It isn’t the current winning streak that has the Boulder City girls flag football team looking ahead to its most difficult week of the year.
It’s a chance to prove themselves against the best competition, and maybe with a little added revenge.
The Lady Eagles return to the field Monday at home against Basic (4-3, 3-2) for the first of three consecutive games against larger schools. They play Wednesday at Foothill (9-1, 6-0) and return home Jan. 9 to take on Green Valley (9-0, 5-0).
All three schools have become Boulder City’s fiercest rivals. Despite this being only the third year of the sport for girls, those three teams have stood out on the Boulder City schedule.
“This is the hardest five days on our schedule because we play all three in the span of Monday to Friday,” said coach Chris Morelli. “Our hardest practices of the year will be today and Friday. It will test us. Each opponent plays a different style and each will attack our offense differently. We will have to make lots of game-time adjustments and play hard if we are to win them all.”
Basic has been a rival for decades, while the newer Foothill is the closest school to Boulder City. Green Valley is a former playoff opponent Boulder City wants to defeat the most.
“Green Valley is the team that ended our season last year and we want to get out there and beat them this year to send a message that this is a different team and a different year,” said linebacker Logan Kanaley. “We also may play them in the playoffs and we have to not let them get confident at beating us. We should have won the playoff game last year and we want to use this game for momentum.”
The Lady Eagles defeated Eldorado 33-6 on Dec. 19 in their final game before the two-week holiday break to improve their Sunrise League record to 5-0.
They are 7-0 overall and ranked No. 2 in the county among 34 schools in the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s latest poll of Southern Nevada coaches. Green Valley is No. 3.
The Lady Eagles have won 25 consecutive regular season games dating to last season when they were 18-0 in the regular season and winning two playoff games. Their season came to an end when they lost to Green Valley in the Sunrise Region championship. The following night, the Gators lost the county championship to Centennial.
“We all wanted to play in that championship game and we should have beaten Green Valley,” said receiver Kinsey Smyth. “We started unbeaten again this season, but the winning streak is not as important as getting prepared for the playoffs and winning there. It means playing and beating tough teams like Foothill and Green Valley. The team is really working hard each day at practice during the holiday break so that we come out without missing a beat.”
Boulder City twice defeated Foothill last season, but the second games went into a fourth overtime period to decide.
“Our games with Foothill are classics,” Morelli said. “The teams are close to being evenly matched and they are always close. There is a lot of added incentive because they are our neighbor and the girls all know each other.”
The Lady Eagles will be led by quarterback Jeanne Carmell, who threw for three touchdown passes and ran for one in the Lady Eagles last game at Eldorado. She completed 13 of 23 passes for 131 yards and threw two scoring passes to Smyth. Carmell also rushed for 76 yards and one touchdown.
“Everyone wants to stop Jeanne, but no team has yet been able to do that in two seasons,” Morelli said. “She has a knack for finding an open receiver and when she scrambles she is a threat to make a big run.
“We have a lot of weapons on offense and defense. This team is built to be a winner. I know these girls can do it,” he added.