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July 25, 2014

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HS FOOTBALL:

Faith Lutheran returns 10 juniors with a full-season of invaluable experience

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Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

Faith Lutheran football players Anthony Pryatel-Farmer and Sean Bischel, July 26, 2012.

Jacob Kothe 2012

Faith Lutheran coach Jacob Kothe discusses the team's upcoming football season

Sunset Region — Division 1-A

Cheyenne football players Darius Gantt, Devin Tatum and Dylan Power Thursday, July 26, 2012. Launch slideshow »

After playing in the state’s most competitive high school football league the past three seasons, the Faith Lutheran high team could use those experiences to make some noise this fall in the new Division I-A.

Faith Lutheran last made the playoffs in 2008 when it competed in the 3A classification. After moving to the tough Northwest Division of the 4A in 2009, Faith Lutheran won just five league games in three years while adjusting to the new level of competition.

It made them a better program.

“Certainly that will help us,” Faith Lutheran coach Jake Kothe said of his program’s experience the past three years. “The kids are used to the fast game and teams that come at you with numbers. But I also think it will be that way in the new league with some schools. We are still playing against some strong teams.”

With realignment, Faith Lutheran returns to compete against some of the former 3A schools — Pahrump Valley, Moapa Valley, Boulder City and Virgin Valley — it is more than familiar with. Faith Lutheran is part of the six-team Sunset Region along with Cheyenne, Clark, Mojave, Pahrump Valley and Western.

Faith Lutheran played 10 sophomores on a regular basis last year in finishing with just two wins. Those games, regardless of the outcome, gives Faith Lutheran an advantage this fall.

“We have a lot of experience. They (the sophomores) are all back,” Kothe said. “That is a huge deal for us.”

Senior Sean Bischel at wide receiver and defensive back, and senior Anthony Pryatel-Farmer at defensive end and wide receiver are two of Faith Lutheran’s most experienced players. The 6-foot-4, 200-pound Pryatel-Farmer had a catch in every game last year to finish with 34 receptions.

Junior Hayden Solis at tight end and Dylan DeFrank at linebacker highlight the group of players who played regularly last year as sophomores.

“We learned some good lessons last year,” Kothe said. “We had some challenges, but our kids played hard and fought until the end.”

Faith Lutheran opens its season Saturday in Colorado against Parker Lutheran.

Ray Brewer can be reached at 990-2662 or [email protected]. Follow Ray on Twitter at twitter.com/raybrewer21.

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