Recent TTHS performances add fuel to the Nevada high school fire
Well, here it is -state time again and, as usual, most Truckee teams have made it to the big dance.
Downhill skiers, cross-country skiers, the girls’ basketball team, the boys’ basketball team and most of the Truckee wrestlers have gone to or are headed to Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association state championships.
This week proves a turning point for Truckee sports, as the vote to expel non-Nevada teams from the NIAA comes at the winter basketball meetings (held concurrently with the state championship at Lawlor Events Center in Reno this weekend).
No matter what happens -whether Jeff Knutson and his coalition succeed or fail -things will never be the same when Truckee teams play Nevada teams.
It seems this move, which is likely to fail unless radical changes have taken place since the recent interest survey, serves to further drive a wedge between border schools and Nevada schools.
Look, there’s a reason we’re in this league. No, there are two reasons:
1. There are very few feasible competitors within driving distance of this town.
So don’t compete, they might tell us.
I don’t think so.
If necessity is the mother of invention, then Tahoe-Truckee High School deserves a Hallmark card this May. We need to compete and we’ll do it against anyone available,even if it means driving to Vegas.
2. We were invited.
Had we not been invited into the NIAA, this would be an entirely different story, but we were and now you want to kick us off your playground because the kids you invited to play have gotten good.
Not just good, really good.
What is it about Truckee that makes for such great athletes?
Parents, to be certain, have a lot to do with it. They’ve ensured strong youth programs for soccer, baseball, football, skiing, wrestling -you name it -have been put in place. It’s really something when you have the support of a parent and a good mentor like our coaches here.
The kids also have a lot of heart. I have to tell you, I don’t have kids, but I get a lot more excited watching Truckee beat North Tahoe in double overtime at state in Lawlor Events Center than I do watching college basketball’s Final Four every spring.
So, maybe we can’t help being so good in Truckee; but does that mean nobody should play us anymore?
What about losing teams? Should we kick them out because they stink?
Maybe we should have every game end in a tie where everybody hugs each other and nobody gets hurt.
Wouldn’t that be a real hoot?
That way, everybody could be the Nevada state champion.
It’s not a matter of the competition being any easier in Nevada.
We’ve shut down California teams with ease. Just witness the slaughters at the beginning of the football season: Encina, Christian Brothers, etc. who went down hard under the grip of Bob Shaffer’s gridders.
So what’s the answer?
Assuming the vote fails, it’d be nice to get along with the Nevada schools out there, but don’t think we’ll easily forget who voted which way.
We need the support of teams like Incline and Dayton (though that’s not bloody likely); teams we play on a regular basis and who would lose an area competitor if we were to be removed.
Should the vote succeed, then we will have to travel to places like Lone Pine and others which are a far piece down the road.
Don’t get me wrong, Truckee will go anywhere for a good match, even if it is 400 miles away.
With the school district wanting to cut back on art and athletics by chopping transportation costs, we could lose everything Truckee has worked to build up: a great community and kids with ambition.
Take that away and you might as well be anywhere else in America.
James Ball is the Sierra Sun sports editor.
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