Douglas High quarterback Aden Flory throws a pass during practice to wide receiver Dominic Costarella during practice last week. Flory will be the starting quarterback for the Tigers this spring.
Photo by Carter Eckl.
After 16 months of empty stands, Douglas High football will welcome limited spectators for the season-opener Friday night at 6 p.m. against Galena.
The road to get high school football back in the state of Nevada has been long, winding and even a bit deceptive.
Head coach Ernie Monfiletto relied on a cliché throughout all of the offseason speculation, but one he believes will directly correlate to Douglas’ success on the field.
“Do things one day at a time,” said Monfiletto. “Whether it was in the summer, we weren’t worried what the politicians were going to do. In the fall we followed the same strategy.”
It’s a mindset that has likely been adopted among the masses through the ongoing pandemic, and one that the Tigers will continue in an effort to secure a spot in the final weekend of the season for a potential ‘bowl bid.’
Helping lead the Tigers this season will be senior captains Brady Dufloth, Trevor Kruger, Christian Janota and Cameron Swain, who were elected to the position by their teammates.
Plenty of the offensive skill positions will feature names that Tiger football fans have gotten to know over the past several years.
In the backfield will be senior Kruger along with two juniors in Gabe Foster and Christopher Smalley.
Quarterback will feature a new face as Aden Flory takes over for Isaac Shaver, who is no longer with the team.
Flory served as the Tigers’ freshman quarterback, but will have a similar cast of wideouts with Swain and Costarella out on the perimeter. Dufloth will also be in the mix as a tight end for Douglas.
The offensive line will be anchored by center Ben Hirt, along with returning starters Ray Alvarez-Garcia and Yahir Piña.
Gavin Casper and Alex Flores will also receive plenty of snaps as down lineman as well.
Defensively, Douglas will be relying on several of its offensive playmakers to stop opposing teams trying to move the ball down field.
Swain, Smalley and Foster will be staples in the line backing core that has received nothing but endless praise from Monfiletto.
Ben Schinzing will accompany those three as the weak side linebacker.
Costarella and Kruger will be behind them more often than not in the secondary at safety. Martin Luna and Gabe Marchant will also be seeing roles at safety as well.
At corner will be Wyatt Grisell, a Wisconsin Lutheran football signee, while Robert Costello and Brandon Wright will play corner on the opposite side of the field.
Monfiletto said the Tigers would be rotating bodies on the defensive line in order to try and keep all of his two-way lineman as fresh as possible.
Janota, Flores, Dufloth and Hurt are all expected to be in the rotation on the line.
Opening at home against Galena
With an unpredictable offseason, plenty of area coaches are just beginning to figure out what opposing squads might be bringing to the table.
The Grizzlies edged out a 25-24 win over Douglas last season and it’s a game that the Tigers knew got away from them at the end.
Galena graduated a plethora of seniors, following the 2019 season forcing Monfiletto to shift his focus toward the Tigers rather than the season’s first opponent.
Getting fans back in the stands, even in a limited capacity, already has players and coaches excited.
“It’s been an empty stadium for the last 16 months. The kids are excited,” said Monfiletto. “…I’m sure that the end zone, apartment parking lot on the south end zone will be full of people.”
March 5 – v. Galena
March 12 – @ Bishop Manogue
March 19 – @ Damonte Ranch
March 26 – v. Reno
April 2 – @ Carson
April 9 – TBD, ‘Bowl week’For live updates, follow @CarterEckl on Twitter