For the next few months, a large portion of Lovelock will cast its lot with a dominant force in Northern Nevada’s high school football world — the Pershing County High School Mustangs.
The JV and varsity are both ready to rumble.
On Friday, Aug. 24, the three-time defending state champs traveled to Longhorn country, Battle Mountain High School.
They scrimmaged against Spring Creek, Elko, Battle Mountain and the Lowry freshmen.
On Friday, Aug. 30, the varsity squad kicked off its 2019 season in West Wendover against the Wolverines and won 22-0.
“We had a tough time in West Wendover with a lot of young varsity players but were able to come away with the 22-0 league win,” said coach Mike Brooks.
According to Brooks, the roster numbers are down this year, but the boys are eager to meet whatever challenges the season throws their way.
Six seniors played their last first game of the season — Ricky Reitz, Sebastien Donaldson, Caleb Nolf, JC Astle, Chris Keathley and Chris Fly-Knoph graduate in June 2020.
Donaldson and Nolf delivered on both sides of the ball, said the coach.
At 6’0 and 165 pounds, Donaldson stands poised at the threshold of his fourth year on the football field.
“I did my best to do my job and open holes blocking for Colton Wanner,” he said. “When I carried the ball I looked for openings to pick up as many yards as I could. Nolf played great pass coverage and stepped up and made tackles.”
The rest of the varsity squad consists of mostly juniors with a sprinkling of two sophomore standouts.
The juniors are: Jesus Gonzalez, Raul Rincon, Colton Wanner, Hayden Burrows, Nikita Pavlov, Logan Oberman, Daniel Reitz, Jordan Gentry, Efrem Razov and Zeke Jackson.
According to the coach, Reitz performed well for the boys in red and white.
Last season the coaches named Reitz the Robby Weagant Defensive Lineman of the Year.
He and Donaldson both earned honorable mentions for their defensive accomplishments in the 2A Northern League.
The sophomores are Dmitri Zveniatckovskii and Mariano Gomez.
On Friday, Pershing County has an away game against the Bear River Bruins in Grass Valley, Calif.
The Lovelock coaches rank the Bruins, along with Battle Mountain and Yerington, as their toughest regular season opponents. But PCHS plans to be ready.
“Now we can watch film and see exactly what we need to improve,” said Donaldson. “Throughout the Wendover game, we struggled offensively, but we pulled together and got the job done. The team showed great effort and heart.”
JV opens season in Reno: Welcomes new coach
On Thursday, Aug. 29, the JV Mustangs headed to Reno to play the Manogue freshmen. The 4A school from Reno won the game.
The JV team includes seven freshmen: Tristian Gallagher, Seth Provstgard, Noel Zaldivar, Blake Burrows, Nikolas Jimenez, Wyatt Myers and Wyatt Diaz.
The freshmen join six sophomores and a junior. The six sophomores are Jose Jimenez, Devin Moura, Ashton Nolf, Esteban Vidrio, Brayden Wagner and Daniel Razov. Victor Flores is a junior.
Dan Murphy coaches the JV boys. This season his son Logan Murphy (PCHS Class of 2017) joins the JV coaching staff.
“I’m as proud of him with this as I ever was watching him play the game,” said Murphy. “It’s our job as coaches to help these players reach their potential.”
Although Manogue shut out Pershing JV, the coaches saw promise in the Mustangs' backfield.
“We’ll improve as the season progresses,” said Dan Murphy. “I was proud of our boys for fighting as hard as they did. With only 14 kids on the team there’s not much opportunity to catch your breath once the game gets going.”
Pershing County plays its first home game of the season on Friday, Sept. 20, against Ely’s White Pine Bobcats.
The JV plays at 4:30 and the varsity follows at 7 p.m.