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January 27, 2015

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high school football:

High School Football Top 10: Which team do you think will win the Sunrise Region?


Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

Liberty running back Niko Kapeli spins away from Palo Verde defensive back Devin Finn during their game Thursday, Sept. 13, 2012. Liberty won the game 42-28.

The Sunrise Region football champion will be?

Which team is going to win the Sunrise Region football title?
Liberty — 36.9%
Coronado — 21.7%
Green Valley — 21.2%
Basic — 11.7%
Canyon Springs — 5.8%
Other — 2.7%

This poll is closed, see Full Results »

Note: This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Prep Sports Now

When basketball coaching fails, it's back to football talking

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Las Vegas Sun sports reporters Ray Brewer and Case Keefer recount their experience coaching the Las Vegas All-Star team against Findlay Prep in basketball and move on to football talk in the 11th Prep Sports Now of the year.

It’s safe to assume the players on the Liberty High football team are looking in the rearview mirror.

Although the No. 2 Patriots are the two-time defending Sunrise Region champions, and extended their Southeast League winning streak to 20-plus games last week by beating No. 9 Basic, the general consensus is they will be challenged come next month’s playoffs.

If last week’s games were any indication, as many as four teams are more than capable of taking the title from the Patriots. Basic, for instance, had a 22-14 lead against Liberty in the second half before losing on the last play of the game. Coronado and Canyon Springs also had second-half leads earlier this year against the Patriots before losing late.

And, let’s not forget about Northeast League champ Green Valley. The fifth-ranked Gators have rallied in the fourth quarter to beat Coronado, Basic and, last week, Canyon Springs on a field goal as time expired.

The parity creates much debate when rankings the teams. But later in the month, there will be no debate — the results will be decided on the gridiron.

Here are the rest of the rankings, which are complied weekly by the Sun’s Ray Brewer. With the Sunrise beginning its playoffs next week, this is the last week of the rankings.

1. Bishop Gorman (8-1): Three-time defending state champion Gorman has scored 49 or more points each game against local competition. The Gaels host Shadow Ridge on Friday in the Sunset Regional quarterfinals.

2. Liberty (7-1): Let’s give credit where credit is due. Liberty has played with a target on its back all season and still walked away victorious against local competition each week.

3. Arbor View (9-0): Last week’s win against Palo Verde was the most significant in Arbor View’s seven-year history. It also gives the Aggies the No. 1 seed in the playoffs, meaning they won’t have to face Gorman until the Sunset finals.

4. Centennial (7-2): Centennial is one win away from its third straight Sunset semifinal appearance. Yet, if the Bulldogs don’t advance deeper in the playoffs, the season will be a disappointment. That’s the product of a winning program — higher expectations.

5. Green Valley (7-1): With the exception of a nine-point loss to Arbor View in the opener, Green Valley has been perfect in winning the Northeast League title. Could this be the start of a dynasty?

6. Palo Verde (6-4): Palo Verde has lost to Liberty, Centennial and Arbor View this fall despite having fourth-quarter leads in every game. Expect another close contest Friday against visiting Legacy in the Sunset Regional quarterfinals.

7. Moapa Valley (10-1): Moapa Valley is the lone Southern Nevada team with double-digit wins. It’s also the lone Division I-A team in the rankings. This week, the Pirates host Mojave with a spot in the state semifinals on the line.

8. Coronado (6-2): The Cougars will consider Friday’s regular season finale against visiting Basic a playoff game. If they win, they will host a playoff game next week. If they lose, it’s likely off to Canyon Springs and trying to contain running back Donnel Pumphrey.

9. Basic (6-2): Moral victories will never register in the standings, but Basic earned its stripes for battling Liberty play-for-play. The Wolves arguably should have won the game in proving they’ll be a threat in the postseason.

10. Canyon Springs (5-3): Surrendering a double-digit fourth-quarter lead against Green Valley complicates Canyon Springs’ postseason chances. Instead of hosting Foothill in the Sunrise opener next week, the Pioneers will have their hands full against Basic or Coronado.

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

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  1. 1 Gorman
    2 Arbor View
    3 Liberty
    4 Centennial
    5 Palo Verde
    6 Green Valley
    7 Canyon Springs
    8 Moapa Valley
    9 Basic
    10 Coronado

    While I still think the only team in the state with a realistic chance of beating Gorman is Liberty, I am moving Arbor View up the #2 and Liberty down to #3. Three very close wins that could have easily been losses (albeit against top 10 teams) is enough to drop them to a still very respectful #3. While Liberty dominated Palo earlier in the season and Arbor just barely won, the fact that the game was at Palo, it's a rivalry and the league title on the line plus it's later in the season where Palo is playing a bit better that allows me to justify the leap to myself.

    Also all three of Liberty's near losses, again while against top 10 teams, were also with home field advantage. I still think we see Liberty at state final vs. Gorman and that'll be the only possible match up worth the price of admission for the entire game not just the first quarter. But for now these are my rankings. Not that they matter anyway lol

  2. STATE
    1 Gorman
    2 Arbor View
    3 Liberty
    4 Centennial
    5 Palo Verde
    6 Green Valley
    7 Canyon Springs
    8 Moapa Valley
    9 Reed
    10 Basic

    *Coronado, Truckee

    Reed dominated one of the only other northern hopefuls- Spanish Springs this past Friday, a week after throttling a decent Reno squad. Really thought that I would be moving them up based on such dominant performances the last two weeks, but with how close the GV/CS, AV/PV games were and as dominant as Moapa continues to look I can't justify putting Reed above any of them.

    Which means barring a collapse by any of the top 8, there's nothing Reed can do during the northern playoffs to move up". at least in my oh so meaningful rankings. I celebrate what Reed has accomplished to prove they're the top of the northern Div I but I have to be honest in my assessment that they wouldn't have a very good chance to beat most of the top 8 and unfortunately they play a very easy playoff schedule.

    First off they'll have home field for the entire playoffs, including the state semi final"They'll play Douglas (4-5 overall 1-3 league) in round one and get the winner of Bishop Manogue (4-5) and Spanish Springs (7-3) in round 2. They already beat Manogue by 21 and Spanish Springs by 33 this season.

    The most difficult possible scenario would have Reed playing two teams with winning records to earn a birth in the state semi final game. They will play likely 1 or at the very most 2 teams that might crack a top 20 state rankings.

    Regardless of how good Reed may actually be, the combination of 80% of teams making the playoffs making for a cheesecake walk through the playoffs, plus the north having a bad year again, will result in a highly touted 10-3 Reed getting slaughtered for the third time by Gorman. So the north parents and media will cry that it's unfair (even though they don't complain when they beat Manogue) and whine about the system even though Centennial, Arbor, Liberty, Palo, Canyon, Green Valley and maybe even Moapa, Basic and Coronado would be able to beat them this year. I almost wish this year it was the Sunrise winner playing the north just for sake of seeing them eliminated by someone other than Gorman so we don't have to hear about it.