The close of the school year bring back memories of the sports season that both Lincoln County and Pahranagat Valley enjoyed.
The Panthers earned state titles in football, baseball and softball, Lincoln in baseball, a champion in wrestling and boys track for Lincoln, and another academic championship for PVHS. Accomplishments for all participants, family and friends to be most proud of.
Beginning in football, coach Ken Higbee and the Alamo team rolled to a state record eighth consecutive Division IV championship. And for the first time in three years, did not have to face league rival Spring Mountain in the title game. In addition, they tied the national 8-man record with 93 consecutive wins. They can set a new national record in their first game in August with Wells.
In December, Higbee was named Nevada Coach of the Year. He will be honored this Saturday at the Las Vegas Review-Journal/NevadaPreps Awards Banquet at the Red Rock Resort.
He said when the award was announced he wanted to share it equally with all the members of his coaching staff. “Our program is about what everyone does, not just one individual. And it goes just as much to the parents and our community as well.”
Lincoln County, under Rich Ottley, were runners up 21-8 to three-time winner Yerington in Division III football. The Lynx finished 11-2, 7-1 in league, advancing to the championship game for the first time since 2005.
Shawn Wadsworth, Tabor Maxwell of Pahranagat, and McClain O’Connor of Lincoln were all given Honorable Mention on the NevadaPreps All-State football team.
During the basketball season, the Lincoln boys had an off-year and did not make the playoffs. The girls meanwhile, were league champs, but faltered in the league tournament and did not make it to state. However, senior Savannah Harr was a repeat selection for league Player of the Year.
At Pahranagat, the boys made the league playoffs as the No. 4 seed, but lost out to Word of Life in the league semi-finals.
The girls, finished second to Round Mountain in both the regular season and league tournament, and lost to McDermitt in the state semi-finals.
In volleyball, LCHS was fourth in league, and lost 3-0 to White Pine in the Division III Southern League tournament. Pahranagat Valley, the two-time defending state champions, were league and tournament champions, advancing to the state finals for a record 21st consecutive year, but lost there to powerful Smith Valley 3-0, who won their first state title since 1981.
In wrestling, Lincoln’s Zach Rowe was Division III/IV All-state wrestler of the year, and won the 126-pound state title. Will Culverwell was second at 152-pounds. The Lynx were fifth in the team standings at state with 81.5 points, Pahranagat Valley was 10th with 26 points.
Lincoln’s Sam Anderson won the Division III boys long jump title and Dylan Phillips was second in the discus at the state meet in Carson City. The boys 4×100 relay team was second to Agassi Prep in 45.10. Landen Smith ran second in the 200 meters and 300m hurdles. Tyler Frehner was second in the 110m hurdles.
For Pahranagat Valley, the best finish was Madison Mathews, fourth in the girls 800 meters.
In baseball, in addition to winning their fifth state Division IV baseball championship in seven years, first since 2013, Pahranagat Valley also set a new school record of 347 runs scored during the season, breaking the old mark of 338 in 2010.
The Panthers dominated the division, riding a 19-game win streak to sweep both the southern regional and state tournaments. Tabor Maxwell was named league MVP.
For Lincoln, they had a more exciting road to their first baseball title in 10 years. Winning the southern league over Needles, losing to Yerington in the semi-finals of the double elimination state tournament, getting by Pershing County in an elimination game, and coming back the very next day for a thrilling two game win over the Yerington Lions for the state championship.
Lincoln’s softball team was going for a third straight title for retiring coach Pat Kelley at the state tournament in Reno.
The Lady Lynx won their first two games behind league MVP Josie Burgess, but lost twice on championship Saturday, and Pershing County won their first ever state softball championship.
Pahranagat Valley had to do likewise in the Division IV state softball tournament. Dominating play in the Southern league, then sweeping the league tournament, they lost in the winner’s semi-final to Wells at state. They had to win an elimination game over Eureka, and come back with the task of beating Wells twice on Saturday to take a record fourth state championship. They tamed the Leopards 15-3 in the first game, and with the highest of drama and tension in the top of the seventh in the deciding game, leading 3-2, two out, two on for Wells, and their best batter at the plate, pitcher Ashlyn Wadsworth struck out the batter on three pitches to complete the comeback and a fourth championship.
What sort of a school year was it for the local teams? A year like all years, filled with those events and people that alter and illuminate our times. And you were there.