SLAM Academy coach Mike Cofer admitted that it was a “tough place to start the program” when the school added football five years ago.
Cofer said it took the trust of the administrators, the players and their parents to take a chance on the program for it to turn into something special. And five years later, the Bulls are one win away from a state championship.
SLAM Academy defeated Spring Creek 39-8 in a Class 3A state semifinal Saturday at Las Vegas High to advance to the state title game. The Bulls will play Truckee at a site and time to be determined.
“It’s great,” Cofer said. “It’s been five years of hard work and always trying to push forward while not looking back. We have a really special group of kids that are committed to us.”
Senior quarterback Donnell Colbert and running back Daniel Nevil each rushed for two touchdowns. Colbert added two passing touchdowns, both to junior Chysten Tabangcura.
Cofer said going against established programs like Moapa Valley and Virgin Valley in the 3A prepared his players for their playoff run.
“This is where they want to be,” Cofer said. “They’ve gotten here, and now they’ve got to see if they can finish it off.”
Truckee 35, Moapa Valley 7 — At Truckee, the Northern champion Wolverines rolled past the Pirates in the other 3A state semifinal.
The Meadows 48, Pershing County 13 — At The Meadows, the Mustangs cruised past Pershing County in a 2A state semifinal game. The Meadows will face Lincoln County — a 44-13 winner over Yerington — for the title at a site and time to be determined.
Spring Mountain 30, Virginia City 18 — At Beatty, the Golden Eagles prevailed in a 1A state semifinal. Spring Mountain will play Pahranagat Valley, which outlasted Eureka 22-14, for the state title at a site and time to be determined.