Senators made a liar out of me
September 15, 2013
I walked by Carson quarterback Garrett Schafer about 90 minutes before kick-off on Friday and told him to make a liar out of me, and that's exactly what the Senators did.
I didn't think Carson had any chance to knock off McQueen based on Carson's performance the past two weeks, which is why I picked McQueen. People love to point out when I pick wrong, and hey, I don't mind. I pick with my head and not with my heart.
Carson has improved its running game the past two weeks, and that's a good sign. Carson's bread and butter is ball control. Schafer had a rough game with three interceptions, two in his first 12 passes. He went 4-for-5 in one stretch, including two nice throws to Andrew Gutierrez. He did miss a couple of tosses to Alan Cohen. Schafer knows he can't continue to complete less than 40 percent of his passes. In this day and age, balance is imperative. McQueen showed that one-dimensional football can only go so far, especially when field position isn't great. Carson needs to be able to throw the ball effectively to have long-term success.
There was a scary moment early in the second quarter when left tackle Aaron Cowee hurt his ankle. He sat out the rest of the game with what appeared to be a sprained ankle, and is going to have the ankle X-rayed on Monday. He may miss the North Valleys game on Friday, but hopefully will be back for Reed (away) the following week.
I've had a few comments regarding North Valleys' upcoming petition to go to Division 1A in all sports. I'm in favor of it, but it remains to be seen what the NIAA and its member schools will do.
Dayton football coach Rob Turner admitted he has concerns, given Dayton is around 800 students and North Valleys has around 2,000 students.
Maybe it's time for the NIAA to re-think its enrollment breakdown. Maybe it's time to have five divisions for football. NIAA commissioner Eddie Bonine told me a few years ago that he was for five divisions in football only.
Maybe it's time to not let Washoe County control what happens in the NIAA. It's no secret that Washoe County execs didn't like their large-school teams traveling to Elko for regular-season games. I'd bet a month's salary that's the reason why Elko was finally moved down to 1A.
My biggest complaint about the way things are scheduled around here is that it's about the dollar and not the competitive balance. The principals, superintendents, athletic directors and the NIAA office need to sit down and try to come up with some solutions.
In football, if there are two divisions in Division I, schools should be able to play out-of-town games if they want in the first five weeks. A Division I football coach, and it wasn't Blair Roman, once told me several years ago that the schedule is the way it is because some Washoe County schools couldn't afford to go to Sacramento for a game because they couldn't raise the money to charter a bus, so everybody else suffers because of it. Why do you need a charter bus for a 2.5-hour trip? Bring a cushion and ride a school bus. If the first five weeks of the Division I season don't count, then Carson should be able to go where it wants to play. It shouldn't be about the haves and have nots. The divisional format is stupid, and anybody with half a brain knows that. Trust me, if North Valleys drops down we'll be back to one 10-team league, which is the way it should be.
The Division 1A schools have to endure the travel because of Lowry, Spring Creek and Elko. If North Valleys drops down, I believe you would have 11 schools playing football. My idea would be to rotate two schools every two years in with Elko, Spring Creek and Lowry, and there would be no crossover games unless the schools wanted to play them.
Is there a reason why JV teams need to go to Spring Creek, Elko and Winnemucca? Junior varsity and freshmen teams are there to get kids ready for varsity, and nothing else. Why can't the 1A folks get together and have their freshmen and JV squads travel less and save the schools some money. Make sure the kids get a decent amount of games. There is no harm in playing a team three times in a season at the lower levels. It all comes down to thinking outside the box, something I've not seen in the 10 years I've been here.