Friday, Aug. 26, 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.
This season could end up as the final year for the state’s 3A classification as the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association mulls over the possibility of combining the league with the 4A and creating two divisions.
Boulder City, one of three Southern Nevada schools currently in the 3A, isn’t going to mourn the loss. The Eagles had an altogether different reaction.
“These guys want to go out on top when the 3A is gone,” Boulder City coach Alex Kazel said. “They want to make a good showing for this season. They’ve worked real hard in the offseason.”
Motivated by the memory of missing the playoffs a year ago, Kazel reported his players were encouragingly diligent in the weight room this offseason. It’s not a stretch to see the Eagles toughening up and leaving behind the team that lost five straight before beating the Duragno junior varsity team to end the 2010 season.
Returning senior quarterback Thomas Shelley will lead the way.
“He started about half of the season last year at quarterback,” Kazel said. “He did a great job and worked real hard in the offseason.”
One of last year’s leading rushers, senior Tyler Washburn, is also back to assist Shelley in a leadership role. Other targets Shelley will have at his disposal include junior Michael Kelso and senior Frankie Badgley.
Most of those players will star on both sides of the ball. Almost all of them received significant playing time last year to build upon.
“These guys had to step up and play,” Kazel said. “They got to play and got thrown into the fire against some really good schools. They learned a lot. They’re ready to come back this year and prove they can play with everybody and win games and get to the playoffs.”