An interesting day for White Pine High football last Friday. First, Mountain View forfeited to the Bobcats, then fire in a transformer on a power pole knocked out the lights at the football field causing practice to end early.

Bobcats coach Nick Lopez said he received a call from Mountain View late Thursday afternoon saying they were not going to come to Ely to play in what was to be the Saints season opener.  “They did not want to take a risk of getting injuries,” he said. Mountain View lists only 18 players on their roster this season under new coach Frank DeSantis.

With the forfeit, Lopez said he had the Bobcats take the field for practice. However, after a short time a fire of unknown origin in a transformer on a power pole on U.S. 93 near the Indian reservation, caused Mt. Wheeler Power to have to turn off the lights to the field, thereby ending practice. He said, “The transformer unit arched up and the pole started burning,” but he did not know the cause.

Lopez said the team this week has been preparing for the first of two away league games with Yerington and Pershing County. “We’ve been working on improving our blocking techniques, tackling and running our offensive plays. We’re a young team, and the thing the offensive line has not been doing as well as they should is block into the second level. We’ll get there, it’s just going to take some time.”

On the schedule next are away games at Yerington and Pershing County, Sept. 15 and 22. “Those will be tough challenges,” Lopez said. Yerington (2-1), last year’s 2A state runner-up, is said to be in a rebuilding stage, “still a good team, but not as good as they have been.” The Bobcats lost to the Lions 44-8 last year in Ely, giving up 31 points in the first quarter. Pershing County on the other hand, the defending 2A state champion, will also be a tough opponent. Lopez said, “I believe they only lost one player off last years starting team. They’ve pretty much got the same team this year,” and 11 seniors.

The game will also be the first of three games in September when high school teams all across America will raise funds for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital to fight childhood cancer with each touchdown scored.