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July 26, 2014

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Ray Brewer: From the Pressbox

ray brewer:

Bishop Gorman athletics will rewrite record books

Move over Rancho High. Here comes the mighty Bishop Gorman Gaels.

The expected success of Bishop Gorman High’s football, basketball and baseball teams this school year could equal a rare accomplishment in Nevada high school sports.

So rare, that this feat has only been conquered by one other school — Rancho in 1960-61.

Gorman, which dominates in seemingly every sport, is the favorite to capture the state championship in the big three sports — football, basketball and baseball.

If (when) they do so, the Gaels would join those memorable Rancho teams of the early 1960s as the state’s lone schools to capture titles in the big three sports during the same school year.

Schools like Boulder City High in 1976 and 1982 or Western High in 1964 have captured two of the three titles, but Rancho has been the only school to complete the trifecta.

Well, until Gorman’s nationally ranked baseball team storms the mound in May to celebrate its fifth straight championship and secure what should be titles in all three sports.

It’s not like other schools — Palo Verde in football and basketball, or Green Valley High in baseball — shouldn’t bother passing out equipment. But they should do so knowing they are facing an uphill challenge in matching Gorman.

While several will argue Gorman has an unfair advantage against public schools because its not limited to a specific zoning area, the bottom line is they aren’t violating any rules and bring much-needed national attention to Southern Nevada.

Gorman won titles in basketball and baseball last year and are clear-cut favorites to repeat. In basketball, sophomore Shabazz Muhammad is one of the top prospects nationally for the class of 2012 while senior guards Johnathan Loyd and Anson Winder are two of Southern Nevada’s best players.

Add in the size of football players Xavier Grimble (6-foot-5, 250-pound) and Alex Turner (6-2, 245-pounds) on the inside and it’s a safe assumption the Gaels will be scheduling a visit from Jostens ring company in the winter.

The baseball team will be thin on pitching this spring, but the Gaels’ core group of players were key contributors to the school’s American Legion affiliate’s run to the World Series this summer. Gorman has won four straight high school and Legion titles, and it would a major upset if the streak is snapped.

That brings us to football.

Led by Grimble and Turner, the Gaels have seven seniors with Division I scholarship offers and haven’t been challenged in six games this fall. The 2007 state champions, who have posted an impressive 36-2 record the last three years, will cruise to the Southwest Division title and shouldn’t be challenged until the regional semifinals.

But the road will get rocky late in the playoffs. In addition to a likely showdown with perennial power Palo Verde High for the Sunset title, the Gaels will have to travel to Northern Nevada — the cold environment and hostile crowd always favors the North — for the state semifinals.

Win, lose or draw, Gorman will surely give fans plenty of reasons to cheer — from now until the final out is made in May.

Ray Brewer can be reached at 990-2662 or [email protected].

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