Pop Warner teams up to challenge in ‘new’ division
South Lake Tahoe’s Pop Warner teams were up to the task last week in their return to competitive Division II.
The Midgets, the highest division, pulled out the only victory for the weekend, beating Quincy 13-7 in overtime on Saturday in Quincy.
A pair of regional championships last season forced the programs to step up to the higher division, which means that the local teams will play predominantly against Reno, Carson City, Sparks and Douglas teams.
Jack Garratt and Bobby Henning scored on 5- and 8-yard touchdown runs for the winners. Garratt, Roger Brown, Morgan Chambers and Ryan Jaurequi keyed a stingy defense.
The Midgets will play host to the Reno Bulldogs at 1 p.m. Saturday at South Tahoe High.
Even though South Lake Tahoe’s other three teams lost, they were competitive.
The Junior Peewees scored twice but had one TD called back because of a block to the back in their 20-7 defeat to the Reno Cardinals.
“We lost the game, but there was a lot to build on that is positive,” said Junior Peewee coach Casey Tierney.
Reno caught the visitors off guard with an onside kick to start the game. The Cardinals also had another trick up their sleeve, executing a double reverse for a touchdown.
“They ran it clean and that’s impressive for a team of 10-year-olds to do that,” Tierney said.
Fullback Hunter Lauu scored South Lake Tahoe’s only touchdown, going in from 15 yards out.
Other standouts for South Lake Tahoe were Cody Shindelbower, who played both offense and defense; Ian Fonken, three solo tackles in the backfield; Zack Tierney, Tyler Slater and Brandon Jones.
The Junior Peewees will try to even their record when they play host to the Reno 49ers on Saturday at 9 a.m.
South Lake Tahoe’s Peewees made a strong defensive effort in their 13-0 loss to the Sparks Steelers last Friday.
“My boys showed a lot of heart,” said Peewees coach Mike Williams. “There are a lot of first-time players out there for us and we played real good for not having game experience.”
Williams has coached youth football in the area for 12 years and enjoys the time he spends with his 11- and 12-year-old players.
“I live nine months of the year for this,” he said. “They are sponges. They learn the game and that’s what I enjoy.
“It’s great to see new players out there every year. It’s nice to see that there still is an interest in football and it’s grown a little bit. By the time these kids get into high school, they are going to have a great experience playing the game.”
Quarterback Barrett Burghard passed for 35 yards, while defensive stars included Matt Olivares, eight tackles and a quarterback sack; Jordan Morgan, seven tackles and an interception; Riley Griffith, six tackles and a sack; Cody Nelson, six tackles; Adam Laub, six tackles; Jordan Yingling, six tackles; Jesse Cruz, four tackles and an interception and Conner Carpenter, three tackles and a sack.
The Peewees play host to Carson Blue at 3 p.m. Saturday.
South Lake Tahoe’s fourth team, the Junior Midgets, had a tough opening assignment. The Junior Midgets lost 30-6 to the Reno Wolf Pack, last year’s Division II national champion.
Five fumbles, including four the Pack recovered, kept the game from being more competitive. Despite the turnovers, South Lake Tahoe only trailed 12-6 at intermission.
“We should see them in the playoffs,” said Junior Midgets coach Steve Klug.
Offensive tackle Jake Manoukian scored South Lake Tahoe’s only touchdown, recovering a teammate’s fumble in the end zone.
Klug was pleased with the defensive effort of Zack Verschegan and Gary Prescott.
The Junior Midgets play host to the Sparks Raiders at 11 a.m. Saturday.