Top 10 Lahontan Valley News sports stories of 2018
1. Lady Wave cagers go back to back
With a target on its back, the Lady Wave basketball team didn’t falter. After winning the school’s first sanctioned girls basketball state title, Fallon returned for an encore performance and was even better. Behind a stellar senior class led by Caitlyn Welch, Faith Cornmesser and Kaitlyn Hunter and the junior cousin duo of Leilani and Leta Otuafi, Fallon finished perfect in league play, and then won the regional and state titles over Lowry in February.
2. Greenwave football completes perfect season
The talent was always there if everyone stayed healthy. Fielding a team of less than 30 players before bringing up the JV players, the Greenwave football team was perfect from Day 1. Fallon engaged the running clock in all but one regular season game and then proceeded to steamroll Fernley and Liberty in the playoffs before beating Truckee for the second time to win its first state title since 2015. Led by Division I players Sean McCormick and Ben Dooley and a dynamic quarterback in Elijah Jackson, Fallon was nothing short but dominant.
3. Lady Wave softball becomes Cinderella darling
Fallon finished third in league, suffering series losses to top-seed Fernley and second-seed Lowry during the regular season. But during the playoffs, the offense broke the scoreboard. The Lady Wave belted more home runs in the playoffs than the regular season as it captured both the regional and state titles over Lowry. Senior Faith Cornmesser was strong in the pitching circle and Fallon rode the bats of seniors Stacey Kalt and Caitlyn Welch.
4. Dalager becomes 1st woman to coach boys basketball in Nevada
After stepping away from the high school coaching circuit, Chelle Dalager returned but to coach the boys basketball team, becoming the first woman to coach a boys basketball team in the Silver State. The former girls basketball coach transformed the boys team quickly as Fallon finished second in league and was one win away from the state tournament. Dalager, who was named coach of the year, already has this year’s team performing at a high level after winning the Rail City Classic in Sparks.
5. Five sign with Division I schools
Fallon graduate Joe Pyle signed with Southeast Missouri State of the Division I FCS during the offseason after walking on at Nevada and starring at Golden West College. Senior Stacey Kalt followed by signing to play softball at Virginia Tech. This year’s current senior class added to that short list in the fall when Leiilani Otuafi signed her letter to play basketball at BYU, Sean McCormick signed to play football at Idaho and Ben Dooley signed to also play football but at Boise State.
6. State titles in wrestling and track
Before the Lady Wave basketball team captured the first state title of 2018, four of Fallon’s five wrestlers won state titles in Las Vegas to place the team fifth. Senior Marcel Poracky, junior Ben Dooley and sophomore Tommy McCormick each won their first state title while junior Sean McCormick won his third title. In spring, Drake Copley captured the state title in the 200-meter race one day after his relay team of fellow senior Broder Thurston, and juniors Reid Clyburn and Colton Peterson finished 0.001 seconds from winning the 4×100 state title. That quartet broke the 4×200 school record multiple times and won the regional title in both the 4×200 and 4×100.
7. Greenwave Hall of Fame inducts 2nd class
After inducting a star-studded class in the first annual Greenwave Hall of Fame ceremony, the HOF committee welcomed an impressive second class in the fall. Six teams, including the 2000 volleyball squad, two coaches, two contributors and many athletes were enshrined in front of family and friends as the Greenwave Hall of Fame continues its quest to recognize the best to contribute, coach and play for the Greenwave. Other key names included coaches Archie Hodsdon and Bert Serrano, and players Donald Lattin, Dixie Williams, Tristin Johnson and David Granillo.
8. Fallon archery team wins 3rd title in 4 years
Senior Cody Sponsler scored 285 points out of 300 to lead Fallon to its third state archery title in four years during March’s competition against Las Vegas schools in a meet sponsored by the National Archery in Schools Program. Sponsler also finished as the meet’s top archer. Junior Shelbi Schultz shot 275 to place second for high-school girls and third overall.
9. Oasis Lacrosse team finishes 2nd
The Oasis Academy Lady Bighorns surpassed expectations to finish second in the High Sierra Lacrosse League last spring before falling to No. 3 Truckee in the semifinals of the playoffs. Oasis finished the season with a 13-2 mark and led the league in goals scored. Even with the playoffs, Oasis is the only team to score more than 200 goals this season after finishing last year with a 10-6 record and only 184 goals scored.
10. Youth baseball, football teams win titles
Fallon’s 12-under Cal Ripken all-stars won the state title in Reno in June to qualify for the regional summer tournament. In the fall, two of Fallon’s Sierra Youth Football League teams won the title. The bandits team completed a perfect season to win the SYFL title while the renegade team avenged a tie and loss to Lassen in the regular season to win the title.