Fallon-Fernley rivalry needs the ‘Lahontan Valley Cup’
Since moving to the 3A seven years ago, Greenwave sports has seen enormous amounts of success.
To go with that success, Fallon has developed, continued or revived competitive rivalries with several members of the league. Fallon and Elko continue to duke it out as they did in the 4A. The Greenwave and Wolverines played some of the more exciting and fiercest football games, including that nail-bitter in the state semifinal at Truckee.
But no rival has — or should — been more meaningful than Fernley, which sits less than 30 minutes away from Fallon.
No doubt, this rivalry is strongest during the spring with the softball programs. If it’s not Fallon winning the state title, it’s Fernley. If it’s not Fernley, then it’s Fallon. Only one time (2016) has the champion not been one of these rivals since Fallon joined the 3A.
It’s not just softball, lately, that has been drawing the attention.
Just with this year, Fernley has risen in most sports to outshine Fallon, which was capped off with the Vaqueros winning their first league football title in 20 years followed by the volleyball program sweeping the season series over Fallon on Monday. Fernley’s volleyball team looked like what Fallon used to be and Fernley is young. Their soccer programs have dominated as well.
But Fallon has outshined its rival in the winter with the girls basketball and wrestling teams being among the best in the state. The Lady Wave will be wearing a big target after winning state last year while the wrestling team could claim its second title in three years. The spring is arguably the most balanced of the seasons between these two schools, headlined by the best softball rivalry in the region. Period.
Like the Governor’s Series with Nevada and UNLV, there needs to be a trophy for this Lahontan Valley rivalry. Follow the same metrics as the universities or create your own. It needs to happen for all sports, not just the marque.
Here’s a potential scoring system
• Assess points for head-to-head competition. If a school doesn’t have the same sport (tennis), then award a point to the school that does.
• Assess bonus points for playoffs.
• Assess points to reflect academic excellence (graduation rate).
• In the event of a tie, single out either the football game or softball series as the tiebreaker.
In addition to the scoring system, you need a title sponsor and name of the challenge. NV Energy sponsors the Governor’s Series, for example, and a title name like the Lahontan Valley Cup. Determine what the winning school will receive. Is it just a trophy or does the winning school get to award a scholarship to its best male and female athlete of the year?
The blueprint to making this is a successful is available through the state’s university challenge. It will create more pride — not that this was ever in question — and bring both schools closer and more competitive.
It’s not difficult. It will take some time and effort to get this off the ground but once the first year has been established, imagine the rivalry between Fernley and Fallon going up to another level.
Thomas Ranson can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.