Wave relies on Thorn’s leadership
LVN Editor Emeritus
Linebacker Trenten Thorn had a taste of Fallon’s state football championship two years ago, and as the playoff run begins, the Greenwave senior would love to see another 3A trophy.
“I was pulled up to varsity in 2015 for the playoffs and state championship game,” Thorn said. “I was the backup linebacker. It was a very different atmosphere and being with the other players, and what they experienced was exceptional.”
Although Fallon has dropped two league games and may finish the season as either the No. 3 or 4 seed depending on Thursday’s football action under the lights, Thorn has developed into one of the Northern 3A’s best linebackers.
Opposing teams, for one, try to avoid Thorn as he roams the inside; instead, opposing runners take their game to the outside away from Thorn’s perch. Sparks, Elko and Spring Creek — Fallon’s last three opponents — concentrated their running game to the outside.
Two years on varsity, though, has paid dividends for Thorn and his defensive prowess.
“He started last year and was our leading tackler,” said Coach Brooke Hill. “Trent plays at inside linebacker and makes a lot of calls out there.”
Thorn is second on the team in defense. He has 85 tackles, 67 of them unassisted. Thorn also has a quarterback sack, one fumble recovery and caused another fumble. Despite Fallon losing at Spring Creek one week ago, Thorn had a season-high 17 tackles against the Spartans.
Hill said his senior defensive player has improved his game and stepped up this season as co-captain.
“He helps us on the team in a lot of ways,” Hill added.
It’s no secret Thorn loves football. He began playing as a 5-year-old with Tom McCormick, now a varsity assistant, as his coach. Through that experience, Thorn played with Coach McCormick’s son, Sean, now the Greenwave’s starting quarterback. He progressed through youth football to the high-school’s freshman team and then to junior varsity, which was coached by Pat Squires, now the head coach at Dayton.
“It was a good experience to play high school,” Thorn said of his first year of prep football. “Junior varsity was much quicker and faster. Coach Squires was a great coach.”
For the past two years on varsity, though, Thorn said his level of play has improved tremendously, and much of the preparation occurs off the field.
“It’s studying film and knowing (rushes and receivers’) routes,” he said.
It’s breaking down offensive schemes and where runners like to hit their holes. It’s knowing their tendencies. For Hill, it comes down to that senior leadership.
“It’s how your team goes and how the other teams run outside to stretch the field horizontally and vertically,” Hill said, adding opponents are staying outside. “We have good inside play with Thorn and Brenden Larsen. That’s the top part of our success.”
Hill speaks from experience about what Thorn has done.
“Because of senior leadership, we’re back on track this season,” Hill said.
Nothing is settled for playoffs and won’t be until the dust clears from this week’s game. Based on head-to-head completion, Fernley and Spring Creek are the top-two teams in league with Fallon third and then Truckee.
With a month of football remaining, Thorn doesn’t want to hang up his cleats. He would like to receive a scholarship to play football at the college level. Thorn, who wrestles during the winter and plays lacrosse in the spring, has received interest from a California college for lacrosse.
He said lacrosse, to him, combines two sports into one.
“It’s somewhat like football and soccer,” he explained. “There’s a lot of contact but faster.”
If he doesn’t receive a scholarship, Thorn said he may enlist in the United States Marine Corps and then follow in the footsteps of his father, a deputy with the Churchill County Sheriff’s Office, in law enforcement.
For now, though, Thorn is content to roam the football field, ready to pounce on any runner who enters his inside linebacker’s space. Thorn, though, also recalls how leadership made a difference in 2015.
“He saw what senior leadership did and how they led the team,” Hill said. “We want good senior leadership to dictate how the team goes.”