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September 18, 2014

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high school football :

Cheyenne’s state semifinal test involves surviving long travel, unfamiliar weather

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Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

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

Prep Sports Now

Projecting the rest of the playoffs

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Bishop Gorman vs. Palo Verde. Arbor View vs. Centennial. The start of the Sunrise region playoffs. The semifinals of the Division 1A playoffs. It's a packed week of high school football for Las Vegas Sun sports reporters Ray Brewer and Case Keefer to break down on this episode of Prep Sports Now.

Winning a state championship isn’t supposed to be a walk in the park. It’s supposed to be hard and full of challenges.

And for the Cheyenne High School football team, that will definitely be the case.

The odds are stacked against the Desert Shields as they enter a Division I-A semifinal contest against host Truckee (Calif.) on Saturday. Between the potential weather issues, a long bus ride and playing a perennial power, Cheyenne coach David Cochran is experiencing firsthand why so many people say, “southern teams who travel north don’t do well.”

“The way the schedule was set up with the district is not conducive to success,” Cochran said. “A lot of things go into it, which I understand. It’s still an obstacle.”

The Desert Shields are scheduled to leave Friday morning for a 10-hour bus ride from the North Las Vegas school to their hotel in Sparks. They plan on squeezing in a short practice session before returning to their hotel — which is an hour away from Truckee High, a school near the Nevada-California border that competes in the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association.

Cochran preferred to leave town at midnight Friday, allowing players to sleep for most of the 10-hour drive and help them get acclimated to their surroundings faster.

“We really have little say in when we can leave and where we stay,” Cochran said.

Another challenge the Desert Shields (9-2) face is the potential of playing in snow.

Most — if not all — of the players haven’t had the opportunity to play in a cold-weather game. When their season opened Aug. 23, temperatures were in the triple-digits, and although the temperature in the valley can drop to near freezing, it rarely brings snow.

Cheyenne football coach David Cochran Thursday, July 26, 2012.

Cheyenne football coach David Cochran Thursday, July 26, 2012.

Still, the Desert Shields’ offense, featuring running back Myloe Lewis, is built for that kind of weather. And playing football in the snow isn’t a big deal to Cochran, who grew up in the Midwest.

The reactions to playing with snowflakes falling range from excitement to anxiety about the potential to be ill-equipped for such a contest.

“The kids are back and forth with it,” Cochran said. “We, as a coaching staff, are telling them to bring their long sleeves and undergarments.”

As if the off-the-field issues weren’t enough, the Desert Shields have been given the task of playing one of the NIAA’s top programs, in any classification.

Truckee (9-1) has appeared in four consecutive state championship games, winning three of them. The Wolverines have gone 66-4 in the past six seasons and have won 57 of their last 58.

“They believe in their program and believe in what they can do,” Cochran said. “As you go in, you have to respect what they do.”

Cochran remains confident that his team, which dropped to Division I-A this season from the large-school classification and is preparing to face a northern team for the first time, can reach the title game.

“My kids are focused and locked in to the task at hand,” Cochran said. “They’re more mature than my previous teams.”

The game will be broadcast at truckeetahoeradio.com.

Paul Delos Santos can be reached at 990-2416 or [email protected]. Follow Paul on Twitter at twitter.com/pauliedelos.

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  1. I'm pretty naive about how this stuff works but how hard or expensive is it to stream a game? I mean a handycam and wifi or what? I don't care if the picture quality is horrible it just sucks that neither the Div IA or Div I state semi-final games featuring teams that are hundreds of miles apart are scheduled to be streamed.

    While there are only maybe a few hundred folks interested in watching a Cheyenne vs Truckee stream and even less wanting to see a Reed slaughter for the third time it would be nice to have something like this specially for future years when there might be more interest.

    With all the added interest the new Div IA got throughout this season you'd figure they'd have worked something out.

  2. Agreed- Blue and Gold. Even in Arizona the AIA streams playoffs games and some regular season. They have a rolling ticker with state wide scores for some sports it's just a lot more condusive to building and maintaning community interest and support outside of just parents and players.

    More alums, community members might be inclined to support the NIAA and locals schools if the NIAA would do something similar. I know they have a lot of fish to fry and have limited budget or resources but it can't be that hard to stream 4 playoff games a year at least. At least the semi's and finals? I know they'll stream the finals like last year but with all the new teams in IA they should stream the semi's. I'd love to see the northern final streaming to know what to expect as i'm sure they would like to see the sunrise/sunset stream to see wht they're up against.

    Specially in a state like ours where one team in the semi or final is 400 miles away from where the game is being played there's a lot of family, friends, alum etc.. who wouldn't be able to make a trip to see their team.

    Brewer/Keefer, have you guys ever considered doing a live chat like the RGJ does on friday nights? They pick a game and do a live chat with game updates and usually people chime in wth other game reports/scores.

    With the money Findlay pays to keep nevadapreps running maybe they could afford a few streams since they are an NIAA "partner"

    How awesome would it be to have a stream of Lowry/Moapa, Cheyenne/Truckee, Gorman/Reed etc...?

  3. Picture of Today's Conditions at Practice in Truckee, and yes, the Line Coach is STILL wearing Shorts....
    LTG

    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Truckee-F...

  4. not looking like the road trip will be any easier for Chey-town. They closed I-80 Westbound due to spin outs and accidents according to the Reno Gazette. That's the highway Cheyenne would be taking tomorrow from their hotel in Sparks to get to Truckee.

    Hope the road is clear enough for the team to make it to the game.

  5. I'll throw in $50...that leaves $150 c'mon Cheyenne parents call up the Sun and get this done

  6. I tweeted Brewer/Keefer and Tristan Aird from nevadapreps (review journal) cross your fingers

  7. What a treat to see the players from both Truckee and Cheyenne exchanging hugs and words of encouragement after such a hard fought game. Both teams played hard right to the end.
    As it turned out, weather was not a factor. The parents, alumni, volunteers and Waltman Snow Removal did an OUTSTANDING job, removing over a foot of snow from the football field. (There are pictures on the "Truckee Football" Facebook page.)
    I walked the field 20 minutes before kickoff, and to my amazement, it was absolutely dry, between the yard markers...
    Both Coaching staffs had very kind words to say about the opposing teams and Coaches.
    If I were from Cheyenne, I would be very encouraged with your football program. Fare well next season.
    LTG