This week would have marked the start of the high school football season, but fall sports have been pushed to March due to COVID-19. As a result, we won't get to cover high school football in the coming months, but I have substituted that lack of coverage with this piece: a look at Northern Nevada's all-time high school football team. On Thursday, we started with the all-offensive team of players who called Northern Nevada home during their high school years. Today, we look at the area's all-defensive team. Of note: Each player's entire playing career was considered, so high school stars who didn't play in college didn't have much of a chance to make the list. And making it to the NFL also was weighed in the decision-making process.
Northern Nevada's all-prep football defense
DL: Shawn Knight, Reed: A 6-foot-6, 300-pound beast, Knight dreamed of being a tennis player while at Reed, but his size meant he was perfect for football even if he was new to the game. He was so raw, his prep teammates had to tell him when to get off the field. Recruited to BYU, he became a third-team All-American after a 16-sack senior season and was a member of the Cougars' 1984 national championship team. In 1987, he became the highest local ever drafted into the NFL as the No. 11 pick, although he logged just 31 games. Backup: Neil Hulbert, Wooster
DL: Garrett McIntyre, South Tahoe: The only South Tahoe alum to make our list, McIntyre was the Northern 4A's defensive player of the year as a senior in 2002, but he wasn't recruited by Nevada (or another other school). He walked on at Fresno State and was a three-time All-WAC player, the 2005 WAC defensive player of the year, an honorable mention All-American and ranks third in program history in sacks (25). Despite being undrafted, he an won an Arena Bowl title and played 42 NFL games, compiling 72 tackles and 5.5 sacks in three years. Backup: J.J. Milan, Wooster
DL: Shawn Price, North Tahoe: Playing in the 2A, Price was unstoppable at North Tahoe and led the Lakers to an undefeated 1986 state title his junior season. Known as the "Tazmanian Devil" to his Lakers teammates, Price went to Sierra College (he had a 22-sack season) and then played for the now-defunct Pacific program. He wasn't drafted but had one of the best NFL careers of any local. Playing for three teams over 10 seasons, Price had 169 career tackles and 14.5 sacks before retiring in 2002. Backup: Luke Arciniega, Spanish Springs
LB: Kyle Van Noy, McQueen: One of the first national recruits from Reno, Van Noy was a beast on defense and a play-maker at tight end for the Lancers, which won the 2008 state title his senior season with a 14-0 record. Van Noy had 148 tackles, 21 sacks, 34 tackles for loss and 13 forced fumbles in his junior and senior years. He became an All-American at BYU with 226 tackles, 62 TFL, 26 sacks and seven interceptions. A second-round NFL draft pick, Van Noy has won two Super Bowls and is entering his seventh season in the league with 289 tackles and 17.5 sacks in his career. Backup: Mike Crawford, Whittell
LB: Josh Mauga, Churchill County: An uncommon athlete in high school, Mauga moved to Fallon in 1995 and was a 215-pound freshman who was as fast as a sprinter and as strong as a bodybuilder. "Like a god," his former coach Louie Mori said. He was a great wrestler and had nearly 100 tackles and 1,000 rushing yards his senior season in 2004. After an injury-plagued college career at Nevada (he still had 224 tackles and seven sacks), Mauga went undrafted but persevered and logged five NFL seasons with 205 tackles. Backup: Ale Kaho, Reno
LB: Dave Wyman, Wooster: Wyman was one of the first great football players from Reno. The Wooster High alum won a large-class title his senior season and was part of a team that still holds the state's single-season interception mark (26 in 1980). He was all-state in football, basketball and track and field. He went to Stanford and was a three-time All-Pac-10 honoree. His 462 tackles rank second in school history. A second-round draft pick, Wyman played in nine NFL seasons with 553 tackles, 5.5 sacks and three interceptions. Backup: Jackson LaDuke, Spanish Springs
LB: Ed Pine, Reno: Linebacker is a loaded position, and it was tough not to put Mike Crawford or the other backups as a starter in this spot, but we need to recognize our history with pre-1980s players like Pine, a Reno High alum who was a part of the great Huskies teams of the 1950s. Pine is in the Reno High Hall of Fame and also the Utah football Hall of Fame where he was an All-American. He played in the 1961 East-West Shrine game and was the 22nd pick in the 1962 NFL draft. He played four years in the NFL. Backup: Ryan Bader, McQueen
DB: Chris Carr, McQueen: You could make a legitimate case Carr is the best running back in Northern Nevada history on high school credentials alone. An amazing offensive player at McQueen, Carr was a three-time all-state back who ran for 1,944 yards and 34 touchdowns his senior season. He led the Lancers to two state title games, winning it all in 2000. He also was a standout defensive back at free safety, and starred at cornerback for Boise State and in the NFL, playing in the league for nine seasons with 233 tackles with nine interceptions. Carr could make the all-high school team at running back, cornerback and return man. He was that good. Backup: Del Bates, Reed
DB: Quincy Sanders, Reed: Northern Nevada has not been stocked with high-level defensive backs. It's a tough position to play. And this spot came down to Reed alums Quincy Sanders and Del Bates, who also was a top-level returner. Playing for Reed in the 1990s, Sanders was lightning quick, a hard hitter and played off emotion. He's best known for throwing his helmet at Nevada coach Chris Ault during the 1995 brawl with UNLV, but that's unfair. He was a high-level college safety (270 tackles, three interceptions) and a fifth-round NFL draft pick. Backup: Josh LaGrone, McQueen
DB: Duke Williams, Hug: Williams was a do-everything player at Hug, including playing quarterback, and was a three-time all-state selection at safety for the Hawks. Williams was the Northern 4A player of the year in 2008 when Hug went 8-2, one of its best years ever. Williams then moved on to Nevada where he was a three-year starter and all-conference player who was part of the historic 2010 team (he ranks top 10 in school history in tackles). A fourth-round NFL draft pick in 2013, Williams played four seasons in the league. Backup: Mitchell Moore, Hug
DB: Josh Barrett, Reno: Barrett is one of the best pure athletes in Northern Nevada history. A three-sport star, Barrett was the 2002 Northern 4A player of the year and all-state as a wide receiver and returner in addition to his work as a defensive back (he played running back, too). During his senior season, Barrett scored 10 offensive touchdowns, had five interceptions and had 11 return touchdowns (seven on special teams, four via interceptions), leading Reno to an undefeated regular season. The Reno High Hall of Famer played his college ball at Arizona State and appeared in 25 games in five NFL seasons. Backup: Archie Kovich, North Valleys
Sports columnist Chris Murray provides insight on Northern Nevada sports. Contact him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @ByChrisMurray.