The prep football season is done, which usually means it's time for an all-state team. There's just one problem.
Since it's darn-near impossible to see most of the teams around the state in person, it's extremely tough to choose the best players. And it's even more difficult to select the top offensive linemen and defenders.
So, this is our abbreviated version of an all-state team featuring the top skill-position players.
Tyler Pine, Reed (Sparks): The 6-foot senior led the state in passing with 2,634 yards and was No. 2 behind Garrett Gosse of The Meadows (Las Vegas) with 30 touchdowns. More importantly, though, Pine led the Raiders to the 4A Northern Region championship for the first time since 2004, which is ultimately how quarterbacks are judged. Pine was also at his best just when Reed's season appeared to be slipping away. After the Raiders dropped two straight to Oceanside (Calif.) and Carson (Carson City), Pine helped them right the ship by throwing 14 TDs against just one interception over a five-game stretch.
Also considered: Bryce Baker, Fernley; Beau Bickel, Galena (Reno); Ben Bolton, Truckee (Calif.); Gosse; Hasaan Henderson, Las Vegas; Tim Herman, North Valleys (Reno); Parker Riggin, Foothill (Henderson); Jarrett Solomon, Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas).
Dezerick Reed, Del Sol (Las Vegas): It's hard to imagine where the Dragons would have been this season without the bruising senior. Reed ran for 206 yards in the opener and nothing really stopped the 5-foot-9, 203-pounder until a nagging ankle injury in the playoffs. The Southeast League MVP ran for 339 yards and four scores in a win against Green Valley (Henderson) in late October and finished with a state-best 1,975 yards (21 TDs) as the Dragons reached the 4A state title game.
Deshae Edwards, Legacy (North Las Vegas): This was probably the most difficult spot to select, in all honesty, especially considering James Poole of Cimarron-Memorial (Las Vegas) was the Northwest League Offensive MVP. But it's hard to ignore Edwards' impact during the Longhorns' run to the league crown. The dimunitive senior finished with 1,426 yards and 15 touchdowns despite missing the equivalent of a game-and-a-half after hurting his ankle against Palo Verde (Las Vegas) in midseason. Edwards rushed for more than 200 yards three times and is drawing recruiting interest from Fresno State, Maryland, Nevada and Northern Arizona.
Also considered: Victor Belen, Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas); Eric Howsley, Galena (Reno); Mike Lake, Battle Mountain; Cortland LeBoeuf, Mountain View (Las Vegas); Terran Madu-Jules, Silverado (Las Vegas); Julio Mora, Durango (Las Vegas); Jonathon Pollack, Douglas (Minden); Poole; Shaquille Powell, Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas); Christian Thompson, Reed (Sparks); Brandon Wright, Palo Verde (Las Vegas).
Aaron Greenblat, Reed (Sparks): The standout senior led the state with 79 receptions for 1,370 yards and also scored 13 touchdowns for the Northern Region champion Raiders. To understand Greenblat's statistical dominance, only one other receiver in the state reached the 50-catch mark and only one wideout totaled more than 1,000 yards receiving. Greenblat was the High Desert League Player of the Year and teamed with Pine to form the state's top quarterback-receiver combination.
Eric Tuiloma, Desert Pines (Las Vegas): Tuiloma was the big-play threat for the Jaguars and one of the most dangerous players in the Las Vegas valley. The senior finished with 45 catches for 817 yards and 11 touchdowns as Desert Pines averaged 30.5 points per game during the regular season. Tuiloma was named the Offensive Most Valuable Player in the Northeast League and has a scholarship offer from Northern Arizona, while also drawing interest from Fresno State, Idaho and UNLV.
Also considered: Dylan Lee, The Meadows (Las Vegas); Garrett Shutt, Galena (Reno); Taylor Spencer, Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas); Evan Weinstock, Del Sol (Las Vegas).
Xavier Grimble, Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas): If you could build a prototype at this position, it would probably look a lot like the 6-foot-5, 246-pound Grimble, who is listed as the No. 2 tight end in the country and the No. 26 player overall in Tom Lemming's Top 100. Not only did Grimble finish with 39 catches for 709 yards and nine TDs, but the senior's blocking helped pave the way for two 1,000-yard rushers. Grimble caught a touchdown in Gorman's title game romp and will sign a letter of intent with USC in February.
