The end of the season for first-year coach Nick Lopez at White Pine High leaves only good things to look ahead to for the future.
Yes, the season ended with a 45-3 loss to Battle Mountain last week, but there are quite a few things to see as encouraging signs.
Lopez said the boys who were sophomores and juniors this year, as well and the present freshman class and a new group of about 10 incoming freshmen, “pretty good athletes,” make a promising future and development for Bobcat football.
“We’ll have more maturity and experience at several positions. Our JV corps group are pretty tough and football savvy,” Lopez said. “The boys learned this year, and know what I expect and how my system runs. It’s hard to come in as a first-year coach and change everything on them, but we will continue to improve.”
Against Battle Mountain Lopez said, “The kids kind of went out and played scared the first couple of quarters (by which time Battle Mountain had a 38-0 lead). Yet they came back after halftime and wanted to play, and did so rather well in the third and fourth quarter. Battle Mountain left their starters in at that time, and they only scored once more on us.”
He said, “We were moving the ball up and down the field, but were hampered again by a lot of penalties and some fumbles that just killed us and kept us from scoring opportunities.”
The one score the Bobcats did have was a 40-yard field goal from Saxtyn Brewster in the fourth quarter. “He had tried one earlier, but missed,” Lopez noted.
Finishing 4-6 this season matched last year’s record, “and part of that was because we were playing against some teams in our division who had 10 or more seniors,” Lopez said.
Battle Mountain for example, has 17. Defending state champion Pershing County lists 12 seniors on their roster.
The 2A Northern playoffs today feature West Wendover (5-4) at Pershing County (8-1) and Yerington (6-3) at Battle Mountain (8-2).
The 2A Southern playoffs today have Lake Mead (6-2) at Lincoln County (7-3) and Democracy Prep (formerly Agassi Prep) (4-4) at Needles (9-0).
The semifinal round will be Nov. 10 at sites to be determined.