Reed got 23 players named all-region, either first or second team or honorable mention. That was by far more than any other local school.
“I was really happy to see the kids get represented the way they did,” said Reed coach Ernie Howren, whose Raiders went 12-2 this fall before losing in the state title game last weekend. “The reason we had the successful season we did was because of those kids.”
Reed had a strong showing in nearly all of the special individual awards. Raiders quarterback A.J. Silva was the Northern 4A’s Player of the Year. His teammate, linebacker Broc Westlake, was the Defensive Player of the Year and Howren shared Coach of the Year honors with Carson’s Blair Roman.
Silva turned in a phenomenal season leading the Raiders’ potent no-huddle spread-option attack. He completed nearly two thirds of his passes for 2,804 yards for 43 touchdowns against only six interceptions. He also had 611 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns on the ground. Additionally, he handled Reed’s placekicking and punting chores at an elite level.
“He got Player of the Year because he was an absolute stud this season on so many levels,” Howren said. “That’s what impressed coaches so much. He could affect the game on so many levels. If he wasn’t doing it with his arm, he was doing it with his feet. And if it was not one of those, he was doing it with his leg. He was an impact in all phases when he was on the field.”
Westlake led the Raiders’ defensive charge from his middle linebacker position. And he did it well as shown by the league’s coaches giving him the top defensive award. He had 130 tackles on the year, to lead Reed. He also had a sack, caused a fumble and recovered two other fumbles.
“Anytime coaches put together a gameplan, they had to know where No. 45 was,” Howren said, alluding to Westlake. “Anytime you had a blocking scheme, you had to account for 45. He’s a special player on so many levels. He’s a kid that is prepared and along with that he’s so smart and he brought a very physical aspect to the team that not many defenders had.”
For the second straight year, Howren got at least a share of the Coach of the Year honors. It’s well deserved. Howren has taken the Reed football program to new heights in his 11 seasons at the helm. Reed had been a middle-of-the-road football school, but the RHS program has grown into the winningest in Northern Nevada over the five years.
“It does feel good to get that honor, but I feel like we’ve got a great group of coaches here at Reed and these guys all deserve that honor,” Howren said. “They’ve all worked hard all year and we would not be doing what we’ve doing if it were not for the kids. I just see it as a team award ... To get that honor from the Northern Nevada coaches carries a lot of weight. That means a lot and is really appreciated.”
Reed’s Tyler Carnahan was named the Northern 4A’s Lineman of the Year. He was a dual threat for the Raiders: Carnahan was a first-team defensive end and a second-team offensive guard.
The RHS offensive line was a big reason Reed dominated play in the trenches. The Raiders had three first-team offensive lineman — Jeremy Macauley, Jesse Anderson at center and Derek Davis at tackle.
“If you go to any of our offensive skill guys, whether it be quarterback, receivers or running backs, they’ll all tell you, it helps when you have one of the best offensive lines in the league,” Howren said. “The guys we had speak volumes as to our success up front.”
Reed also had a pair of first team all-league receivers in Alex Young and Beau Tittensor. That pair combined for 100 catches and nearly 1,300 receiving yards.
On the defensive side, Reed was not with its standouts. In addition to Westlake and Carnahan, Spencer Empey was a first-team defensive tackle and Spencer Stockton was a first team defensive back for the RHS club.
“We said it all season long: A big reason we had so much offensive success was because of defense and special teams setting us up with short fields,” Howren said. “We were also getting numerous turnovers throughout the season. Our ratio was plus 28. That’s unheard of. We just had such a swarming defense this season.”
Reed saw nine players honored on the second team. In addition to Carnahan on the offensive line, the Raiders’ second-team selections went as follows: running back John Covello, receiver Devin Gray, kicker Silva, defensive tackle Jared Greenwald, linebackers Kyle Vonschimmelmann and Drew Bryant, defensive back Austin Polli and return specialist David Hibler.
Additionally, five Reed players were selected to the honorable mention list —receiver Chad Gray, punter Silva, linebacker Jared Emerson, defensive backs Brandon Covello and Hibler.
•At Spanish Springs, the Cougars’ gridiron squad had nine players who earned all-league status. That contingent was led by fleet-footed wide receiver Vance Lively. The junior was the lone first-team selection for Spanish Springs. He had 46 receptions for 848 yards and seven touchdowns.
“He came out of the gates really fast,” Spanish Springs coach Scott Hare said. “He dominated some games when we gave him the opportunity to do that. He definitely showed he was one of the top receivers in the league. Now, he’s got to continue to grow and get better so he can do that in every game. That’s what could separate him.”
Offensive tackle Durant Foote and defensive end Nikk Audenreid both captured second-team awards for the SSHS gridders.
Six Cougars garnered honorable mention status. That group included: quarterback Hunter Fralick, offensive guard John Lee, defensive end JJ Phoenix, defensive tackle Jake Martensen, linebacker Vinny Agliolo and defensive back Ryder Lowry.
“I definitely think our picks kind of fell into place,” Hare said. “I don’t think we deserved more or less. I felt fine after the all-league meeting and thought the process was fair for us.”
•In the 3A ranks, Sparks struggled through a 1-9 season this past fall, but the Railroaders did have some standout individuals. Eight different Railroaders turned in all-league campaigns.
Sparks had one player selected to the Northern 3A’s first team: kicker Esteban Bravo.
Two SHS athletes were second-team picks: quarterback Geo Vasquez and receiver Erik Garcia.
Bravo also got an honorable mention nod for his wide receiver talents. Other Sparks players to take honorable mention awards were receiver Quinn Lightfoot, guard Barry Bow, linebacker James McCarty and punter Garcia.
“Esteban has got a great leg,” Sparks coach Rob Kittrell said. “With his kickoffs, we knew the other team would be starting on the 20. And then field-position wise, it kind of changes the way you call a game, because once you get inside the 35, you knew you had a pretty good chance of putting three points up.
“Everybody that made it for us was deserving. We got on everybody that we wanted so I was happy with that. On the offensive side we got some more representation, but we were able to move the ball. On the defensive side, we had one kid. That was kind of representative of how our year went.”