Past gridiron greats on the collegiate level |

Past gridiron greats on the collegiate level

With most collegiate fall sports around the nation moving to spring dates due to the outbreak of COVID-19, a number of alumni from Truckee and North Tahoe may have a chance to return to the gridiron before the year is out.

Wulfe Retzlaff

One of the best to ever wear a Truckee uniform, Wulfe Retzlaff and the Missouri University of Science and Technology football team held their first practice in pads on Sept. 31

Retzlaff, a senior who graduated Truckee in 2017, was named All-Great Lakes Valley Conference second team last season, finishing with 63 tackles, two sacks, and a fumble recovery.

While the team is able to hold practices, the Division II Great Lakes Valley Conference won’t have games until spring.

Thomas Mercogliano

North Tahoe standout quarterback left his name etched all over the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association’s record books, and is now in his second year at Occidental College.

As a freshman, Mercogliano appeared in four contests and completed seven of 18 passes for 66 yards, a touchdown, and an interception for the Division III Tigers.

On Tuesday, Occidental College President Harry J. Elam Jr. announced that Occidental will discontinue its football program. The announcement ends three years of deliberations about the future of the program, which was ultimately brought to an end by the financial impacts surrounding the outbreak of COVID-19.

Taylor Ludwig

After playing for Santa Barbara City College, a former Truckee standout, Taylor Ludwig transferred to the University of Arkansas at Monticello last year where as a junior, the 6-foot-3-inch, 255-pound offensive lineman made six appearances for the Boll Weevils.

The Great American Conference suspended all sports competitions through the end of 2020.

Marcus Martello-Trotter

Former Truckee defensive standout is also at Occidental College, and had moved from defensive end to linebacker before the college announced it was terminating its football program.

As a freshman last season, Martello-Trotter appeared in seven games and piled up 28 tackles, 0.5 sacks, and a forced fumble.

Jackson Skaff

Another local athlete at Occidental College, Jackson Skaff joined the team last season as a freshman linebacker after playing a key role for Truckee’s defense during the Wolverines’ 2018 season.

George Skaff

Younger brother of Jackson Skaff, George Skaff joined the Claremont Mudd Scripps program this season, which plays in the same conference as his brother.

Cole Harrity

Truckee legend Cole Harrity was named offensive player of the year at Saddleback College, along with being named first-team All-Orange Empire Conference for his play at receiver.

Harrity, who graduated Truckee in 2017, is now a member of New Mexico State University’s football program, which is one of just three Division I schools to forgo the 2020-21 football season.

Tyler Davis

Tyler Davis graduated Truckee in 2017, and was among the team’s leaders in the secondary.

Davis is now a senior at Missouri Valley College where he serves as one of the team’s defensive backs. Playing in the NAIA, Missouri Valley has opened the year with a 1-1 record. During those two games, Davis has totaled 11 tackles, which is tied for third on the team. Missouri Valley will next take on Central Methodist University on Saturday at home.

Carson McCarron

Another Truckee graduate from 2017, Carson McCarron is a first-year player at Santa Barbara City College.

McCarron played running back and defensive end at Truckee.

The California Community College Athletic Association has suspended all sports until the start of 2021.

Drew Wingard

Another product of Truckee Head Coach Josh Ivens, Drew Wingard appeared in two games last season as a freshman at Endicott College as a safety, but didn’t record any tackles.

The Division III Gulls have been practicing, but won’t play in 2020, according to the Commonwealth Coast Conference.

Marcus Bellon

Marcus Bellon led Truckee as a quarterback, but at Southern Utah University, he’s transitioned to receiver for the Division I Thunderbirds.

The Big Sky Conference announced earlier in the year that football will be contested in the spring.

Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. Contact him at or 530-550-2643.

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