Ability to go on is there | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Ability to go on is there

Steve Yingling, Tribune sports editor

South Shore prep football players have been reluctant to give it the old college try in past years, but the success of Garrett McIntyre and Dusty Apocotos should inspire more South Tahoe High players to consider that possibility.

Grant Swinney, Justin McIntyre and Daniel Gomez are all capable of playing junior college or higher given that desire meets opportunity. And if Matt Bobman wasn’t a junior, some Division I school would be begging the strong-legged kicker to repeatedly boot the ball out of the end zone as he has for the Vikings.

For players doubting their abilities, they only need to look at the seasons Garrett McIntyre and Apocotos enjoyed at Fresno State and UC Davis, respectively.

McIntyre, a sophomore defensive lineman, had four tackles for 28 yards in losses, including a pair of quarterback sacks, in Fresno State’s come-from-behind 23-20 win at UTEP on Saturday. The former Sierra Division Defensive MVP had six solo tackles, raising his season total to 41. His nine quarterback sacks are second among the Bulldogs.

McIntyre’s two second-half sacks helped the Bulldogs overcome a 10-point deficit and stay in contention for a return trip to the Silicon Valley Bowl. The Bulldogs finished the regular season 8-5, including 6-2 in Western Athletic Conference play.

Remember, Vikings, “Big Mac” walked on at Fresno State. Just because coaches aren’t recruiting you doesn’t mean you can’t play at the next level.

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Several hours northwest of Fresno at UC Davis, Apocotos has put the finishing touches on a senior season that will assuredly give him a chance of becoming the second Whittell High alum to play in the NFL.

Apocotos, who never played football at Whittell, made 15-of-19 field goal attempts and 32-of-34 extra points as the Aggies posted their 34th straight winning season. The grandson of former NFL punter Ray Pelfry led the Aggies with 77 points.

In high school, Apocotos kicked the ball into the goal, not over it, becoming the Northern Nevada 3A League’s top player as a junior and senior.

Maybe Apocotos will get a shot with one of the Bay Area teams, given that the Raiders’ Sebastian Janikowski is the biggest thug to play the position in league history and the 49ers have struggled to find a reliable kicker.

Vikings’ first opponent 11-1

It’s no secret what Reno is doing in the Nevada 4A football playoffs, advancing to the state finals after a 1-4 start. But the Huskies, who eliminated the Vikings 21-14 in a hard-fought regional semifinal last month, aren’t the only STHS opponent still playing.

Bishop, which defeated the Vikings 42-38 in the season opener, has reeled off 10 straight wins after losing the week after upsetting the Vikings.

Two straight playoff victories have propelled Bishop, coached by former U.S. Ski Team coach Bill Egan, into a CIF Division XII playoff at Los Angeles Baptist on Friday night.

Interestingly, speedy junior running back Dylan Beaman, who burned the Vikings for 266 yards, has rushed for 2,222 yards and 39 touchdowns.

By the way, the Vikings must face Beaman and company next season when they fulfill their road-game obligation in the home-and-away series.

– Tribune Sports Editor Steve Yingling can be reached at (530) 542-8010 or syingling@tahoedailytribune.com