Defending champ Damonte Ranch starts season at No. 1
Reed opens at a spot other than No. 1 for the first time in the three years the Sparks Tribune Power Rankings have existed.
That top spot instead goes to Damonte Ranch. The Mustangs came back from down 31-7 at the half of November’s regional title game at McQueen to end the Raiders’ run of regional titles at five.
Will 2017 bring Damonte’s second regional title in school history? Can Reed even the score under first-year coach Tony Amantia? Or will someone else emerge?
To view how the rankings progressed last year, click here.
1. Damonte Ranch Mustangs (0-0)
The Cade McNamara to Dru Jacobs connection was one of the best in the state last year and it will be even stronger this year. McNamara verbally committed to Notre Dame over the summer and Jacobs is a returning all-state selection.
Damonte received seven of the 11 votes from the 4A North coaches to win the 4A North. Not only is a regional title defense completely realistic, so is an undefeated regular season.
Last week: NA (ended 2016 No. 1)
2. Reed Raiders (0-0)
Those who expect a significant drop off from the Raiders in their first season without Ernie Howren aren’t paying attention.
This is still a program that has won five of the last six regional titles and will be led by one of Northern Nevada’s best quarterbacks in Cameron Emerson.
Last week: NA (ended 2016 No. 2)
3. Reno Huskies (0-0)
It’s easy to look at the Huskies and just point out Brandon Kaho, the senior do-everything player who is verbally committed to BYU, but considering among other programs, Alabama.
He’s not Reno’s only piece. Also back for his senior year is reigning High Desert League Defensive Player of the Year Siaosi Finau, another linebacker.
Reno will continue to use its studs in unique formations on both sides of the ball and remains a legitimate contender.
Last week: NA (ended 2016 No. 3)
4. Bishop Manogue Miners (0-0)
Maybe starting the Miners at No. 4 is too bullish. Maybe it’s not.
Bishop Manogue returns almost everyone and adds arguably the best coach in the state. Dontell Jackson, Angelo Reviglio and Peyton Dixon are poised to cause all kinds of problems for Sierra League defenses in Howren’s spread offense. The Miners also have one of the state’s best defensive linemen in Chandon Pierre.
This is Bishop Manogue’s first appearance in the Sparks Tribune Power Rankings.
Last week: NA (ended 2016 No. 8)
5. Carson Senators (0-0)
Abel Carter is one of the most explosive players in the state. The reigning Sierra League Player of the Year ran for almost 1,900 yards and 24 touchdowns in only 10 games last season.
He may have to be a one-man wrecking crew though. The Senators need another player or two to emerge at a skill position.
Last week: NA (ended 2016 No. 5)
Outside looking in: McQueen Lancers
Week 1 Schedule
No. 1 Damonte Ranch vs Northgate (Walnut Creek, Calif.) 7 p.m.
No. 2 Reed vs Clayton Valleys Charter (Concord, Calif.) 7 p.m.
No. 3 Reno at Stagg (Stockton, Calif.) 7:15 p.m.
No. 4 Bishop Manogue at North Valleys 7 p.m.
No. 5 Carson vs Lewiston (Lewiston, Idaho) in Pocatello, Idaho, Sat. at 1 p.m.
McQueen vs Lassen (Susanville, Calif.) 7:30 p.m.
Spanish Springs vs Rocky Mountain (Meridian, Idaho) in Pocatello, Idaho, Sat. at 4 p.m.
Douglas vs Rigby (Rigby, Idado) in Pocatello, Idaho, Sat. at 10 a.m.
Galena vs Highland (Pocatello, Idaho) in Pocatello, Idaho, Sat. at 7 p.m.
Hug vs Fallon 7 p.m.