Let the league begin | SierraSun.com

Let the league begin

Emma Garrard/Sierra SunTruckee High football coach Bob Shaffer talks with his team after the Wolverines' 22-21 loss to Colfax on Sept. 8. Truckee enters league play Saturday against Lowry with a 3-1 record. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:30 p.m.

Not all the wins were pretty, and the one loss was downright heartbreaking.

Nevertheless, the Truckee High football team is right where it wants to be entering Northern 3A league play.

“Well, we’re off to a 3-1 start,” Truckee coach Bob Shaffer said. “Obviously we’d love to be 4-0. And in some sense of the imagination, we should be 4-0.

“Now with that said, I feel like we have a lot of room for improvement, especially on the offensive side.”

And in the first quarter, when the Wolverines were outscored 23-0 in their four non-league games ” all against California programs.

“That’s a concerning stat,” Shaffer said, pointing out that the Wolverines trailed 16-0 in the first quarter against Colfax and 7-0 against Bishop. “We need to take the field and put points on the board right away and not fall behind early.”

Despite digging itself a hole against Colfax ” a perennial power that is ranked eighth in the Sacramento Bee’s regional prep poll ” Truckee nearly pulled off an inspirational comeback win, only to lose 22-21 in the final seconds.

In the season opener at Bishop, the Wolverines rebounded from a 10-0 deficit early in the second quarter to edge the Broncos by a final of 23-17.

So the resolve is there.

Overall, Truckee has outscored its opponents 65-46, with its most recent wins earned on the road against Piedmont and Winters. The Wolverines defeated Piedmont 15-7 on Sept. 14 and Winters 6-0 this past Friday.

Truckee hosts Lowry in its homecoming game Saturday to kick off league play. The Buckaroos, who have finished at the bottom of the standings the past several years, are off to an 0-5 start.

Regardless of each team’s preseason record, everyone begins league play this weekend with a clean slate.

“Everybody is 0-0,” Shaffer said of the six Northern 3A teams, which also include Fernley (4-0), Dayton (3-1), Sparks (2-1) and Spring Creek (2-2). “After this week, three teams will be 1-0 and three teams will be 0-1 (in league).”

Shaffer is hopeful that, barring injuries from here on out, the Wolverines will earn homefield advantage throughout playoffs and ultimately compete for their ninth state championship come Nov. 17.

But they must stay healthy, Shaffer said. And Truckee knows all too well about injuries, which plagued the team last season and already has had an impact this year.

Some of the Wolverines who have missed time or played through injuries thus far include Trevor Allen, Flynn Rice, Robert Raber, Nick Tennant, C.J. Ackerman, Tucker Ballister and others.

Against Winters a week ago, Shaffer said the Wolverines were down seven starters, making for some interesting position swapping as well as out-of-sync play. The coach expects many of those starters to suit up against Lowry.

Ballister, a senior quarterback who has shared snaps with Keven Sahlberg, suffered a neck injury during the third quarter of last week’s game and will not play Saturday, Shaffer said.

Truckee hosts Lowry on Saturday at 1:30 p.m.

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