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Sports Roundup: NIAA splits region into leagues for football

The Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association’s alignment of every Class 3A Southern Region football team didn’t even make it a year.

With nine football teams in 3A South, the NIAA placed them in one league, meaning each team would play all of the others for the 2020 and 2021 seasons. But with the calendar revised because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the season was reduced to six weeks and league play did not happen.

With Pinecrest Academy Cadence moving into Class 3A and fielding a football team, things will change.

“(Class) 3A South will now be two leagues next year instead of one league of 10,” NIAA co-Assistant Director Donnie Nelson said. “That way, teams have room to play nonleague games, perhaps a rival in the 4A or 2A, and also give us more data for the rubric.”

The rubric helps determine alignment for teams in each two-year cycle.

Pahrump Valley High School will play in the new Class 3A Mountain League with Boulder City, Cadence, Eldorado and SLAM Nevada. The Desert League will include Moapa Valley, Rancho, Valley, Virgin Valley and Western. Nelson said this alignment will be for the 2021 and 2022 seasons.

If this year is any indication, Cadence will have a rough introduction to Class 3A football. The Cougars are playing an independent schedule this year with a 20-player roster that includes no seniors. Cadence is 1-2, with a 22-8 win over Mater East, another fledgling program playing an independent schedule, and losses to 2A schools Lake Mead Christian (57-0) and White Pine (59-0).

Cross country

Devin Varlack covered the 5,000-meter course in 17 minutes, 58.7 seconds to place fourth and break up the Bishop Gorman High School cross country team’s dominance of a Saturday meet near Pahrump Valley High School.

The Gaels posted the top three times and six of the top seven, led by sophomore Andrew Specht’s winning time of 17:41.1. The next runner was Pahrump Valley’s Ulises Sotelo, who finished in 18:59.5. Also running for the Trojans were freshmen Nathaniel Roundy (19:49.6) and Jackson Floyd (21:16.9), juniors Samuel Machovsky (21:24.9) and Spencer Van Wormer (21:24.9) and sophomore Jacob Gray (21:36.8), who each finished ahead of Pinecrest Academy Cadence’s two runners.

Junior Marcos Rivera ran the course in 26:16.1 to finish 13th in the Varsity B race for the Trojans, followed by freshman Theron Abbiss (15th, 27:59.3) and juniors Elijah Biggs (17th, 31:54.2) and Theodore Lieber (18th, 32:21.1).

Meanwhile, juniors Makani Araujo and Kaydance Hagerstrand continued their habit of back-to-back finishes, with Araujo running fifth in 23:58.7 and Hagerstrand placing sixth in 24:45.2 for Pahrump Valley. Also running for the Trojans were juniors Beverly Roundy (10th, 26:30.6), Stephanie Frias-Esparza (11th, 30:50.2), and sophomore Tia Jones (12th, 33:25.4).

Bishop Gorman freshman Sophia Kellogg won the race in 19:24.6, with three Gaels teammates running second through fourth.

The Trojans will be back in action Saturday in a meet hosted by Virgin Valley High School.

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