Las Vegas Sun

October 23, 2018

Currently: 78° — Complete forecast

high school football:

New leagues: A look at the realignment proposal for all Nevada prep sports


Christopher DeVargas

Members of the Eldorado High School football team, from left, Jaime Rangel, Uriel Garci-Fierro and Brian Soto pose for a portrait at the Las Vegas Sun’s high school football media day August 2, 2017, at the South Point.

Updated Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017 | 6 p.m.

The realignment committee of the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association made the following recommendation today for the new 5A classification. It will be forwarded to the Board of Control for approval in January.

For football only, the 12-team class will include: Gorman, Liberty, Arbor View, Basic, Faith Lutheran, Green Valley, Foothill, Legacy, Canyon Springs, Las Vegas, Centennial and Coronado.

Faith Lutheran petitioned to move up a classification to be in the league for all sports. Officials from Centennial and Coronado, whose football teams were pegged for the class 4A, said they needed to play up a class for the good of high school sports. That drew applause from administrators in a packed meeting room at Chaparral who had debated for nearly three hours on which struggling teams would be sacrificed for a higher class.

“Because you field a team doesn’t mean you have the right to compete for a state championship," Coronado principal Michael Piccininni said. "You can’t build a system to give every school in every sport a chance to compete for a state championship.”

The teams in the 4A football classification include: Sierra Vista, Silverado, Bonanza, Durango, Eldorado, Valley, Palo Verde, Spring Valley, Cimarron-Memorial, Clark, Desert Pines, Desert Oasis, Valley and Shadow Ridge.

Northern schools will ask the board to allow them to play only in the 4A, meaning the state championship for the large-school classification will strictly be a championship of Las Vegas teams.

“It’s not a true state championship if we don’t play anyone from the north, bologna. That is a bogus argument,” said Bart Thompson, the NIAA’s Executive Director. “It doesn’t matter where they are (located) if it’s every school over 2,500 students in Nevada.”

The teams in 3A football include: Boulder City, Moapa Valley, Pahrump Valley, Virgin Valley, Democracy Prep, Western, Del Sol, Cheyenne, Sunrise Mountain, Mojave, Rancho and Chaparral.

For a football program such as Eldorado, not being in the 3A, despite years of struggle, was met with disappointment.

“We are talking about keeping Chaparral and Sunrise Mountain in 3A. I lost to both those teams this year. I lost to Sunrise Mountain by 40 points,” Eldorado football coach Robert Cutts told the group.

For non-football, the proposal for the 5A would be: Coronado, Palo Verde, Centennial, Gorman, GV, Arbor View, Liberty, Foothill, Las Vegas, Shadow Ridge, Rancho, Basic, Silverado, Desert Oasis and Faith Lutheran.

That didn't sit well with the Gabrielle Crawford, the assistant principal at Rancho, who argued all of her school's points on the rubric system to determine the realignment came from baseball and softball, while other sports struggle. They'd be the lone school in the 3A for football and up two classes for other sports.

The class 4A proposal is: SECTA, Cheyenne, Desert Pines, Clark, Cimarron-Memorial, Valley, Legacy, Spring Valley, Durango, Canyon Springs, Eldorado, Sierra Vista and Bonanza.

That would take Clark basketball, a large-school power, and place it in a lower league. Canyon Springs, another quality basketball program, is also pegged for 4A.

The 3A proposal is: Boulder City, Moapa Valley, Pahrump Valley, Virgin, Mojave, Chaparral, Sunrise Mountain, Western, Democracy Prep (formerly Agassi Prep) and Del Sol.

Ray Brewer can be reached at 702-990-2662 or [email protected]. Follow Ray on Twitter at