Smashmouth football will meet Fun 'N Gun when the annual Sertoma Football All-Star Classic commences at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Mackay Stadium.
Reed High coach Ernie Howren favors a wide open attack that spreads everything out while Fallon coach Ray Holliday favors a more grind it out attack. That became obvious when the two coaches drafted schools for their respective teams - Howren for the Blue and Holliday for the Silver.
For the second straight year, a draft was held in which the two coaches could draft the schools they wanted in an attempt to make sure the game is evenly matched. Both coaches believe they were able to have a draft that will create an entertaining and competitive game.
It also became obvious that the two coaches drafted in a way that made sure they had players who suited their styles. "You could see the philosophies come out in the draft," Holliday said.
Howren automatically received players from his Reed team that he led to the Northern 4A title last season while Holliday automatically received players from Fallon. Holliday was then given the first choice and he picked McQueen. Howren then chose Hug.
As it worked out, the top four Northern 4A teams from last year were evenly split as the Blue will have players from Hug and Reed and the Silver will have players from McQueen and Douglas. The Silver also has players from 3A State champion Truckee.
Carson High players Kyle Bacon at quarterback and Matt Moore at defensive back and receiver are also on the Silver.
"We've thrown a lot at them in two days," said Howren on Tuesday night. "They're doing a great job of picking it up. There's a reason they're all-stars.
"We wanted to make it as even as possible. We're very excited. Both squads are very evenly matched."
Among the top players who Howren has is his own quarterback in Zack May. Other local players on the Blue roster are Yerington's Josh Inserra and Bobby Sanchez and Fernley's Cody McDougal. The Silver also has South Tahoe's excellent quarterback, Mikey Van Gordon.
Howren said it was a difficult job to choose his team.
"It was a flip of the coin," he said. "I think it's going to be a great game."
One player who Howren obviously has to be concerned about is Fallon running back/linebacker Josh Mauga, who has signed with Nevada. But as Howren put it, "It's 11 on 11. We're just going to go after it."
Howren said two other players he's concerned about are Douglas High teammates, running back Spike Agosta and lineman Tyson Estes.
"I think he's as good as any running back," said Howren about Agosta. "He's definitely an impact player." Howren also said that Estes is "just a phenomenal offensive and defensive lineman."
Other Douglas players on the Silver roster are Keenan Copp, Bryan Brady, Tim Senger and Datin Whatcott. Other local players for the Silver are Dayton's Danny Hopper, Zane Walker and Kevin May and Galena's Tyler Ewald and Chase Houston.
"Defense is ahead of the offense, but you kind of expect that," said Holliday about his practices on Tuesday night.
"The opportunity to work with Josh and our other players was certainly enough to take this and to work with the caliber of players we're working with is real nice."
Holliday said he's obviously concerned with the Silver's big play ability. "It's going to be an evenly matched game," he said. "It's going to be two totally different philosophies.
"It should be a well-played game and an interesting game because of the two different philosophies. One of the biggest concerns is controlling their big play abilities. They have the big play possibilities both running the ball and throwing the ball."