On November 9, 1986, Battle Mountain High School’s (BMHS) Longhorns football team won the Nevada Division A State Championship over Virgin Valley High School. After 31 years, the current Longhorn football team created the opportunity to end the drought.
In the past 31 years, BMHS has had opportunities to win state but failed to do so. The 2017 team is slated to face rival Pershing County for the title on Nov. 18, at Lowry High School in Winnemucca. With the Longhorns presented with the opportunity to end the long-standing drought, many on the 1986 team told their stories about the last state title team.
“For three seasons, I had the lucky job of keeping the stats for the Longhorns. My senior year, 1986, I also had the privilege of taping and icing their injuries,” Battle Mountain High School Alumni Tracy Echeverria said, “When I left high school, I thought I was a football fan. It didn’t take me long after graduation to learn that I wasn’t much of a football fan and that my love of football was limited to the Longhorns.”
On the current team, athletes Mason Fuller, Payton Ayers, Kade Quintana and Marcus Jury all have connections to the 1986 team. Fuller, Ayers and Quintana’s parents, Dave Fuller, Nick Ayers and Mike Quintana, were all players at the time, along with Jury’s uncle Jeff Jury.
The 1986 team had to overcome the 1985 state title game loss to Virgin Valley. Despite the discouraging 3-0 loss, the Longhorns finished the 1986 season with a record of 8-1-1. They defeated Virgin Valley 21-0 in that year’s game.
“The 1986 team was a good mix of juniors and seniors who had grown up in the same town for almost their entire lives. I remember playing football with these guys since the sixth grade,” reflected Andy Leshikar. “Virgin Valley came ready to stop our strong running game and they did a pretty good job of it. Fortunately for us, Mike Quintana, our junior quarterback, did a great job passing the ball and we rolled over them by a score of 21-0.”
The 2017 Longhorns are very similar to the 1986 team. The roster is filled with 13 seniors and a mix of juniors who have been playing football together since they were little kids.
“It was a pretty good time, and we got to play on our home field. We won 21 to zip, and it was the best feeling in the world. 30 years later, now my son is on the field. It has a lot of emotions attached to it. We were a running team back in the day, and we threw the hell out of the ball during that game,” stated assistant Longhorn football coach and former state champion Dave Fuller before the semifinal playoff game in Needles, Calif.
“We had several good football teams come through town since we won that game, but they were not able to win the final game,” said Paul Tomera about the current state of Longhorn football, “It looks like these kids have a good shot and I would like to see them win it.”
Some of the biggest fans of ending the streak are the wives of Nick Ayers, Scott Torgerson and Tomera. “I need them to win so they will stop talking about being the last team to win,” Sondra Torgerson said, “He has talked about that game every year since they won it.” Paula Tomera and Sandy Ayers agreed.
Travis Masterson is related to the Tomera family by marriage.