Nevada high school football coaches submit proposal for shortened season

Pessimistic play can proceed as planned, coaches are calling for answers


L.E. Baskow

Liberty head coach Richard Muraco smiles back as his team celebrates another score over Green Valley during their high school football game on Thursday, September 28, 2017. .

Sun, Jul 19, 2020 (3:29 p.m.)

High school football coaches across the state of Nevada are determined to play the upcoming season safely.

That’s why several of them collaborated on a scheduling proposal that Rich Muraco, Liberty coach and head of the Southern Nevada football coaches’ association, formally sent to the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association Sunday morning.

“We decided we wanted to have a plan to address fall sports, football in particular, because we haven’t had any communication with what’s going to happen,” Muraco said. “We’re supposed to be less than two weeks away from putting helmets on and anyone can see that’s not going to happen; we’re not going to play our first games by August 14.”

Muraco’s proposal, which coaches including but not limited to Arbor View’s Matt Gerber, Palo Verde’s Joe Aznarez and Silverado’s Andy Ostolaza helped write, suggests a six-week moratorium on football-related activities starting this week. That would give the NIAA and Clark County School District until Sept. 1 to formulate a more concrete plan with the hope that the coronavirus situation could improve by then.

Under the coaches’ proposal, a seven-game, six-week schedule could begin on Sept. 25. The playoffs would be cut in half to allow for one less round and the season completing by the end of November.

If the pandemic continues to make conditions unplayable, then the coaches are calling for the possibility of a spring season beginning on Feb. 15 and wrapping up by May 10.

“Our biggest concern right now is, it’s hard to justify kids and coaches being out there and risking their health when we can all pretty much see there’s no chance with how the governor has worded things that we’re returning to play,” Muraco said. “The governor has us in Phase 2 and we’re not going to be in Phase 3 by July 30, which is when we would need to start padded practice for the season.”

Muraco said he coordinated with several coaches from the North, and they were on board with the plan. He also took cues from what other states have decided in regard to football.

Ten states have pushed back the start of the season to at least late September. At least one (New Mexico) has agreed to spring season.

Four states (Utah, Pennsylvania, Georgia and Idaho) have indicated they’re going ahead with high-school football.

“We didn’t want to be one of those states who says we’re going to play no matter what,” Muraco said. “That’s just not going to work for us. We want to be safe.”

Case Keefer can be reached at 702-948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at

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