Las Vegas Sun
Friday, Sept. 5, 2014 | 2 a.m.
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Las Vegas Sun sports reporters Ray Brewer and Case Keefer gloat over local high school football teams' big out of state weekend before getting sophomoric and starting some trouble with discussions on Bishop Gorman, Centennial, Desert Pines and more.
Arbor View coach Dan Barnson wants to talk turkey. And stuffing, too.
The Aggies open the season at 7 Friday night at Silverado High, and when the lights come on that’s exactly where their focus will be. The Aggies haven’t made the Sunset semifinals the past four seasons by looking past teams.
But Barnson admits there are grander plans in the works than one game at a time. Ranked No. 3 in the Sun’s top 10, Arbor View knows it’s going to be good, and the plan is to flip that potential into uncharted territory for the program.
“I have a personal goal of going to play Thanksgiving Day weekend,” Barnson said.
That would mean making the regional championship game, a feat never achieved before at Arbor View. To get there, Barnson will rely on both sides of the ball living up to their lofty potential.
It starts up front with the offensive line, which is consistently the strength of Barnson’s double-wing offense. And where do the linemen start? The weight room, of course.
“The kids believe in it,” Barnson said.
Barnson pointed to the weight room as the key for a lot of what Arbor View wants to do because that’s where they build and develop depth. Once they get on the field, Barnson tries to make things as easy as possible for his guys while his system confounds defenses.
The ball finds a lot of hands on offense, and one of the guys who figure to get a lot of touches again is senior Herman Gray, who amassed 647 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns last year. When asked about the secret to Arbor View’s rushing success, Gray is unequivocal.
“Without a doubt, it’s the line,” Gray said. “I feel pretty confident running behind (them).”
Senior Malik Noshi is on the preseason All-Sun team, and junior tackle Keenan King holds a scholarship offer from Arizona State with interest from Arizona, Oregon and Colorado, among others. That group’s task starts with the running game, but there could be a few more passes from Arbor View this season to keep defenses guessing.
“I think our passing game will be a lot better, and our running game is obviously really good,” said senior tight end Mitchell Durkee.
On the other side of the ball, Barnson said he’s found the most success by keeping the assignments as simple as possible and trusting the kids to do the rest.
“They all know their job,” Barnson said. “It’s black and white.”
Barnson has created a consistent contender with those philosophies. Now he wants to take it one step further so the Aggies can pass on the stuffing for some pigskin.