Top 10 of 2005 | NevadaAppeal.com

Top 10 of 2005

Before you read this column, please remember this is just one person’s opinion and doesn’t reflect the opinion of the rest of the Appeal sports staff.

Here is my choice for the top 10 stories of the calendar year for the area schools, including University of Nevada and Western Nevada Community College.

1. This is a no-brainer. It can’t be anything but the University of Nevada football team, which knocked off Fresno State, 38-35, to claim a share of its first-ever Western Athletic Conference championship and finished the year at 9-3.

2. This was also an easy pick. Nevada’s men’s basketball team won its second straight WAC regular-season title, and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament before losing 71-59 to eventual runner-up Illinois.

3. Kayla Sanchez, then a freshman, wins three gold medals at the NIAA 4A meet in Las Vegas. Sanchez won the 100 and 200-meter sprints, and she came out on top in the 300 hurdles.

4. Dayton High’s football team, thanks to the offensive trio of quarterback Travis Wood, running back Erik Hopper and wide receiver Jordan Stokes, finish third in Northern 3A football and advance to the 3A state semifinals before losing to Virgin Valley.

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5. Carson High’s wrestling squad finished second at the 4A regional tournament. Loren Wooldridge went on to finish second in his weight class at state and Travis Lamborn managed a third-place finish.

6. Galena High’s boys’ basketball team won its seventh 4A regional basketball title under coach Tom Maurer.

7. Carson High’s Josh Heilman won the 100-meter title at the 4A track meet in Las Vegas, and followed that up with a second-place finish in the 100 at the elite Golden West Invitational. Heilman ran a career-best 10.5 at the GWI.

8. Galena’s volleyball team, under the direction of coach Teresa Burrows, won its second straight state championship.

9. Western Nevada Community College launches its women’s soccer program. The squad finished around .500 for the season, and the prospects look bright for the local-dominated team.

10. Galena High knocks Carson’s talented girls’ soccer team from the ranks of the unbeaten en route to the 4A regional title.

There are a couple of stories that also made the list – the mass resignation of Douglas High’s volleyball staff under pressure from parents on the team and Galena High’s talented forward Luke Babbitt, who is ranked as high as third at his position nationally, and is already getting attention from some of the top schools in the country, including Duke and Arizona.

I’m sure there are other items that many of you feel should have made the top 10, but that’s the way it always is when you compile lists of this nature.

CONTRACTS SIGNED

Rory Hickock, Nevada’s assistant athletic director, said that he has signed football contracts from Nebraska (2007), Northwestern (2006-07) and Florida State (2008).

The games against Nebraska and Florida State are expected to bring the Pack a good payday.

Nevada is supposed to play Notre Dame in 2009 or 2010, but Hickock has yet to receive any paperwork from the Irish.

HE’LL BE MISSED

In case some of you haven’t heard, veteran sportswriter Dave Price is leaving the Nevada Appeal to become sports editor of the Swift newspaper in Grass Valley, Calif.

Dave has been staple of the sports community for many years, covering high school athletics for the Record Courier, Tahoe Daily Tribune and the Appeal. He will bring a wealth of knowledge to his new job, and he’ll certainly be missed around the area.

Nevada’s loss is certainly California’s gain. The best of luck to you Dave.

Contact Darrell Moody at dmoody@nevadaappeal.com, or by calling (775) 881-1281