Wave stars ready for Sertoma
Even though the Greenwave football team competes in the second-biggest class in the state, that hasn’t stopped five former players from making some noise in the 32nd annual Sparks Sertoma Classic.
Five players were selected to the annual all-star football game, giving Fallon the third most participants behind Truckee and Reed. The game kicks off for the second time at Damonte Ranch High School tonight at 7 p.m. where the Silver and Blue teams square off with the best recently graduated senior players from 30 participating high schools in Northern Nevada.
Skye Barton (DB/WR), Tyson Ernst (RB), Ian Fitzpatrick (DL), Dalton Johnson (LB) and Trevor Parsons (OL) were selected to compete in tonight’s game, which has seen many players compete at the next level and professionally including Fallon’s Josh Mauga, who plays for the New York Jets. But for Ernst and Parsons, who will compete in college in the fall, they were humbled to be mentioned as candidates for the Silver team.
“I wasn’t thinking about it and didn’t expect to be playing in it,” said Parsons, whose uncle, Harvey Dahl, plays offensive line for the St. Louis Rams. “Coach (Hill) gave me the envelope one day and told me to fill it out. It was the Sertoma and I didn’t think I would be out there. I’m really glad he picked me to be part of the team. I hope to represent it well. It’s something crazy that I didn’t think would happen and it’s happening.”
The Fallon five will compete with familiar opponents from the regular season, including seven Wolverines from Truckee’s state championship team. Longtime Truckee head coach Bob Shaffer will lead the Silver team in his final high school game of his coaching career. Shaffer, who announced his retirement in the offseason after leading Truckee its fourth straight state title, will coach against Damonte Ranch’s Shawn Dupris.
Ernst was honored to make the all-star team as he prepares for college in the fall.
“It means a lot knowing the Sertoma is a prestigious event,” Ernst said. “It feels good that I’m an all-star and I’m starting too, which is good. It’s a good feeling. It’s a good vibe and there’s good history with the game. Coming from Fallon doesn’t make a difference. Everyone’s at your skill level. Everyone’s going hard. It’s always intense.”
Ernst and his Fallon teammates, though, were nervous about encountering their new teammates who they battled against every Friday night last fall.
“We were all kind of nervous to be around each other because we’re used to hating each other. After a couple days, we’re friends now and it’s a big family,” said Ernst, who will play at Montana State-Northern of the NAIA next season.
Parsons, like Ernst, had fun this week leading up the game and can’t wait for the finale to his high school career. He said the adjustment to practices this week was rough because no one’s suited up for a football game since November.
“It’s been pretty fun. Getting back and playing football, and smacking heads again, it’s a lot of fun,” he said. “At first, I was pretty nervous because I haven’t done anything since football season. Today (Wednesday), it clicked for me and Friday night I should be fine.”
Barton, Fitzpatrick and Johnson, who didn’t sign to compete at the next level, helped the Greenwave continue to shine since the school moved to the Division I-A three years ago. Fallon made the playoffs again despite ending the regular season with two-straight losses to Truckee and Lowry. The Greenwave, though, met the Buckaroos in the first round of the regional playoffs but fell short of returning to state.
But with tonight being the last time any of these five will play a competitive high school game, the emotions have been mixed.
“It’s been pretty bittersweet,” said Parsons, who will play at Butte in the fall. “This is my last high school football game, but that’s not how I view it. It’s last chance to have fun with these guys. My last high school football game was against Lowry. This is just one more thing to get ready to go to college.”