Also considered: No offense to James Depew of Truckee (Calif.) or Matt Myers of Bishop Manogue (Reno), who are listed as TEs, but nobody is even close to Grimble at this position.
Matt Newton, Moapa Valley (Overton): The senior flies under the radar a little bit since the Pirates play in Class 3A, but there is no doubting Newton's talent. He was the 3A Southern League MVP and was a first-team pick at wide receiver, cornerback and punter. Newton finished with 40 receptions for 1,026 yards and 12 touchdowns. He added 689 yards and nine scores rushing, while booting 26 extra points for Moapa, which reached the 3A title game before falling to Truckee (Calif.). Newton also snagged five interceptions. And for anyone doubting the level of competition Moapa Valley faced, Newton had 138 yards receiving and scored two touchdowns against Foothill (Henderson), which advanced to the 4A Sunrise Region semifinals.
Also considered: Tyrone Blake, Palo Verde (Las Vegas); Dylan Sawyers, Carson (Carson City); Garic Wharton, Valley (Las Vegas).
Collin Ditsworth, Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas): The Gaels' offense sure kept the junior busy this season as he booted 106 extra points. But Ditsworth was effective in all phases of the kicking game. Ditsworth nailed a 49-yard field goal in the Sunset Region final and kicked two field goals in the state title game. More than half of his kickoffs went for touchbacks and he also had five of his 20 punts downed inside the opponents' 20-yard line.
Also considered: Alex Ramos, Cimarron-Memorial (Las Vegas); Nolan Kohorst, Green Valley (Henderson); Ean Witter, Carson (Carson City).
GORMAN ROUTS DEL SOL FOR TITLE
Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) scored four touchdowns in the second quarter and rolled to a 62-21 victory over Del Sol (Las Vegas) on Saturday at UNLV's Sam Boyd Stadium to take home its second 4A state title in three years.
The top-ranked Gaels (15-0) dominated all season, winning 10 games by 40 or more points, and 13 by 31 or more. Gorman's closest game was a 38-28 win over Palo Verde (Las Vegas) in the Sunset Region semifinals.
Gorman led 45-7 at halftime in the final and was up 59-7 before the Dragons scored twice in the fourth quarter.
"All year long we’ve told them we’re the most talented team in the state," first-year Gorman coach Tony Sanchez told Nevadapreps.com. "If we show up and work hard and never worry about what the score is and continue to execute play after play after play, we’ll be successful more times than not. And, you know what, we happened to be 15 times in a row."
The Gaels graduate several standouts on defense, but are expected to be one of the favorites for the state title again behind sophomore RB Shaquille Powell and freshman QB Jarrett Solomon.
MEDDLES TAKES SECOND
Sierra Lutheran senior Wade Meddles finished second at the Foot Locker Cross Country Championships West Regional at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, Calif. Meddles, who captured the 2A state title last month, led after the first mile and was at the front 200 yards from the finish line before Brian Shrader of Flagstaff, Ariz., passed Meddles to win in a time of 15 minutes, 25 seconds. Meddles crossed in 15:29.
Meddles' performance qualified him for the Foot Locker Cross Country Championships National Championships Saturday in San Diego.
Basketball fans get an early-season treat this Saturday as defending national champion Findlay Prep (Henderson) squares off against 4A state champion Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas.
Findlay Prep is not a member of the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association and does not compete in the state playoffs.
The Pilots (10-0) are ranked No. 1 in the MaxPreps Xcellent 25 rankings and feature two of the nation's top 20 players in senior point guard Cory Joseph and senior forward Tristan Thompson, who has signed with Texas. Gorman, which will be playing its first game of the season, is led by BYU commit Anson Winder, senior PG Johnathan Loyd and sophomore Shabazz Muhammad, one of the nation's top players in the Class of 2012.
David Schoen works at the Las Vegas Review-Journal, and is a former Associate Sports Editor and Turn2 columnist for the Oakland (Calif.) Tribune. You can reach him at ByDavid1@aol.com.