We’re only two weeks into the soccer and volleyball seasons, and already there’s a trend developing.
The early part of the Division I season in both sports is playing crossover matches, and Sierra League schools have been dominant.
Through Sept. 14, and I realize that’s a small sample size, only one High Desert boys soccer squad had a winning record, and the other five teams were under .500. Conversely, four of the six Sierra squads had winning records.
On the girls side, none of the High Desert soccer teams were at .500 or better, and five of the six Sierra teams had winning records with four of the five, Douglas, Carson, Galena and Manogue being unbeaten.
In volleyball, only McQueen has a winning record in crossover matches thus far, and the Lancers appear to be the class of the High Desert side, according to Carson coach Robert Maw. The Senators play McQueen this week, but have already beaten Reno, Reed, Hug and Spanish Springs.
Carson and Manogue are the only two unbeaten volleyball squads in Division I, and they are the favorites to battle for the right to represent the north at this year’s state tournament in Las Vegas.
Speaking of Carson and Manogue, Channel 21 will show their Oct. 8 match on a tape delayed basis on Oct. 9. Nice to see other sports besides football get a little recognition.
Maw said that the trend in volleyball started a couple of years ago, and that was about the same time Carson’s program started to turn upwards. Douglas has been a regional power for several years..
Currently, Carson is No. 3 in the state according to Max Preps. I’m not big on rankings because those things should be decided on the court.
I know I sound like a broken record, but Dayton needs to explore the possibilities of moving down to Division III as soon as possible.
The Dust Devils’ athletic program is struggling right now. The only real competitive teams are boys and girls track and volleyball. Football hasn’t had a playoff team for several years, girls and boys basketball have struggled to make the playoffs, especially in the new format where only the top four advance. Softball, because the team doesn’t have any pitching, wasn’t good last year. I think baseball, if Mike Burrows hangs in there, can be competitive and possibly make the playoffs.
New athletic director Cory Sanford indicated to me at a recent volleyball match the school is exploring the option.
I hope the school starts doing more than explore. Dayton, according to 2014 numbers was at 669 students. The largest D-3 school now is Yerington at around 340.
Dayton and Truckee are the smallest schools in Division 1A. All the schools they face have at least 300 more students. The problem is the geography of the state. The rural schools are really small, and towns like Fallon and Fernley have a good number of students, and could get even bigger when Tesla gets up and running.
At some point, the NIAA needs to get past the numbers and look at competitive equity. Bigger doesn’t always mean better. Lovelock has more than held its own in basketball against Dayton in recent years.
And, while we’re on the subject of the NIAA, Wooster and Hug really need to move down to Division 1A. Wooster didn’t make the playoffs in 1A football, won just one baseball game in league last year and didn’t win a single league game in boys and girls basketball last year.
Hug struggled on the basketball court last year, isn’t good in softball, volleyball, girls soccer and baseball. The Hawks have some pretty good track athletes and they have an outstanding boys soccer program.
I’m sure Wooster and Hug officials are concerned about travel. The 1A is doing something about that. Many of the events are scheduled for Friday and Saturday, which means a lot less missed class time. In that format you’re only missing one or two classes every Friday depending whether you are on block scheduling or not.
One thing the D-1A schools should be looking at is not traveling freshmen or JV squads overnight. If Dayton is scheduled for Spring Creek and Elko, take varsity kids only. Schedule the other JV and freshman team that was going up to the Elko area to play Elko and Spring Creek to play each other locally.
It’s a matter of thinking outside the box, something which seems to have avoided northern Nevada officials for the 12 years I’ve been here. You’re all educators. Put your petty differences aside, and do what’s best for the kids. They are the ones who matter. Let their athletic experience be a positive one.