Coaches notice McIntyre talents despite Vikings’ 0-9 season
The off-season is giving South Tahoe High senior middle linebacker Garrett McIntyre what his regular football season could not — joy.
Coaches have selected 6-foot-3, 220-pound McIntyre the Nevada 4A Sierra Division Defensive Player of the Year.
“Being on an 0-9 team I didn’t think that was going to happen,” McIntyre said. “I play pretty much the best position on defense. The position is based on you making a lot of tackles in the middle, and I think I got that done this year in the middle.”
In addition to the player of the year honors, McIntyre also was selected first team all-region and all-division.
Opposing teams quickly learned that with McIntyre in the middle, it was more prudent to attack the Vikings on the perimeter of their defense.
“It was really clear in the meeting that everybody recognized that he was a great player, and I think everybody appreciated how he hung in there and continued to work hard,” said STHS coach Eric Beavers.
Area high school coaches aren’t the only observers recognizing McIntyre’s talents. McIntyre is being recruited by Fresno State, San Diego State, Boise State and UC-Davis.
Fresno State event dispatched an assistant coach to South Lake Tahoe last week to pick up some game film and talk to Beavers about the prize linebacker.
“I know the coach that came into town was really pleased with what he saw,” said Beavers of Fresno State wide receivers coach Tim Simons. “I think he was pleasantly surprised at what he was looking at.”
Besides his obvious physical presence, McIntyre’s mobility and knowledge of the game are making him very appealing.
“Quite often the question is: Does he play well in a phone booth or does he play well in the park? You look at Garrett, and he can do both,” Beavers said.
McIntyre also demonstrated an inner toughness that many of his teammates could not. As the losses mounted, McIntyre was one of the few players from the Vikings’ 2000 zone semifinalists that refused to quit.
“It’s just a love for football,” McIntyre said. “You’ve got to love the game. That’s probably what kept me around all year.”
That untaught love of the game should serve McIntyre well in the coming years, Beavers said.
“I think he wants to go and prove and see how far he can push his own abilities,” Beavers said. “He’s earned the right to do that.”
Beavers also had two players earn honorable mention. Like McIntyre, junior receiver Robert Smith used a tireless work ethic to stand out.
“Coaches in the league recognized him at receiver, even though he was young,” Beavers said. “He’s been working hard and working hard hitting the weights. He could be something special because of his work.”
Senior offensive tackle Nick Alexander earned honorable mention for his toughness and effort, according to Beavers.
“He was a good player and continued to battle on a team that was struggling.”
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“Let Them Play,” rallies are taking place across California with a mission to bring back high school and youth sports.