Outnumbered frosh football gets most of talent | SierraSun.com

Outnumbered frosh football gets most of talent

Remember the movie “300,” based loosely on the story of the Spartans’ last stand against the Persian army in 480 B.C.? Well, Truckee’s freshman football team has a similar story.

Like the Spartans, the young Wolverines were outnumbered. They were also out-sized, mocked and outright laughed at to the point that several opposing coaches offered to call the game early to ensure that Truckee did not get hurt.

Oftentimes, however, by the second quarter those same coaches were the ones opting for running clocks.

This group of 16 freshman ” whittled down from the original 25 who showed up for awhile ” are the new generation of Truckee silver and red.

I got my first look at them back in March when the after-school lifting program began at the high school weight room.

There were eight of them. They were small ” no chests, no shoulders, large thumbs about 5-foot-nothing and 70 pounds. Yikes. I thought we were in trouble.

We worked out for a few days, which I thought might scare them off. Nope. Instead, I saw something in them that would turn out to be their strength. Some had speed, and others quick feet. “We’ll see,” I thought. Fast, quick and small beats big and slow every time.

So confident did I become with this group, I made some gentlemen’s bets prior to the season that we would finish undefeated. Big stakes, but I felt that we could run the table.

I pushed this group hard ” harder than other teams I’ve had ” and they only worked harder. So I pushed harder, not only with the reps in the weight room, but with their cardio workouts, plyometrics, even the plays and routes in spring and summer, and they responded. They are as smart a group as I’ve seen. I told them early that, “Which doesn’t kill us will make us stronger, better.” It did; they are.

This year they were twice outnumbered 60-16, yet they never complained or surrendered. They came to understand that on any given day, any 11 can beat another 11, no matter the size.

Although I eventually lost the bet, I won so much more. As did they, I hope.

The boys finished their season 6-2 overall, with the only losses coming against Colfax, 38-32, and Fernley, 26-23, in the championship.

Imagine the pride of a coach witnessing his boys become young men right in front of him. I’ve laughed with them, felt their pain and shared in their tears. They truly never gave up, and I will forever go to battle with them and for them.

Freshman players were invited to join the JV team for the game against Sparks.

Shane Fisher and James DePew actually started, and played well, while Morgan Nevin, Mitch Nelson and Colin Christian got the opportunity to play at the next level, which was really fun to watch. Ben Bolton was asked to practice with varsity and take snaps with the team for the remainder of its season. That, too, was fun to watch.

I am long-winded on this, as I wish you could have seen them play. They were dwarfed much of the time ” 200-pound boys going against our 125-pounders. Our heaviest was 160 pounds. Yet, on two occasions opposing coaches asked if I would trade my 16 for their 60.

Statistically, the Truckee freshmen generated 3,700-plus total yards ” 1,678 yards passing with 22 touchdowns, and 2,022 yards rushing with 18 touchdowns.

The Wolverines outscored their opponents 138-7 in the first half, held teams to 80 points ” an average of 10 points per game ” and scored an average of 30-plus points per game.

Not bad.

One last thing: Nice job on the honor roll boys, all 15 of you. I’ll be watching you.

Rick Wilson is the head coach of the Truckee High freshman football team.

Cory Ackerman (QG/R), Sam Allen (R/RB), Ben Bolton (QB/SS), Colin Christian (RB/LB), Brandon Craddock (C), James DePew (DE/RB), Sam Duner (C/DT), Shane Fisher (C/DT), Oscar Hernandez (C), Trevor Houghton (QT/DE), Ethan Manseau (SG/DT), Mitch Nelson (TE/FS), Morgan Nevin (RB/LB), Tony Rodriguez (X/C), Dillon Sheedy (DT/ST), Dalton Stevens (DT/ST), Taylor Wulffmorrison (SG/DE), Phillip Smith (DT/TE) and Garret.

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