Mojave football coach Joe Delgado remembers the first time he saw Ty Flanagan on the field.
The Rattlers’ coach knew a decade ago he had spotted a future star on his youth football team.
Flanagan, now a senior at Mojave, continues to impress his coach and several other coaches in Southern Nevada. The 5-foot-10-inch, 195-pound running back/linebacker was the coaches’ pick for Most Valuable Player in the Division I-A Sunset League.
“The first day he stepped on the field, I saw the potential,” Delgado said. “He was always one of the bigger and stronger players on the field. And he was one of the smartest players as far as football knowledge. He was definitely destined to play somewhere in college.”
Flanagan, a first-team all-state running back last season, rushed for 1,266 yards and 16 touchdowns this season after putting on 10-15 pounds of muscle in the offseason. Flanagan also had 121 yards receiving and two scores.
“He’s always been a huge attribute for us offensively,” Delgado said. “He’s smart, great vision. Anything you ask Ty to do on the field, he does it. His positive attitude was definitely key for our offense … Personally, it’s going to be tough to see him leave. Ty’s like a son to me. I’m just proud of him, and I can’t wait to see him play at the next level.”
Flanagan, who has a 3.2 GPA, is mulling his options for college. He has received interest from Arizona, Boise State, Colorado, San Diego State, Southern Utah, Utah and Washington.
“It’s going to be a huge loss,” Delgado said. “When I got the job here, luckily he was already zoned for Mojave. He never ceases to amaze me. He’s always doing something spectacular on the field. He’s definitely one of the most athletically-gifted athletes I’ve ever coached.”
Flanagan’s best game at Mojave may have come in the season opener this year when the Rattlers topped Skyview (Idaho) 48-40 in Pocatello, Idaho. Flanagan finished with 292 yards rushing and four touchdowns. He added 11 tackles, a sack and an interception on defense.
“His performance against Skyview in Idaho was one of the most unbelievable performances I’ve ever seen on both sides of the ball in a football game,” Delgado said. “Ty’s got a great work ethic. If he continues on the right path, he’ll definitely end up playing pro ball.”
Clark’s Don Willis was the Coach of the Year in the Sunset League, and Faith Lutheran’s John Molchon was the Lineman of the Year. Faith Lutheran’s Mark Rubalcaba was the Offensive MVP, and Spring Valley’s Michael Biano was the Defensive MVP.
Moapa Valley dominated the Sunrise League awards R.J. Hubert was voted the Most Valuable Player, and Zach Hymas was selected MVP on offense. Andrew Huerta was a co-MVP on defense, along with Desert Pines’ Anthony Smith. Del Sol’s Jesus Olivas was the Lineman of the Year. The Pirates’ Brent Lewis was the league’s Coach of the Year.