The Beatty High School football team will kick off the 2023 season on Friday, Sept. 1.
They’ll have a new leader this season after former head coach Rusty Anderson stepped away for personal reasons.
Levy Reed, the former Hornets assistant coach, was promoted this summer to the head coaching position.
Let’s jump into their schedule:
Week 2: At Word of Life (9/1)
The Word of Life Christian Academy’s football program is entering its second season. Last year they finished 0-4 overall and 0-3 in 1A South league play.
Their defense gave up an average of 54.7 points per game.
Week 3: vs. Sandy Valley (9/8)
The Sidewinders extended their streak of consecutive seasons without a playoff appearance to seven after going 3-2 in 1A South league play and 4-3 overall.
Sandy Valley will be returning with most of their core players from last season. Senior quarterback Aidan Persaud threw for 457 yards and nine touchdowns in 2022. He also was third on the team in rushing with 440 yards on 62 carries with eight touchdowns.
The Sidewinders will also have their second best running back from last season in Antoni Pedraza and their top wide receiver, Damion Turner.
Pedraza ran for 555 yards and nine touchdowns, while Turner caught eight passes for 323 yards and six touchdowns.
Week 4: At Laughlin (9/14)
This is the first season in the 1A division for the Laughlin Cougars. They were one of the schools who were part of the realignments that happened over the summer.
Laughlin previously played in the 2A division where they finished 0-8 in back-to-back seasons.
They managed to score just 25 points in eight games last season. Thirteen of those points came in the opener against Indian Springs. Laughlin was shut out in six of their eight games during the 2022 season.
Week 5: vs. Word of Life (9/22)
See Week 2
Week 6: At Tonopah (9/29)
The Muckers finished the 2022 season with a 2-7 record and a third-place spot in the 1A Central league.
Because they were a young team last year, Tonopah will be returning with all of their top players from last season.
Quarterback Drew Otteson threw for 901 yards and eight touchdowns while also running for 874 yards and ten touchdowns.
Mitchell Miller led the team in rushing with 933 yards and tied Otteson for a team-high ten rushing touchdowns.
Receiver Samuel Nichols is back for his senior year. He caught 25 passes for 482 yards and six touchdowns.
The Hornets have struggled in recent years against the Muckers, losing each of the last two games by an average of 36 points.
Week 7: vs. Indian Springs (10/6)
The Thunderbirds finished in fourth place of the 1A South league during the 2022 season.
Indian Springs started the season off right with a win against Laughlin, but they then proceeded to lose their next four games.
The Thunderbirds have missed the playoffs in each of the last 10 seasons dating back to their last appearance in 2013.
Beatty defeated the Thunderbirds 32-20 during the 2022 season.
Week 8: vs. Round Mountain (10/13)
The top-heavy Knights will be replacing key players in their offense for the 2023 season.
They finished in fourth place in the 1A Central league last year with a 3-6 record. Only Beatty was a worse team in league play.
Round Mountain was led by seniors Meyjil McArthur and Gary Svoboda.
McArthur had team-highs in rushing yards (172) and receiving yards (376), while Svoboda was second on the team in receiving yards with 356.
The two players combined for nine total touchdowns last year.
The team will be returning with both of their quarterbacks from last season in Gavin Banks and Nick Scraper. They each threw for over 500 passing yards.
Week 9: At Spring Mountain (10/20)
The 2022 state runners-up finished last season with a 9-3 record and 6-0 in the 1A South league.
This year, the Eagles will be playing in the Central league along with the Hornets, swapping places with former 1A Central participants Pahranagat Valley who went to the 1A South.
Spring Mountain lost their starting quarterback, and the team’s leading rusher, Lafear, who threw for more than 1,800 yards and had 21 passing touchdowns.
Lafear also ran the ball 96 times for 829 yards and 15 touchdowns.
The Hornets are hoping to make it back to the playoffs for the first time since the 2017 season. They’ll have a tough road ahead of them.
On the bright side: defending state and league champions Pahranagat Valley has left the 1A Central league and has moved to the 1A South league. Mineral County, the Central league runners-up, also left the Central league for the South league.
This opens up room for teams who were near the bottom of the league last season to move up into a potential playoff spot in 2023.
You can track the Hornets’ season by visiting maxpreps.com.
Contact sports writer/editor Danny Smyth at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @_dannysmyth on Twitter.