The Reed football team got its first surprise Monday as it prepares to face a mostly unknown opponent Saturday in the Division I state semifinals.
The Raiders’ game against Liberty, of Henderson, will not be played at Reed, as the Raiders’ coaching staff assumed it would be. Instead, the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association on Monday shifted the site of the game to Bishop Manogue.
The Raiders (11-1) and the Sunrise Region champion Patriots (10-3) will kick off at 1:05 p.m. Saturday.
“I’m shocked, to be honest,” Reed coach Ernie Howren said. “Our program was not consulted at all. We earned the right to play at home. I feel bad for the kids; they earned that right, and it’s being taken away.”
The NIAA released a statement Monday afternoon, which read, in part: “Mr. Eddie Bonine, Executive Director of the NIAA, along with four Washoe County School District personnel, toured … the Reed High School football field this morning and determined the field’s condition is not safe and/or suitable for a post-season game … of this magnitude.”
Reed won the Division I Northern Region title Friday night with a 47-39 win over Carson. The Northern champion typically hosts a state semifinal game in the NIAA’s rotation of home sites between the Northern, Sunrise and Sunset Regions. Last season, Reed played a semifinal game at home against Bishop Gorman.
Howren said the next step for Reed is to try to get a practice session in at Manogue, which has a turf surface vastly different from the Raiders’ grass-and-dirt field. That could be a challenge, as schools throughout the area enter their traditional Thanksgiving holiday break.
“That’s the unfortunate part; we’re on a holiday week,” Howren said. “Starting Wednesday, it’s a vacation for a lot of people. We try to pride ourselves on being organized, and for this to be thrown in our laps last-second like this, with no options given to us, has been very unfortunate.”
Reed practiced Monday on its home field.
Las Vegas-area rivals Bishop Gorman (11-2) and Palo Verde (10-1) will meet Saturday in the other Division I state semifinal. That game will be played at Gorman.