Longtime Truckee football coach Bob Shaffer is always pleased to hear about former Wolverines excelling at the next level.
But he’s never shocked by the news.
“It doesn’t surprise me,” he said when told about the success of several Truckee High grads now playing at Santa Barbara City College — Morgan Nevin, Mitch Nelson, Colin Christian and Jackson Weed.
“Those guys have been driven to succeed ever since I’ve ever known them, and even as young kids coming up through middle school. Their accomplishments are a direct result of their work ethic and determination. They really try to excel and exceed expectations, and for the most part they tend to do that.”
Nevin, a linebacker and 3A Defensive Player of the Year from Truckee’s 2010 state championship team, received All-American Pacific Conference honors last week after leading the Southern California conference with 118 tackles, including 45 solo.
The freshman — despite walking on at Southern Methodist University last year — averaged 11.8 tackles a game, which ranked No. 1 in the Southern California Football Association and No. 3 in the state. He had 15 tackles for 45 yards in losses.
His former Truckee teammates also performed well for the Vaqueros.
Christian and Nelson, both sophomore defensive backs who played last year at Santa Barbara — and convinced their old teammates to join them — ranked second and third on the team in tackles, respectively.
Christian finished the season with 80 tackles, which was sixth in the American Pacific Conference, and Nelson had 73 tackles, which was 10th in the APC. Nelson also had 13 punt returns for 213 yards, with a long return of 62 yards.
Weed, also a linebacker and 3A Defensive Player of the Year from Truckee’s 2009 state championship team, recorded 45 tackles in only seven games, as he missed some time with an injury. Weed is only a freshman.
Another former Wolverine, All-State tight end Braden Waters from the 2011 state champs, followed in his teammates’ footsteps and played at Santa Barbara this past season as well, giving the Vaqueros five Truckee alumni from three different graduating classes.
“They’re very disciplined kids,” Santa Barbara head coach Craig Moropoulos said of the Truckee players before the season. “Obviously they come from a very good program.”
Santa Barbara’s Wade Norberg, a 6-foot-6 offensive lineman from South Tahoe, was selected along with Nevin to the All-American Pacific Conference first team.
The Vaqueros went 4-6 this season and finished fifth in their conference with a 3-4 record.