Cade McNamara remembers his freshman season on the Damonte Ranch varsity, when the Mustangs won four games.
It might have been hard to tell, but the foundation was already in place for great things for Damonte.
Earlier this week, the Mustangs (9-0 overall, 5-0 league) became the No. 1-ranked team in Nevada on Maxpreps.com, according to that websites’ algorithm. It is the first top-ranking for Damonte, or any Northern Nevada team, in several years, at least.
McNamara is now the Damonte Ranch senior quarterback, he will play for Michigan next season and will graduate from Damonte in January.
“This being the first time Damonte has ever been at the top of that ranking, that’s something definitely very cool for us,” McNamara said. “As a group, there hasn’t been a lot of talk about that, we all saw it, but our level of work ethic hasn’t changed.”
This is McNamara’s fourth year on the varsity. He was a quarterback and one of several sophomores on the Damonte team that won the Northern 4A Regional championship in 2016.
“This group of seniors, we’ve seen what it takes to win a Regional championship and what it takes to be champions every year and we’re confident in ourselves,” he said.
Damonte Ranch coach Shawn Dupris said he remembers Bishop Gorman being ranked No. 1 in the state when he arrived in Las Vegas in 2006. Gorman won its ninth straight state title last December.
Dupris moved to Damonte in 2012.
Maxpreps is all computer-based and takes several factors into account for its rankings, with the strength of schedule a big part of it.
Quality wins against other highly-ranked teams are also a big factor.
Damonte beat three teams from Northern California this season, all of which are fairly highly ranked.