Steve Puterski
sputerski@lahontanvalleynews.com

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December 31, 2013
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The Best of 2013

From a world championship to heartbreaking losses, 2013 saw plenty of thrilling action from Fallon’s best athletes.

In addition, several programs at Churchill County High School stepped into the history books, while others came up short on the biggest stage.

But the action was not relegated to the Lahontan Valley, as numerous athletes spread their wings across the country from the NFL to the Boston Marathon.

Here is the LVN’s Top 10 sports moments from 2013:

1. Jade Corkill wins second world title

Fallon native and pro rodeo heeler Jade Corkill won his second straight team roping world championship in December at the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas.

This year, Corkill teamed with Clay Tyran of Billings, Mont., as both won world titles. Corkill, though, battled through a crushed hand he suffered in the early performances of the rodeo.

He also became the first Nevadan to win two world championships and the first repeat winner in team roping in nine years.

Corkill was also awarded a proclamation by the city of Fallon and Dec. 19 was dubbed “Jade Corkill Day.”

2. Football reaches state title game

The Greenwave’s run to the Division I-A state title game ended with a 17-0 loss to Faith Lutheran.

The appearance marked the first time in 35 years the Fallon football program qualified for a state championship game. Scores of Greenwave faithful made the trek to Reno but were held silent as the Wave committed eight turnovers and were shut out for the first time since 2010.

The Wave rolled to a 10-2 record behind the efforts of quarterback Morgan Dirickson and linebacker Dakota Schelling, the Northern DI-A’s offensive and defensive players of the year, respectively. In addition, eight Fallon players were selected to the DI-A’s all-state team.

3. State disappointments

After clawing back through the consolation bracket, the Fallon softball team collapsed in a 14-13 loss to rival Fernley in the DI-A title game.

Fallon led by seven runs twice, but allowed eight runs over the final three innings. The Lady Wave, winners of the past two titles, won the Northern DI-A regional, but could not overcome a series of errors in the championship game to win their third consecutive crown.

The Fallon boys track team, meanwhile, also saw its dreams of a three-peat dashed with a second-place finish at the DI-A state meet in Las Vegas.

The Wave lost 80.5-73 to Mojave in the first state meet after the southern realignment. Fallon did not record a state champion in an individual or relay event.

4. Injuries hamper Mauga and Dahl

Former Fallon stars Josh Mauga and Harvey Dahl again experienced injuries during the 2013 NFL season.

Mauga, who has been plagued by injuries throughout his career with the New York Jets, started the season in injured reserve and never saw the field this season. He has only played one full season — in 2011 — in his four-year career.

Mauga suffered the injury during practice and experience pain running from his neck down through his back. The Jets ended the season 8-8 and did not qualify for the playoffs.

St. Louis Rams guard Harvey Dahl, meanwhile, suffered a knee injury in October and missed four weeks. He was coming off a torn tendon in his bicep that ended his 2012 season.

Dahl also missed the Rams’ season finale at Seattle on Sunday and played and started in nine games this year. St. Louis finished with a 7-9 record.

5. Lady Wave hoops falls in final seconds

The Lady Wave suffered a heartbreaking loss to Spring Creek, 54-53, in the regional tournament.

Fallon led by one after a made free throw with less than 10 seconds to play, but the second attempt missed and the Spartans countered with a 2-on-1 fastbreak to net the winning basket.

Shayna Hicks had her best game of the season scoring 20 points as Fallon missed qualifying for the state tournament.

Fallon trailed by 11 points in the first quarter and by eight at halftime. The Lady Wave, though, outscored Spring Creek 22-11 in the third quarter aided by a pair of 3-pointers by Gabby Sharpe to take a 36-34 lead.

6. Boston Marathon

The country was horrified as two brothers set off bombs at the 2013 Boston Marathon in April.

Fallon’s DeVere Karlson, a veteran marathoner and Churchill County’s chief juvenile probation officer, was about three-tenths of a mile from the second bombsite, but was not injured.

Three people were killed and more than 250 injured in the attack.

Karlson just turned onto Boylston Street when she heard the explosion. She initially thought it was thunder, but saw the smoke and seconds later race organizers and first responders pulled the runners off the course.

After Karlson returned to her hotel, the building was evacuated because it was in the blast zone. She had previously competed in the 2009, 2010 and 2012 Boston Marathons.

Another Fallon runner, Kari Lister, qualified for the event but pulled out after the birth of her first child.

7. State appearances for girls tennis, boys cross country

The Fallon girls tennis team qualified for its first-ever state tournament, while the boys cross country team made its first appearance in more than 40 years.

Although the Lady Wave were bounced 16-2 by The Meadows, the doubles tandem of Hannah Lindsay and Josie Bekiares won Fallon’s first matches.

Lindsay and Bekiares, along with Becky Conner, fell in the first round of the individual tournament.

The Wave cross country team slipped past Truckee by one point at the regional meet to earn their first team berth in decades.

Led by Nathan Schank, Erik Endacott, Tristen Thomson, Ethan Overlie and Ethan Smith, the team placed fourth at the state meet.

8. Highs and lows of Rural Rumble

The 2013 Rural Rumble was one of the best in the six-year history of the event.

It was also marred by a near death in the ring.

Boxing referee legend Mills Lane was in attendance after receiving his induction to the newly formed Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame in Las Vegas two weeks prior. Fans came out in force to support five Fallon fighters plus Reno, Carson and Gardnerville fighters.

As for the fights, though, only one of five Fallon fighters picked up a win. Tim Nunes stopped Casey Diaz in the first round of their mixed-martial arts bout. Reno boxer Oscar Vasquez claimed his third win at the Rural Rumble and continued his impressive start to his career.

Tragedy, though, struck as Reno boxer Carlos Gaytan suffered a head injury, which led to bleeding on his brain. The injury forced Gaytan into a medically induced coma, but he was able to recover.

After weeks in intensive care, Gaytan was released and back with his family, although his boxing career is over.

9. Cowgirls, cowboy qualify for nationals

Three Fallon residents qualified for the National High School Finals Rodeo in Wyoming.

Rachel and Cord Hendrix and Sydney Howard placed fourth or better at the Nevada State Finals Rodeo in Fallon in June. Rachel Hendrix also won the reserve cowgirl at the state rodeo.

Rachel Hendrix was fourth in barrel racing, breakaway roping and the Hendrix’s placed third in team roping. Cord Hendrix, though, won a state title in bull riding.

Rachel Hendrix placed third in breakaway roping, 14th in cutting, 130th at nationals in barrel racing, Cord Hendrix tied for 27th in boys cutting.

Sydney Howard took fourth in goat tying at state and 124th nationals.

10. Wolf Pack brass hits Fallon

University of Nevada Athletic Director Doug Knuth and newly hired football coach Brian Polian visited Fallon as part of the Wolf Pack caravan.

The two men outlined their plans for the athletic department and football program at a rally at Pizza Barn in May.

Knuth said fundraising is his primary goal in hopes of securing funds for an indoor practice facility (which was passed by students this fall). Polian, meanwhile, displayed his passion for the game and told fans of how he planned to recruit, practice and infuse the program with new energy.

Thomas Ranson and Steve Ranson contributed to the top 10.



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The Nevada Appeal Updated Jan 2, 2014 06:02PM Published Dec 31, 2013 04:03PM Copyright 2013 The Nevada Appeal. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.