. “They play hard and they listen to their coaches. That’s something we really look forward to having next year. I know it bodes well for us.”
Though this is his first season as a head coach, Quarry has been involved with Douglas Pop Warner as a coach and board of directors member, as well as Excel Athletics for the better part of a decade.
This year, interestingly enough, he had planned on serving as offensive coordinator for the Pop Warner Mity Mites team until he was approached by Mike Dillon to take over as head coach of the Unlimited team.
“I wanted to meet with the high school first, to bridge that gap from eighth grade to freshman football,” Quarry said. “The Douglas Way expressed by Monfiletto is more than just football. I believe in it and want to better prepare kids for our high school program.”
The bottom line is, the measuring stick for success goes beyond winning or losing games today.
“Having great youth sport mentors such as Mike Biaggini and Jim Valentine along with countless other coaches, parents and kids are the reasons I am doing this,” Quarry said. “It’s our community and we are Douglas — through thick and thin we all need to work together to achieve success for Douglas.”