Maehler not used to riding the pine
What a difference a year can make. Just ask Cadet Private Jamison Maehler, a 2005 Truckee High graduate, who last year at this time was shattering Nevada 3A receiving records en route to a 3A state title.
Now, Maehler is one of 17 receivers and 212 players on the football team at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. Like the vast majority of the freshmen recruited to play under head coach Bobby Ross, the former Wolverine standout has yet to see game time.
“It’s definitely frustrating,” Maehler said of pacing the sidelines instead of running routes and hauling in passes. “It’s tough to just watch my team, but there’s really no freshmen playing at all. That’s to be expected.”
Along with being a freshman on an enormous squad, Maehler said the level of competition among Army receivers is beyond what he expected.
“It’s crazy. Everyone is equal here,” he said of his colleagues and their skill levels. “You’ve got to find the little things to do (in practice) that stand out.”
Maehler said he has been hitting the weights hard ” bulking up from 200 pounds to 210 since basic training ended in August ” and has moved up to No. 5 in the depth chart.
“I’m close, but I’m not there yet,” said Maehler, who also mentioned the difficulty of tackling a 650-page playbook.
Tasting victory far more often than defeat while playing at Truckee, watching his Army team stumble out to an 0-5 record also is difficult, he said.
Then there’s the weather, which has been unleashing its wrath on the Northeast recently in the form of flooding rains. Maehler learned during the last home game, against Central Michigan last Saturday, just how chilly it is to stand in pounding rain for an entire football game.
“It was seriously the coldest game I’ve ever played in in my entire life,” he said. “I thought, ‘I’m from Truckee, I’ll be fine,’ but I was freezing.”
But Maehler is not complaining.
“I love it here,” he said of West Point, which lies on the bank of the Hudson River about 50 miles north of New York City. “I wouldn’t go anywhere else.”