By GANNON HANEVOLD
Moapa Valley Progress
Without postseason at the JV and freshman (B) levels of NIAA football, last week marked the final week of the season for the younger Pirate teams. They traveled on the road to take on the Dragons of Del Sol and both teams ended the year with a bang.
The B football team went into the game excited. Early on, the first score came courtesy of Carson Heiselbetz, who caught a play action pass from Cameron Reese. The Pirates didn’t let up for the rest of the game. They would go on to win 43-0 and completely dominate their opponent.
“Our defense was fantastic and forced a lot of three and outs,” said Moapa Valley head coach Stuart Humes. “It was a complete team effort from beginning to end. We pitched a shutout and were basically able to score at will.”
The big win was a fitting way for the team to finish the season. Despite a rough start, the Pirates battled and rattled off four straight victories to end the season on a high note.
“I was proud of them taking care of business in the classroom and on the field,” Humes said. “We had some kids that were new to football for the first time, and some kids that led by example.”
He also referenced how proud he was to have coached such a resilient group of athletes. “You always feel like you’re where you want to be at the end of the season and then it’s over,” he said. “I was really privileged to coach a group of boys like this one and this will go down as a great memory for me.”
As for the JV team in 2017, they also put on quite the performance this season, and finished the year at Del Sol with a thrilling win of their own.
Because of a few players being brought up to varsity, the Pirates were thin in the backfield. They would start Thomas Bellevance, a former lineman, at fullback and Hayden Munns at the four-back. Despite their inexperience starting at the position, the two did great things for the Pirates.
On the opening drive, Munns rushed for over thirty yards on various carries to move Moapa into opponent’s territory. It only took one touch for Bellevance to go all the way to the endzone for his first score to put Moapa Valley up early.
Bellevance would score again later for the Pirates, along with touchdowns from Hayden Munns, Will Uri, and a passing touchdown from QB Kashten Frei to Carson Traasdahl. Because of a late passing touchdown by the Dragons, the final score would be 47-6 in favor of the Pirates.
“We had to have a few kids learn all new positions in just a few days of practice,” said head coach Dallas Larsen. “We talked all week at practice about being a team. It’s not about just one player, it’s about all eleven players. Everyone stepped up and did their job and we were able to take care of business like we have.”
After a season full of wins and highlights, Larsen summed up the year. “Back in August, when the Varsity took their initial sophomores to start the year, we were a little concerned,” he said. “We weren’t sure how we were going to pull some things out. But we’ve been building and by the end of the year, it felt like no matter who we put out there, they were clicking. We ended on a really great note.”