Much has been made of the Aces post-all-star-break play. However, it didn’t do much for the Aces’ postseason aspirations. Tacoma was able to keep pace and maintain respectable distance atop the Pacific Northern Division.
The Aces finally shifted down last week and dropped six of eight, including three of five at Salt Lake. They now sit 5.5 games back to Tacoma and 3 back of Fresno with just 27 games to play in the 2016 regular season. Just 11 of those final 27 will be at Greater Nevada Field. They will need to hold serve on the road.
They will attempt to clear this first hurdle this week, kicking off an eight-game road trip with four at Nashville. The Sounds are tied with the Rainiers for the most wins in the Pacific Coast League (67), but surprisingly are just 29-31 at home – 38-18 on the road.
Reno will then conclude the trip with four in Memphis. The Redbirds are 10 games back of Nashville in the American Southern.
The looming road trip won’t dictate if the playoffs are in the Aces’ immediate future (that will likely be determined in the nine remaining games against Tacoma), but it will surely be a factor.
With the way Tacoma and Fresno are both playing, Reno doesn’t want to dig a hole too much deeper.
Nevada football camp started Saturday
School in the Washoe County School District started Monday. Nevada football players reported to camp Friday. The temperature dropped to 28 degrees in Truckee Sunday night.
As much as I want to fight it, reality must be faced. It’s happened. Summer has come. And now, it has gone.
The last two weeks I’ve run portions of the conversation I had with fourth-year Nevada football coach Brian Polian on my weekly radio show. That will continue at least for the next week.
Just like any team, Nevada must answer a number of questions in camp before the season opener (September 2 at home against Cal Poly). For Polian, the bulk of those questions are on the defensive side.
In a change of pace, Nevada leaned on that defense last season. That defense is gone. The starting front seven graduated and now it is up to role players to fill the void. A step back (especially early in the season) will be understood, if not expected.
Just like ‘the good ol’ days,’ it will be the offense expected to answer. Tyler Stewart is returning for his senior season with new offensive coordinator Tim Cramsey calling the shots. Last year at this point, Stewart was locked in a position battle with Spanish Springs boy Hunter Fralick. This year, it’s his car to crash.
On paper, 2016 is shaping up to feature far less punts. The wins are not guaranteed. If anything, though, it’ll at least be entertaining.
Football preview section coming
The annual prep football preview section of awesome-ness (trademark pending) will come out in two weeks. That means two things.
One, I should probably start working on it. And two, be on the look out for it.
The section will feature a close look at the teams in the Rail City, a glance at the entire 4A North (it feels weird writing that), coaches polls, predictions and the return of my power rankings.
Are you ready for some football? No? Me neither. But here we go anyway.
Nathan can also be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. His weekly column, ‘Shoup Shots,’ runs in the hard copy of the Sparks Tribune every Tuesday morning.