Yerington Lions looking for success | NevadaAppeal.com

Yerington Lions looking for success

Dave Price

With a lot of new faces in the lineup, the Yerington High School football team is busy preparing for a new season and for a new conference this fall. At the same time, coach Cody Neville is looking to instill some traditions from Yerington’s past.

“We go into every season optimistic,” Neville said. “We’ve been on some pretty tough roads the last few years, but the kids have hung in there. We’re a program on the rise. Our kids and coaches have put in a tremendous number of hours, and I think we’re starting to see some returns on our commitment now.

“We’ve got a lot of tradition here. There were some tremendous programs at Yerington High School back in the old days and I’m hoping we can get back on that road again.”

Citing declining enrollment and lack of numbers, Yerington dropped out of its long-time affiliation with Nevada’s 3A classification to play an independent schedule last year – and with favorable results. The Lions compiled a 4-5 record, including wins over 3A rivals Fernley and Lowry, with the aid of explosive senior talent.

The Lions open their season Friday night with a nonconference game at Fernley in the first leg of the Golden Pick series that determines the Lyon County championship.

“I think we’re going to be pretty evenly matched,” Neville said. “Since we beat them for the first time in a long time last year, I’m sure they’ll be looking for revenge, so it should be a real good game.”

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Leading the way for Yerington is a senior dominated line that boasts better than average size. The group includes Bobby Sanchez (6-1, 240) and Ryan Gilmore (6-3, 220) at the tackles, Cody Collins (6-0, 250) has moved from tackle to center, and the trio of Brian Kerwin (5-10, 180), Vinnie Lowry (6-1, 230) and Jesse Halterman (6-0, 285) will rotate at the guards. All are seniors except for Gilmore, a junior who played JV ball last year. Steve Rand, a transfer, adds depth on the line.

“It doesn’t matter how good your backs are, they always need the linemen to block for them,” Neville said. “Our line is our biggest attribute and we’ve got to take advantage of that.”

Five-foot-7, 140-pound scatback Josh Inserra gives the Lions an explosive punch behind that big line. Inserra plays wingback, the man in motion in Yerington’s Fly offense and he’s capable of going the distance on any play. He showed that in a game against Mammoth last season when he rushed for 121 yards on two carries, including a 68-yard touchdown run.

“Josh is a great little player who had some spectacular runs last year,” Neville said. “He’s not the biggest or fastest kid; his quickness is his biggest asset and he has great vision. He knows when to cut and he’s just one of those kids who can make something out of nothing.”

Trevor Hays, Ricky Menesini, Kyle Johnson and Andrew Rempp should get their share of carries this season. Rempp, a senior who is playing football for the first time, see action at wingback.

Junior Matt Richardson steps in as the starter at quarterback.

“We’re looking forward to having him for the next two years,” Neville said. “He has a very strong arm and he’s developing accuracy and reads.”Richardson was 6-for-8 in his passing during the team’s scrimmage at Chester, Calif., on Saturday. His top two targets at wide receiver are Jeremy Means and Brian Osmus.

The addition of Stephen Schreibeis as receivers coach has been a plus for the program, according to Neville.

“That’s what we wanted to add,” he said. “Our Fly offense spreads a defense horizontally, now, if we can spread it vertically, that just opens up more lanes for us.”

Neville was pleased with what he saw during the scrimmage at Chester.

“We had them over last year, and basically, they have their same team back,” Neville said. “It was a very good and physical scrimmage. And it was fairly because we had some success both offensively and defensively. It was a good test because we probably won’t see anybody all year that’s more physical than that team is.”

Coupled with their opener against Fernley, the Lions should be prepared for their 2A conference season.

“The 2A is going to be tough,” Neville said. “Battle Mountain is going to be very tough, of course; Lovelock has beaten us the last two years and they have pretty much everybody returning; and ROP beat us last year. So it’s going to be a very good challenge and we’re excited about that.

“We’re in the 2A on a trial basis this year. They want to see how we do, although I thought we had already shown what we would do in that league,” Neville said. “I think it’s going to be a good situation. It helps the competitiveness of the league and it is great for us because we have an opportunity to play in a league.”

Even though Yerington will be playing in the Northern 2A, the Lions won’t be permitted to participate in the postseason.

“You just set different goals,” Neville said. “We get to play 10 games … we get to play for the Golden Pick … we just like to play the game of football.”

Note … The first annual Mike Lommori Foundation golf tournament and barbecue will be held on Saturday. The golf tournament starts at 8:30 a.m. at the Mason Valley Country Club and the barbecue will be held at 4 that afternoon. Lommori is the former Yerington coach who guided the Lions to three state football championships and five state runner-up finishes. His wrestling teams also won 12 state wrestling titles, in addition to winning 109 straight dual meets in the 1970s.

Contact Dave Price at dprice@nevadaappeal.com or call 881-1220.