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Las Vegas Sun's 2021 High School Football Media Day

Christopher DeVargas

Members of the Desert Pines High School football team are pictured during the Las Vegas Sun’s high school football media day at the Red Rock Resort on August 3rd, 2021. They include, from left, Rjay Tagataese, Jovantae Barnes and Jett Solomon.

Three of Nevada’s top high school football programs will face stiff out-of-state competition at this year’s Polynesian Football Classic, which starts with a pair of games today at Bishop Gorman.

Defending state champion Liberty has the most significant challenge as it plays the nation’s top-ranked team in Mater Dei of Southern California at 7:30 p.m. The three-game event starts at 4 p.m. with Desert Pines facing Orem of Utah, and finishes at 7 p.m. Saturday with Gorman taking on Lone Peak of Utah.

The value of participating in the showcase is simple: exposure and experience.

Liberty, for instance, lost all five of its games to national opponents in 2019 but gained meaningful reps against quality opponents that helped propel the team to the title. It was the same narrative for Bishop Gorman, which in the late 2000s starting playing out-of-town opponents for experience and went on to win 10 straight Nevada championships.

For Desert Pines, a program that has been shut down for most of the past two weeks because of the pandemic, the enhanced competition of Orem — a class 5A school — comes at the perfect time. The Jaguars rolled Aug. 20 to an opening night win against Palo Verde but hasn’t played since — a formula for disaster when developing a young team of many underclassmen contributors.

There are many more games across the valley, including some neighborhood showdowns — Centennial at Arbor View, Green Valley vs. Coronado and Spring Valley at Durango.

We’ll keep everyone posted as scores become final. Tag me on Twitter @raybrewer21 if you have a score to report, or use the #sunstandout hashtag.

Article written by #LasVegasSun

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