Gaels to stay in 4A; Pahrump forced to move up

One thing became clear at the NIAA Board of Control meeting Wednesday in Reno: No team was going to be allowed to move down in class.

Nine schools petitioned the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association board to switch classifications beginning next fall. The five schools that petitioned to move up to a higher classification and play schools with larger enrollments had their petitions granted.

The ones that wanted to move down had their petitions denied.

For current Class 4A schools such as Bishop Gorman and Bishop Manogue, which had to petition to remain in 4A because their enrollment numbers fell below the 4A threshold of 1,201 students, that was good news. The Gaels and Miners will remain 4A schools.

For others, such as Pahrump Valley, it wasn’t. The Trojans will be reassigned to 4A beginning next fall because the school now has more than 1,200 students.

“We’ll struggle. I’ll tell you that, we’ll struggle,” Pahrump athletic director Brian Hug said.

The Trojans will be assigned to the Sunset Region’s Southwest Division.

Hug said he was disappointed in the two league schools that voted to keep the Trojans out of 3A. The board ultimately made the final decision but did listen to recommendations from the leagues involved.

“From an athletic standpoint, I’m very disappointed in the two teams in our league that voted us out,” Hug said. “They apparently think we were a dominant team in athletics.”

Hug pointed out that his school won three Class 3A state championships last school year: one in girls golf, one in cheerleading and one in girls track. And the track title largely was due to the presence of Dominique Maloy, who won four individual titles.

“We weren’t that competitive,” Hug said. “We won one league game in football last year. I’m frustrated.”

So is Faith Lutheran athletic director Bret Walter, who isn’t fond of the four-team 3A Southern League that will remain after Pahrump’s departure.

Walter said there has been some discussion at Faith Lutheran of petitioning to move to 4A, and he said he would look into NIAA regulations to find out when the school could petition if it decides to do so.

“A four-team league? Maybe the other schools in the league are fond of that, but I’m not,” Walter said.

“Obviously we weren’t real fond of playing in an even smaller league. As a school, we’re going to have to decide where we need to go for the future.”

Hug said Pahrump still had options, including playing an independent schedule instead of joining the Southwest Division. That would mean the Trojans couldn’t compete for league or state titles.

“What would be the difference,” Hug asked. “It’s not like right now we would be competing for a title in anything.”

In other decisions involving area schools, Calvary Chapel and Mountain View both were allowed to move from 1A to 2A. Tech’s petition to move from 4A to 3A was denied, as was Laughlin’s petition to stay in 1A despite having 2A enrollment numbers.

“The one’s we figured there would be some dialogue, there was dialogue,” NIAA executive director Eddie Bonine said. “And the board put them in realignment by the numbers, by the policy.”

LACROSSE SIGNING — Local athletes catch the eye of college coaches all the time, and each year numerous players end up with college scholarships.

But it’s not every day that one of those local athletes plays lacrosse.

Faith Lutheran senior Madison Fiore did just that, orally committing to play lacrosse at Maryland. Fiore, currently playing football for the Crusaders, picked Maryland over Yale and Lafayette.

The Terrapins were seeded seventh for the NCAA Tournament last season before being upset in the first round by Maryland-Baltimore County.

TRAVELING GAELS — Bishop Gorman’s boys soccer team will head to Quincy, Ill., at the end of the month.

The Gaels will participate in the Quincy Soccer Classic, which features 28 teams from 11 states. Included in the field is St. Benedict’s Prep (N.J.), which entered the season with a 46-game winning streak and has captured 18 consecutive state titles.

INDEPENDENT GLORY — Former Palo Verde baseball pitcher Brandon Kintzler was named Rookie Pitcher of the Year in the independent Northern League.

Kintzler posted a 5-2 record with a 4.07 ERA for the Winnipeg Goldeyes. His ERA was the sixth best in the league.

ON THE AIR — Friday’s football game between Cheyenne and Green Valley will be broadcast on KDWN-AM (720) at 7 p.m.

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