Vintage coming to town
When Vintage High School called seeking a game with Nevada Union nine months ago, the Miners accepted.
But the Miners also wondered what would compel a team the Miners had trounced in the 2000 playoffs to come calling for more.
Only Friday night will tell, when NU hosts Vintage in a triple-header beginning with the freshman game at 3:30 p.m., followed by the junior varsity game and then a varsity game that might start by 7:30, if fortunate.
Nevada Union athletic director Steve Pilcher reminds those who plan to come to the game that because of construction next to the high school, parking availability will be tight. Pilcher recommends fans car pool.
While many opponents this year will try and rely on speed to compete with NU, Vintage counts on a physical front line to control both sides of the ball.
“Vintage is big and strong,” NU coach Dave Humphers said. “We’ve read about that they have 22 guys in the 1,000-pound club, which is the sum of their bench press, squat and dead lift. The game for them will be if they can push us around, while the key for us is to be able to stop their charge and tip the piles back and stop their option game.”
Like NU, Vintage also has changed leagues this year, dropping down the Division II-level Monticello Empire League. And like NU, Vintage also had trouble with turnovers in its opening contest, giving the ball up seven times during the course of last week’s 27-21 loss to Archbishop Riordan-San Francisco. And like NU, the Vintage defense gave up a load of yards on the ground last week. NU nearly yielded 300 yards rushing, while Vintage gave up more than 200 yards on the ground in the first half alone.
Vintage quarterback Brandon Smith will run the option behind a big line that averages 230 pounds from tackle to tackle. Running back Marc Carducci bulled his way for 120 yards last week, while big play threat Eric Monroe was held to 73 yards by Riordan, a team ranked in the top 25 of the Bay Area.
NU will try to contain Smith and company with a defense led by safety Matt Sharpe, linebacker Travis Toll and defensive lineman Brandon Julian. On offense, NU will look to eliminate penalties and turnovers while maintaining an attack that had Chris Thibodeau and Joey Bratton rush for more than 100 yards, while Jon Sheets surpassed the century mark in passing as well.
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The 2021 High School Optimist All Star teams for baseball, softball and boys volleyball have been announced, and several local student-athletes made the cut.