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Summer School

Tisdel Hoping Offseason Workouts Pay Dividends
By: Mike Ray, Gold Country News Services
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The sounds of weights clanging, passes zipping through the air and athletes pushing themselves through grueling windsprints is, well, the ritual of summer for the Sierra College football program. With head coach Jeff Tisdel and his staff at the reins of the summer program, the Wolverines are hoping that the strenuous three-nights a week workouts will pay dividends on the field when fall rolls around. Sierra is coming off a co-Valley Conference championship season where the Wolverines went 3-2 to share the loop title but an abnormal 5-6 overall season marked the first losing year at Sierra since Tisdel took the reins of the program in 2000. Playing in one of the state’s toughest conferences, Tisdel is hoping that a core group of returning players and an influx of talented freshman will make the Wolverines one of the team’s to keep and eye on in the Valley Conference race this season. “We’ve had a great turnout for our summer stuff and everyone is working hard,” said Tisdel. “I really like this group we have this year.” While no starting positions are cemented in summer workouts, Tisdel noted that he is starting to get an idea on how his depth chart should stack up. And fortunately for the Sierra coach, several players with local ties to the foothills should be in-line to see plenty of playing time once the season rolls around on Sept. 11 when the Wolverines open at Butte College. “We should have a lot of local area players in the mix for us this year,” said the Sierra coach. “It’s a tribute to the fine high school programs we have in our area.” The always important quarterback position is being contested by Sam Martinez (Casa Roble), Tanner Mathias (Bear River) and Zac Dorton (St. Louis, Missouri). Martinez, who played last season at St. Olaf College in Minnesota, threw for 2,031 yards and 27 touchdowns in helping lead Casa to a 13-0 record and the CIF Sac-Joaquin Div. III title in 2008. Other top newcomers to keep and eye on include 6-3 205 pound receiver Courtney Garder of Reno, Nevada. Gardner, who signed initially out of high school with Nevada, has 4.4 speed and reminds Tisdel a lot of former Sierra standout Carl Moore who earned a scholarship to Florida. Here’s a school-by-school rundown of area players headed to Sierra this season: Del Oro – Blake Landry, LB; Joe Brunet, LB; Ian Scott, K; Nick Zieour, OL. Woodcreek – Xavier Ellis, DB; Tom Sandoval, WR. Roseville – Mike Elliott, WR; Aaron Wagoner, DE; Dean Casem. Bear River – Chad Quirarte, LB; Garrett Davis, OL; Jon Talbot, LB; Tanner Mathias, QB. Placer – Mike Gray, DL; Cameron Southward, K-WR; Dalton Dyer, DB. Oakmont – Hunter Watkins, OL; Brandon Peacock, OL; Alex Jaines, DL. Granite Bay – Clark Partridge, LB. Whitney – Zach Graves, RB. Lincoln – Tim Bevins, RB; Casey O’Conner, OL. Nevada Union – Nick Souza, OL.