Greenwave’s mission on, off the field
Coming off the school’s first football state championship in 37 years, Greenwave coach Brooke Hill spent Wednesday morning discussing the football program and its mission both on and off the field.
Hill was the keynote speaker for the Churchill Economic Development and Authority Business Council breakfast meeting at the Stockmen’s Steakhouse.
Both the 1990 Fallon grad and the Greenwave found redemption last fall after coming up short in the state title game two years ago by defeating Moapa Valley in Reno. Fallon lost the season opener in August but didn’t find the losing column for the rest of the year, knocking off Chaparral in the state semifinals before holding off the Pirates for the Class 3A crown.
“That is really what we’re about. We want to win championships,” Hill said. “I’m not going to lie. It was really exciting. It was a high point for our program. Thirty-seven years of overcoming some real futility that we faced in the 1990s and 2000s when things weren’t going good. But to rise to where we were last year was just tremendous. That’s great. We want to continue that again this year. Absolutely. We’ve got a team that can do that again.”
While the goal has always been to put the best team on the field and win a championship, Hill talked about a bigger objective he and his staff strive for every season. With the growing number of distractions, especially with social media and bullying, Hill said it’s important for his staff to provide a positive and enriching experience to help guide the high school students. He hopes the lessons they learn on the gridiron will help them past high school.
“More importantly, in this day and age, there are so many things that pull away kids from social media to things that they see that are out there,” Hill said. “They’re more exposed to that stuff than when we were. Again, there are a lot of negative influences that can be in their lives.”
Hill used his recent family change as an example where you need strong influences. Hill remarried and added three more kids to the household for six total, jokingly referring his family as the “Brady Bunch.”
“We’re a split home. Some of these young men don’t have strong influences at home,” Hill added. “We have to kind of move into that role a little bit more and be positive in this program and try to mold these guys into not only championship football team but to go into life and pursue dreams, go to college end come back here and contribute to this community. That’s really what our goal is here. We feel like we’ve been pretty successful.”
Before football coaching, though, Hill helped touch students’ lives when he returned from college and began teaching 18 years ago. His was an assistant baseball coach before taking over the program at age 27.
“When I graduated from college, my family being rooted in Churchill County, I wanted to come home,” Hill recalled. “I wanted to come home to help contribute. I did that first of all as a teacher. That’s my No. 1 job. Most people probably know me as a football coach but my No. 1 thing is education and kids in the classroom.”
Hill credits the Klenakis family, including Chris and Tony, who died last year. Tony Klenakis built strong football teams when Hill was young before his brother took over and coached Hill in high school.
“Greenwave football has a lot of tradition going back years,” Hill said. “(Chris) was a huge mentor for me in my coaching career. I had the opportunity to play for him and other great coaches in Fallon.”
Fallon opens the season on Aug. 26 when it travels to cross-valley rival Fernley.