Monday, Feb. 20, 2012 | 4:03 p.m.
As soon as Shawn Dupris arrived at the Damonte Ranch High School campus in southeast Reno, the football coach knew he had found a long-term home.
A native of South Dakota, Dupris immediately felt that small-town feel he believes helps define high school football. Dupris, who last fall coached Bonanza High in Las Vegas to a 7-3 record and a playoff berth, didn’t have to think long two weeks ago when offered the Damonte Ranch head coaching position.
After all, it was pretty much a dream come true.
“That place is just full of community support,” said Dupris, who was the Southwest Division coach of the year last year.
Damonte Ranch has some of the state’s best athletic facilities, including a field with turf. The school, which opened in 2003, hosted the 2011 state championship game. “It’s everything you can ask for as coach,” Dupris said.
Dupris posted a 23-28 record in six years at Bonanza, transforming the Bengals into one of the Southwest’s better teams — they opened 2011 with wins in seven of their first eight games. In 2010, Bonanza’s offense was one of the tops in the large-school classification in averaging about 40 points per game.
Most of Bonanza’s top players were underclassman, including running back and kick returner Jayveon Taylor — one of the city’s top sophomores. The relationship with his players left leaving extremely difficult, he said.
In other coaching news, Coronado High promoted defensive coordinator Brad Talich to head coach to replace Lance Cooper. Talich, whose defense only surrendered 14.2 points per game last year, will be Coronado’s fourth new coach in five seasons. Cooper went 6-12 in two seasons.
Also, Durango High coach Gary Maki stepped down at the end of the 2011, while Virgin Valley coach Kirk Hafen retired.