Kylee Fuller plays soccer under the lights of Joe Yanni Field.
Kylee Fuller plays soccer under the lights of Joe Yanni Field.
Vijay Ratti changes the photos on his bulletin board with the seasons. 

Football, volleyball and soccer yield to basketball and wrestling. Softball, baseball and track follow in a steady rhythm.

A succession of Homecoming Kings and Queens grin at the Shell Station’s patrons.

Sports is hardwired into Lovelock’s DNA. Forbes magazine just named Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Boston, Minneapolis, Detroit and Miami the nation’s sportiest cities. But the town that time forgot would top any rural list. 

Pershing County fans have witnessed some exciting games. Buzzer beaters are always crowd-pleasers.

The ball flies up in the air, and everyone in the bleachers gets quiet. Will the ball swoosh through the hoop?

Local spectators have seen their share of buzzer beaters, like the one that Presley Burrows pulled off against Battle Mountain last winter. 

Burrows stole the ball from a Lady Longhorn and sank it through the net in the final eight seconds of a tight basketball match (41-38).

Hometown fans leaped to their feet in a sea of red and black. 

But there are buzzers to beat in other sports as well. 

In 2018, at zone, Raul Rincon and a Silver Stage competitor raced for fourth place in the mile, each determined to qualify for state.

“Coming down the last stretch after running three and three-quarter laps, it was a drag race for that last spot,” said coach Dave McLean. Rincon, then a freshman, edged out his competitor and headed to Carson City. 

Pershing County’s wrestlers develop a “warrior attitude” to fine-tune their ability to score from the bottom, treating spectators to explosive stand-ups as they break free from their opponents. 

Along the way, Nikita Pavlov maintained a 4.0 GPA for the semester.

Last soccer season, Kylee Fuller broke through Churchill County’s defense and scored a game-winning goal (1-0) in the contest’s final seconds. 

In each case, the Mustangs came home with another win after it looked like all was lost. The home crowd is pulling for them to do it again.

Once Lovelock seemed like a remote outpost from world events. Not anymore. Last spring, the repercussions of the COVID-19 slammed the town. It’s not over yet.

On Friday the White House announced that the president tested positive. At press time, he is working from the presidential office in Walter Reed Hospital.

In September, Yerington traced an uptick of COVID-19 cases to a softball tournament that drew 20 teams and hundreds of people to the home of the Lions. 

There was one positive case in Mineral County before the tourney, held from Aug. 14-16. Within the month after it ended, 24 more emerged.

In Emmett, Idaho, Amon Bundy broke up a high school football game at the half over his refusal to either leave or wear a mask.

On Oct. 2, Gov. Sisolak allowed some youth sports and adult recreation.

His modifications do not apply to high school sports. The NIAA regulates them and will determine when and how they can resume.

For now, the Mustangs navigate the complexities of high school in the age of the COVID-19. 

The athletes are striving to get into sports shape. Some are already there and are helping others. 

They’re hopeful about the possibility of a sports season in 2021, even though it’s shortened to six weeks with no state championship.

“The school year will be exciting once sports begins,” says Mike Brooks, the athletic director, football and wrestling coach. “It will move quickly.  The kids will know it’s short and hopefully savor every moment.”