Horace Langford Jr. / Pahrump Valley Times - The men’s soccer team under new Coach Don Boulden put together a tough team that was one game from going to the playoffs this year.
Horace Langford Jr. / Pahrump Valley Times - Payton Hart finished her last year with the Lady Trojans. Her team finished in second place in the Sunset League and went one game further in the playoffs this year.
The fall season had five Pahrump teams getting ready for the playoffs and a few unknowns. The Tonopah team was thinking repeat and so were the Lady Trojans soccer team. There were a few new coaches in the mix. As always fierce competition was the case in every sport with just a few surprises thrown in to make it an exciting season.
The men’s soccer team, led by first-year Coach Don Boulden was on a mission. This was a team full of young players looking to make it to the playoffs. Although the team failed this goal, the team won three more games than the year before and finished 6-8 in league and 7-10-2 overall. The top four in league play went to the playoffs and the Trojans finished in the top five. They had players like Brandon Hastings, Nick Nelson, Aaron Alcaraz, and Nolan Toomer.
The women’s soccer team was definitely one of the best teams ever. Sydney Sladek broke the all-time goals scored in a career record with 205. Pahrump Valley won all their league games going undefeated in league with the only tie going to Faith Lutheran. Trojans went on to beat Faith and finished as league champs and regional champs. They had another tie to Green Valley, a Division 1 team. The Trojans lost to South Lake Tahoe 3-2 in the state championship game. This was a big surprise because they had beaten this team so badly in the state semifinals last year. If they had won, they would have had three state championships. The team will lose eight seniors and will be rebuilding next year. Lexi Smith, Courtney Lindsay, Kiaya Nauck, Sydney Sladek, Kristen Young, Jennifer McCaw, Rosa Ortega, and Brittany Klenczar are the seniors that made up this tough team.
The Lady Trojans had a good year in volleyball. Trojans Coach Jill Harris finished a strong second place and advanced to the second round of the 1-A playoffs when they soundly defeated Chaparral High School, the team that ironically beat them last year. The team was second in the Sunset League and finished behind Faith Lutheran who was undefeated in league play. This team will miss Bryana Soliwoda, Payton Hart and Mikayla Davis, but should have a strong veteran team next year. Shayla Dance will be a senior, and she will be joined by Jill Smith and Lauren Koenig.
Faith Lutheran won their first state title in volleyball.
The Beatty Hornets started off with a new coach. Dale Lerbakken came out of retirement to coach the girls after the girls had two years of Steve Sullivan. Sullivan said he needed a break. The Hornets came out of the gates with a very young team. There were only two seniors on the team. Senior Christina Thompson led the team. Lucero Hernandez played her last sport as a senior too. Maggie Cathcart and Eaire Davis were some of the younger players that gave it their all. The team finished in fourth place and went to the playoffs where they beat Lund, but fell to the new state champions, the Pahranagat Valley Panthers.
The fall season for the Muckers brought on a new coach in volleyball after long-time coach Judi Boni retired after 22 years. Boni retired after capturing the state title in volleyball for the first time in 2012. Coach Javier Gonzalez took her place. He had coached the junior varsity team for about 10 years. Julia Klapper, Ashley Gray, Sydney Maughn and Elise Salisbury were some of the leaders on the team.
The Muckers returned to the state tourney under Gonzalez but failed to repeat. On a sad note, Gonzalez has come down with stage IV colon cancer. He was diagnosed at the end of the season and has rallied the entire county behind him.
In football, Muckers Coach Duffy Otteson would be the first to say his team was disappointed with their fourth-place showing. The team came out strong this year and even beat Spring Mountain for the first time in nine years, but could not beat Pahranagat Valley who finished the year again with their sixth straight title in a row and an unbroken 69 game winning streak. Senior Matt Misener led the team in rushing with 1,188 yards on 119 carries for the year. Connor Friel took over for the injured Jimmy Withers midway through the season and the team didn’t miss a beat. The team averaged 266.2-yards rushing per game and 133.1-yards receiving per game. Jeb Ayers and TJ Ayers kept other teams from running on the Muckers.
The Hornets said goodbye to Jake Zamora as quarterback in his last year of football. Hornets Coach Leo Verzilli won a couple of games this year, but said his team was rebuilding and had a lot of freshmen this year. Luis Flores will be back running the ball next year for the team.
The Trojans cross country team was led by first-year Coach Matthew Kolodzieczyk. He had been the assistant to Andy Andersen for some years. Kolodzieczyk said this was a rebuilding year especially for the boys. He is hoping many new freshmen will fill his ranks next year.
For the girls, Stefanie Thelaner finally made it to state in her senior year. Thelaner made the trip to Reno and finished 19th out of 78 runners with a time of 22:04. Jackie Sanchez will also graduate as well as Melanie Lawdensky. Fenny Descuatan will return and should be a real force for the team. The boys retire Shane Weber and Devon Montgomery.
Girls golf honored Coach Julie Floyd by inducting her into the Pahrump Valley High School Hall of Fame after 30 years of coaching the Trojans.
The boys golf team under Coach Bob Hopkins plays in the Spring. His team will continue to rebuild after losing Dalton Beighley and Zach Harris and he expects some underclassmen to have a good showing this year.
Trojans Coach Joe Clayton introduced a new offensive system, the Double Wing Jet Sweep, to make his offense simpler to run and more productive than the year before.
The simplification worked and the Trojans fans saw their football team run the football for an average of 180-yards rushing per game and 79-yards passing per game. they finished league play with a 2-3 record. The Trojans finished in a three-way tie for third place, but because the Trojans barely beat Clark and did not beat Cheyenne these two teams went to the playoffs.
The football team team relied on the passing of sophomore TJ Milk. Senior AJ Segura still played some quarterback, but was very productive as a wide receiver with 13 receptions for 301 yards. He carried the ball 79 times for 281 yards. Scott Maughan was the main running back with 156 carries for 716 yards. The next best runner was Keenan Harris with 66 carries and 292 yards.
The Trojans have also developed several lineman like Jace and Jax Clayton who average around 250 pounds when playing football and both are quick.
The new offense worked so well that teams definitely saw a difference in Pahrump.
Prior to the first game, Chaparral Coach William Froman said he even told other schools Pahrump had improved a lot. He lost to Pahrump 28-6. Even Faith Lutheran Coach Vernon Fox said his team had problems with the new offense and his team went on to beat Churchill County for the Division 1-A State Title.