Will winter sports’ success carry into spring?
Temperatures began to rise this week, signaling the end of winter is approaching.
And what a winter it was for the Greenwave.
Both basketball teams made the playoffs with the girls team capturing the NIAA-sanctioned regional and state titles for the first time in program history. Fallon was one of the best teams in the early 1900s but girls sports were not recognized until the 1970s. The wrestling team nearly won another state title after capturing its first last winter.
It’s been a great three months for the green and white.
Capped off with the state championship over Lowry, Anne Smith’s squad avenged last year’s regional title loss to the Buckaroos and removed the awful taste from losing to Spring Valley in the state semifinals. Last year’s team lost only two seniors, including a starter, making Fallon an easy pick to dominate the league this year. However, Fallon lost sophomore Leta Otuafi for a month because of an injury that many feared would keep her out until the fall. Players stepped up, Otuafi returned and Fallon dominated the rest of the season and playoffs.
Monday’s parade and ceremony was the icing on the cake for this hard-working group of girls. And like last year, this year’s team loses only one senior starter, setting the table up for Fallon to bring home another state championship in 2018.
The wrestling team crowned two state champions — sophomore Sean McCormick and senior Jack Swisher — despite falling barely short of winning the team championship. The Greenwave was nearly perfect in the state’s opening round and after the second round, Fallon had seven fighting for a state title. Fallon received help when Spring Creek didn’t win in the consolation round, keeping the title within grasp.
Keep in mind, though, that Fallon continues to have difficulty filling all 14 weight classes. It left voids in three divisions and by having those extra bodies on the mat, Fallon could have run away with the title, again.
The boys basketball team qualified for the playoffs again and even snagged a first-round win in the regional tournament. Elko, the regional champ, thwarted any chance Fallon had at advancing to the championship game and state tournament.
With winter sports in the past, the Greenwave turns its attention to the spring, which began this week with the golf team competing in its first tournament. The rest of the programs — baseball, softball, swimming and track and field — will be in action this weekend. The spring has been Fallon’s strongest season since joining the 3A, capturing state titles in all sports but swimming.
Will this be the year that the swimming team can give Fallon a state trophy? Can the baseball and softball teams rebound from last year’s early exit in the state tournament? Will the track and field team build on last year’s strong finish at state?
Don’t forget that this spring marks the first time Oasis Academy will compete on the varsity level when the Bighorns lacrosse team competes with the Reno-Tahoe schools for regional and state glory. And don’t forget about the high school’s rodeo team that will be in action with the ultimate goal of reaching nationals in June.
The winter sports raised the bar for the Greenwave this school year, setting up the spring sports to try to outshine the basketball and wrestling teams. It’s a good time to be a Greenwave this year.
Thomas Ranson can be contacted at email@example.com.