What the Nevada prep football community witnessed on Saturday has grown into nothing but an annual exercise – a foregone conclusion.
Bishop Gorman private-school-privileged its way to what was an eighth straight state title in bullying fashion.
The Gaels manhandled Liberty, a team ranked No. 23 in the nation at one point this season, to the tune of an 84-8 final. You read that score correctly.
Along with the win securing Gorman its eighth consecutive state championship, it was the Vegas school’s 54th straight victory overall. It also likely secured a third-straight national title.
State championship games are supposed to be among the most anticipated contests of the year – if not the game to look forward to. Gorman has eliminated that train of thought.
The Gaels have won the last eight state championship games by an average score of 63-16. You read that score correctly.
In fact, Bishop Gorman has not lost to a team from Nevada since 2008, falling in the Sunset regional title game to Palo Verde.
Gorman isn’t playing on a different level than the rest of the state. It’s playing a different sport.
One Twitter responder to Saturday’s final score called it an “atrocity.” Another tweeted, ‘why do the people of Nevada let this go on? We need to do something.’
Yes, you do.
Well, not you, but the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association member schools, coaches, athletic directors, etc. need to do something.
The NIAA has tried, and failed, to rid itself of Gorman. It simply does not have the resources to do battle with private school pockets.
So instead, those who have a voice in the state need to use it. Numerous coaches have droned, on record, how great of a challenge Gorman presents, that to be the best, you need to beat the best, that playing the Gaels makes them stronger.
While those statements may all ring true, they’re a bail out. Those aren’t the same statements being uttered when the recorder is turned off.
The only group that wants Gorman competing for NIAA state titles, is Gorman. The NIAA is tired of looking weak. Schools are tired of getting embarrassed. Coaches, players and fan bases are tired of incredible seasons providing no hope of a title.
Coaches and administrators can no longer hide behind blanket statements. It is time for honesty. It is time for truth. It’s time for a change.
Because at the going rate, the Gaels’ reign isn’t ending any time soon.
By publicly defending Gorman, member schools have propped Gorman up. It’s time to kick the prop out.
Statements will create a conversation, a unified voice. That voice has the power to create change.
Public schools in Washington state started forfeiting games to a private school power this fall and it made national headlines. The private school in question, Archbishop Murphy, has not won a state title since 2003. It fell in the state semifinals this year.
Archbishop Murphy and Bishop Gorman is not an apples and oranges comparison, it’s apples and F-22 Raptor Fighter Jets.
I’m not calling on Nevada public schools to start sitting out Gorman games, I’m calling on them to have a conversation about their options.
Forfeiting sends a sour message to the teenagers who play the game because they love it. Then again, the status quo says nothing other than ‘those with the most money get their way.’
Which is worse?
After an 84-8 final score in what was billed as the biggest prep football game in Nevada history, it’s time for Nevada to get serious about altering its athletic landscape.
Otherwise, the frustration will continue to build, the string of state titles will only lengthen, and when people ask ‘wait, Gorman won in the state championship game by how much?’ you’ll only have one thing to say.
You read that score correctly.
Nathan can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. His weekly column, ‘Shoup Shots,’ was named the best column in the state of Nevada (community division) by the Nevada Press Association. It runs in the hard copy of the Sparks Tribune every Tuesday morning.