Pershing County’s Esteban Vidrio goes up against a North Tahoe player at a JV game hosted by Lovelock last winter.
Pershing County’s Esteban Vidrio goes up against a North Tahoe player at a JV game hosted by Lovelock last winter.
Blink, and you’ll miss it. Within days, the Pershing County High School volleyball and soccer teams begin official practice for their new seasons. 

They’ll play for six weeks, from Mar. 5 through April 10. As of press time, football remains on Governor Sisolak’s no-play list, along with wrestling and basketball.

Blink again, and it all could change. Eight PCHS Mustangs recently spoke out in favor of changes they’d like to see, including the return of all high school sports and extracurricular activities. 

The Mustangs joined forces with athletes from Lincoln County, Elko, Ely, Las Vegas and Pahranagat Valley in a three-minute video. 

They spoke directly to Nevada’s governor, school superintendents and principals. Their message was simple. Let us play.

The viral grassroots movement has chapters across the nation. Dennis Goughnour of Las Vegas, started Let Them Play NV’s Facebook page on Jan. 16, 2021. Today it has 2.6 thousand members. Goughnour’s son, Trey, plays football for Clark County and worries about the potential loss of a sports scholarship since many surrounding states are playing. The schools go with prospects in states that play.

In the video, the athletes wear team jerseys for the first time in months. Their school colors pop alongside pom-poms, baseball bats and letter jackets. All the high school sports are represented, including those on the no-play list.

Each frame of the video passes the ball to another school or a different sport. The kids appear on courts, fields and in gyms across the state.

“We have plans in place to play safely, some with family and fans and some without, but here in Nevada, it’s quiet,” says a voice-over by way of introduction. 

“We were promised that if we were patient – if we sacrificed the fall and winter of 2020, that we would be given 2021,” claims an Elko basketball player as he drops the ball onto the hardwood floor of his high school gym. 

The next frame takes us to the Home of the Lynx, Lincoln County. “But so far, that was just a dangling carrot,” adds a basketball player flanked by a couple of teammates in jeans and tank tops. 

“We did our part,” continues the video. 

“We sacrificed almost an entire year,” says Pershing County’s Jordan Gentry standing on his home court looking about to score a three-pointer.

Victor Flores, Nikita Pavlov and Senicka Happy drive the point home. “Will you let us play, Governor Sisolak?” they ask in unison.

Other Mustangs who appeared in the video include Timothy Fecht, Maile Kauvaka, Connie Kersnowski and Daniel Reitz. Each athlete graduates this spring, most likely in a ceremony modified by coronavirus restrictions.

Soccer and 

volleyball updates

The soccer team has already started twice-a-week conditioning for the season ahead. They’ll begin official practice on Monday, Feb. 22.

“It will be a bit different this year with all the rules and regulations regarding COVID, but with some hard work and diligence, we should be able to complete a season,” says soccer coach Matt Fuller.

On Feb. 20, guest coach Shauna Bake will run a four-hour drill camp where volleyball players can try out for the team. 

Meanwhile, they’re getting into shape in the open gym. The girls hope to play Yerington, West Wendover, Incline, Coral Academy, Battle Mountain, North Tahoe and Silver Stage. 

Last fall, Pershing County Athletic Director Mike Brooks predicted that the athletes would savor every moment of their shortened seasons. 

One thing they won’t do, is blink.