Vikings’ prolific offense scores 3 for all-region team
By Steve Yingling
Tribune sports editor
Very few teams were successful at slowing down South Tahoe High’s high-powered spread offense this fall.
Consequently, it shouldn’t be surprising that the Vikings placed three offensive players on the Northern 4A All-Region football team.
Quarterback Mikey Van Gorden, wide receiver Spencer Dean and placekicker Matt Bobman – all seniors – were voted by coaches as the best at their positions in the 14-team Northern Nevada 4A League.
“To make first-team all-region, that is a big honor,” said former STHS coach Todd McIntyre. “People have to understand that there are 14 teams and every coach wants to get guys on the team.”
Van Gorden and Dean topped the league in several notable categories. Dean’s 47 receptions and 838 receiving yards were both league highs, while no QB had more than Van Gorden’s 2,400 passing yards, Northern-record 27 touchdown passes and 138 completions.
“Spencer was hands down the best receiver in the league. Every coached voted for him,” McIntyre said. “He’s one of the best we’ve had, I’ll tell you that. And we’ve had some good ones in Casey Dowling, Ryan Hickey and Immanuel Williams.”
Van Gorden twice threw for five touchdowns in a game – something that hadn’t been done by a string of talented quarterbacks at the school. His threat to run the football made him tough to defend as Spanish Springs found out in the regular-season finale. Van Gorden burned the Cougars for 360 passing yards and 162 rushing yards.
“Teams knew we had a nonexistent running game and we were gonna throw, so Mike did a real good job,” McIntyre said. “They spent the summer throwing the ball. You are only going to be a good throwing team if you work at it during the summer.”
To be considered for the all-region team, players must make first-team all-division.
“Because this is voted by the coaches, it means a lot knowing all of the other coaches liked to see me play,” Van Gorden said.
Bobman became as weapon any time the Vikings crossed midfield and he became a defensive star because he rendered most special teams useless. His kickoffs routinely travelled beyond the end zone, forcing teams to drive 80 yards for a score.
He was nearly automatic on extra points and the longer field goal attempts didn’t hurt his accuracy. He made 47- and 48-yard attempts.
Bobman also was selected second-team all-division punter. Douglas senior Tim Coleman beat him out for first team.
Both Bobman and Van Gorden are pursuing college careers. San Diego and St. Joseph’s of Indiana are interested in Van Gorden and the Wolf Pack is considering Bobman as a replacement for senior Damon Fine.
“Matt will be kicking for somebody … hopefully Reno,” McIntyre said.
McIntyre also believes that Dean can continue his football career at the junior college level.
Vikings’ senior offensive lineman Nate Sweeney and senior linebacker/running back earned honorable mention for the Sierra Division.
Spanish Springs’ Mike Kanellis, who rushed for a state-record 537 yards against South Tahoe, was chosen as the 4A region’s Offensive Player of the Year. Hug running back Isaac Porter, who topped the 2,000-yard mark, was voted as the area’s Player of the Year; McQueen’s Mitch Solano, Defensive Player of the Year; McQueen’s Steve Oscar, Lineman of the Year; and Hug’s Rollins Stallworth, Coach of the Year.