BEHIND THE PLATE: Wave aims to end title drought
March 13, 2014
The Greenwave are in a funk.
Since the Lady Wave softball and boys track teams state titles in 2012, Fallon athletics has gone five straight seasons without a championship after collecting a good share in the first two years of the realignment. Fallon, though, hasn't been in the dark during the past couple of years as several teams have finished in the top five in the state, coming that close to a crown.
The wrestling team took second at state last month while the basketball teams were each one win away from reaching the state tournament. The football team had the best chance last fall as the Greenwave reached the championship, losing to Faith Lutheran in November. And don't forget that the track teams continue to battle every spring while the softball club fell to Fernley in last year's state final after beating the Vaqueros a week earlier in the regional title.
This spring, however, could mirror 2011 when four Greenwave teams won state championships. The baseball and softball teams relied on consistent pitching to win titles, the golf team won the program's second-ever crown, and the boys track and field team flew past the competition.
Each spring team in 2014 has a shot of not only making the postseason, including state, but bringing home a trophy to be displayed on campus.
In his second year, Bill Archer has his softball club in position to take back the state title it relinquished in Las Vegas last season after a heartbreaking last-inning collapse. It's unwise not to having either Fernley or Fallon in this year's state title game but don't be surprised if you see a rematch.
In his fourth year, Lester de Braga and his baseball team will rely heavily on pitching, which returns with more experience. Fallon came a win shy of reaching the state tournament after winning it in 2011 and then finishing third in 2012. Expect the regional crown to be a dog fight this year after Elko lost many seniors from its dominating team.
Rich Evans' golf team returns many from last year as it looks to improve the short game and get back to the state tournament. But dethroning Lowry in a couple months will be a difficult task as the Buckaroos didn't lose anyone from their state championship team.
The boys and girls track and field teams look to use last year's experience to their advantage this season. A tweak to the realignment that added more Las Vegas schools deprived Fallon from winning another title. But don't count the Greenwave out as Fallon keeps proving every year that it's one of the more-rounded and athletic schools in the division.
Swimming and dive will be fun to watch this season after the postseason format was revamped last season to have schools like Fallon competing against similar programs in the regional and state meets. It makes it much easier to not only produce individual state champs but taking home a team title doesn't seem as farfetched anymore.
Prepare for another exciting season in Greenwave sports and when May rolls around, it shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone if Fallon's competing in all five state tournaments.
Thomas Ranson can be contacted at email@example.com.