Monday, Aug. 23, 2010 | 2:05 a.m.
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Las Vegas Sun reporters Case Keefer and Ray Brewer discuss the upcoming high school football season. They will let you know whether or not anyone can dethrone defending state champion Bishop Gorman, release their state title sleepers teams and give a quick breakdown of the area's 30-plus schools.
Sierra Vista endured one of the most awkward situations imaginable last season.
While the Mountain Lions limped through a 2-8 season, they watched neighboring Desert Oasis soar to the playoffs in the school’s second year with a nucleus they brought up.
“Desert Oasis had 31 kids graduate that all had played in our program, so it was tough,” Sierra Vista coach Mark Sauve said. “We’re glad those kids had a successful season, but it was hard for us to watch.”
Sauve said Sierra Vista still had to take last year to recover from the split with Desert Oasis. Sauve is hopeful this year will be different and marks the beginning of the rebuilding era of Mountain Lion football.
One thing that won’t change is the philosophy. Sauve is sticking to option football. The players executing the system this year will be quarterback Chad Tomlinson, fullback Jean Germaine and tailbacks Matt Murphy and Latwoyn Pate.
“Team speed is going to be very important for us,” Sauve said.
Sierra Vista went to team camp at Dixie State and Sauve said it was a great experience. He has dissected film from the camp with his team and thinks the players learned a lot.
Sauve said opponents had no idea how hard Sierra Vista worked in the offseason.
“We’re essentially on the Homecoming circuit,” Sauve said. “We feel like a lot of people will make us their Homecoming game because they think they can beat us. They don’t see what we’ve seen. This is a good team.”
They are both seniors, which is somewhat of a rarity on this underclassmen-laden squad.
“We’re at square one this year,” Sauve said. “We’ve got a lot of sophomores. A lot of young guys will be contributing.”
With such a young team, Sauve said they had focused more on fundamentals in practice than ever before. He hopes it’s an approach that pays off during the season.
“It’s something we started building through weight training,” Sauve said. “We spent a lot of time on things we weren’t real good at last year. We worked a lot on tackling and getting guys where they needed to be.”