State titles highlight strong year for Greenwave

Another year has flown by for the Greenwave and it’s been nothing short of successful.

Fallon continues to remain a consistent force in the Northern Division I-A, advancing to the postseason in many sports through all three seasons. The football team busted through with its first state title in four decades while the wrestling program picked up its first-ever title. Many sports advanced to the state competition with golf, girls basketball, track and field, baseball and softball leading the way although they came up empty with the team championship.

Here are the top five moments from this past year in Greenwave sports, as well as five bold predictions for next year.

TOP FIVE MOMENTS

Wrestling wins first-ever state title

A new coach and several unknowns entered the season for Greenwave wrestling. Fallon competed well in the December tournaments but the league was still unknown. Lowry was no longer dominating the picture and Spring Creek and Fernley showed promise.

Fallon placed third in the regional meet but came back the following week to surprise everyone and win state. The Greenwave had several individual regional and state champs but this year’s state tournament will be remembered for how many Fallon advanced through the first two rounds. It had the tournament won before the finals round.

Football wins first state title since 1970s

Fallon went through several heart-breaking moments on the gridiron since 2011. The Truckee loss in the 2012 state semifinal. The offense’s power outage in the 2013 state championship. The Greenwave, though, had one of its strongest years in program history, losing only one game to begin the season and rolling through the Division I-A region. Offense, defense and special teams were strong as Fallon knocked off Moapa Valley on a sunny and warm afternoon in November to win the state crown. Although Fallon loses several talented stars, the Greenwave should be strong this fall.

Skabelund wins two gold medals

Whitney Skabelund was second-best in the jumping department before this season but everything changed for the junior. Despite a month-long injury setback, Skabelund came back in late April not missing a step. Skabelund won both the long and triple jump regional and state titles this month, becoming the first female Wave star to accomplish the feat in two decades. She easily won the triple jump state title and captured the long jump on one of her last jumps.

Thomson named NIAA Top 10 student-athlete

Tristen Thomson, a senior who competed in cross country and track, broke the school record for the 800-meter run and was on his way to possibly taking home the state titles in several categories. However, an injury prevented him from giving his best in the regional and missing out on state. The silver lining? Thomson was named a top-10 student-athlete by the NIAA this season. Thomson will compete on the college circuit in California next season.

Softball misses state title

The Lady Wave has won four state softball titles since Fallon dropped to the Division I-A for the 2010-2011 school year. Fallon, though, appeared in the state title game each season, winning the crown in 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2015 and falling to Fernley in 2013. What makes this year’s loss in the state tournament interesting is that Fallon missed out of the state title game entirely. It was an all-South championship. Fallon, though, did knock out Fernley before it came one win shy of making it to the title game.

FIVE BOLD PREDICTIONS FOR 2016-2017

Fallon, Fernley rivalry will mean something

Since 2011, Fallon and Fernley have been competing in the same league. There have been many close games and championships decided between these two teams. The softball rivalry is one of the best in the North, regardless of division, while the baseball team may have ignited its rivalry a step further after knocking Fernley out from state contention this year.

But with all these amazing games, there’s nothing to show for it except the box score and occasional trophy. Award the best school after each of the fall, winter and spring seasons with a trophy that travels to all the big games. Give out a scholarship to the best student-athlete from each school at the end of the year. Do something because it’s long overdue.

Fallon girls basketball will win state

The Lady Wave came so close after dominating the league last year. The nucleus returns next year with more experience, especially from travel ball, and Fallon will be back in the state tournament. But this team will need to get over that hump and bring back the state title to the Lahontan Valley.

Anne Smith did a great job last year and will have plenty of tools in the basketball shed to help the Lady Wave win the state title.

Fallon boys, girls track and field will win state

Fallon placed a few at the state meet last weekend, including two gold medals, but next year’s team loses only one senior from the girls team and returns many from the boys. The Greenwave will be stronger and faster, and a force in the region and state. With only a few athletes at state, Fallon still finished in the middle of the pack.

The future looks bright for track and Fallon will, no doubt, be one of the top teams in the state.

Fallon will win region in six sports

Football, girls basketball, wrestling, softball, baseball, and boys and girls track and field will be the best team in the region next year. The football and wrestling teams return from a state championship, while softball, baseball and girls basketball were one win away from competing for the state crown. The track and field teams will be loaded.

At least one Wave athlete will go Division I

The 2017 class is loaded with good student-athletes. One football player is already receiving Division I scholarship offers while several track stars have the potential to play at college’s highest level.

TJ Mauga will most likely become the first Division I scholarship player since his brother, Josh, signed with Nevada more than 10 years ago. Try not to miss a game next season because you might miss something special.

With graduation tonight, we say goodbye to a class that has seen so much success on the field and in the classroom.

The leadership from these seniors has helped each of the programs and it will continue to propel the Greenwave to stay successful for many years to come.

Thomas Ranson can be contacted at lvnsports@yahoo.com.

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