Thursday, Aug. 25, 2011 | 2:05 a.m.
Las Vegas Sun sports reporters Ray Brewer and Case Keefer celebrate the return of football season with an hour-long podcast diving into anything and everything regarding local high schools. They also look back on the victories by Bishop Gorman and Moapa Valley in the Sollenberger Classic and finish with week one picks.
The Silverado football team should have a good gauge early in the season of how it will fare in the competitive Southeast Division.
“You can’t put one game as being more important than another in our league,” Silverado coach Andy Ostolaza said. “You are going to have a tough game every week.”
That’s especially true for opponents facing Silverado.
The Skyhawks are always one of the Southeast’s most talented teams, winning the league title in of 2007 and advancing to the Sunrise Regional semifinals. Besides two-time defending state champion Bishop Gorman and perennial power Palo Verde, no team in Southern Nevada sends as many players to college football as Silverado.
Last year, Silverado won four of its last five regular season games but came up short against Canyon Springs in the Sunrise Regional quarterfinals, 20-17.
They return several key contributors on both sides of the ball and are expected to keep the momentum going from last year.
Senior running back Izaiah Thurmon rushed for 822 yards and eight touchdowns last year and will be joined in the backfield by Deandre Gause (6-foot, 195 pounds). At quarterback, senior Savon Moniz (6-foot-, 225 pounds) returns under center and is expected to make an impact after an injury-plagued junior season.
“He’s healthy now. Hopefully, that translates into some good things,” Ostolaza said.
Silverado’s defense will be led by its top college prospect in linebacker and fullback Kusitafu Otuafi (5-foot-11, 210 pounds). He will be joined by two-way lineman Coty Iwata (6-foot, 250 pounds) and safety Alec Acevedo (6-foot, 170 pounds).
“We have some returners on both sides of the ball. We should be improved in the passing game, and our defense will do what we’ve done the last couple of years,” Ostolaza said. “Hopefully that translates into victories.”