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THE 2020 FOOTBALL SEASON IN REVIEW: The year of Covid
March 13th, 2020 the world was locked down due to Covid-19. Then On March 12th, 2021, exactly one year later, the Wolverines took the field in one of the most bizarre football seasons of all time. Though many parts of the US decided to go along with Fall sport seasons, the Western States did not follow suit. Both Nevada and California canceled sports until further notice. Most schools in these two states did not have “In person” school for most of the school year and many places no “in person” instruction at all. In December and January Covid cases peaked throughout the US and it looked like sports had no chance of taking place in the 2020/2021 school year. However, teenage depression was on the rise and getting kids involved in extracurricular activities became a priority. Once February hit cases started to drop and the discussion to have athletics increased. Eventually all the Western States, who had been keeping kids locked in their houses, started finding solutions to get kids playing sports again. Finally, on February 17th, Nevada gave many kids hope and announced that athletics can return. Sports were back! California would follow two days later clearing all sports to play. However, the return to sports came with heavy rules and guidelines. Football would have to perform Covid testing on a weekly bases, distancing rules, and mask mandates also remained in place. While we were all very excited that we’d get a chance to play, we also knew the odds were stacked against us. It would take just one positive Covid case to shut it all back down. The amount of stress and planning was about to increase exponentially but none of that mattered. The only thing that mattered was giving the kids a chance to get back out on the field to do what they loved and nothing was going to stop our efforts. Weaving through politics, restrictions, field conditions, and naysayers proved to be worthy opponents. The Wolverines would battle through it all and 488 days from their last game they took the field vs Union Mines. It was a euphoric feeling like no other. A feeling that only those who were immediately involved in the 3 weeks prior could truly understand.
The Wolverines came out fired up in game one and rolled over Union Mine 24-0 to start off the season. In week two Truckee would again have to overcome a lot just to get to their second game. This was Truckee’s first home game but it would not be played in Truckee. Due to a snow covered field Truckee would play Sutter at Placer High School in Auburn. Truckee would leave Truckee and head over Donner Summit in a snowstorm and encounter several crashes slowing down their travel. It took 3 hours to get to Auburn. After finally arriving at Placer high school, the Wolverines would then find out that there were no officials. Sutter High School would contact the North section officials to ask if they could help and thankfully they rushed a crew to us. It would take a bit for the officials to get to us and the game was delayed even further. This did not stop the two schools from competing. Once the two teams hit the field under the lights, it was one exciting night. The two teams would battle in a very tight game. With just under 3 minutes left Truckee would tie the game 7-7 on a touchdown pass from Jackson Kahl to Max Carter. But Sutter would respond and drove down the field to go up 14-7 with just a minute and 15 seconds to go. After a decent Kickoff return Truckee would make quick work of things and get into striking distance. On a first down from Sutter’s 30 yard line Truckee appeared to have the right play called. Tyler Curry motioned out of the backfield into an empty formation. Kahl would snap the ball, drop back, and find Max Carter for the tying touchdown! However, Sutter’s corner made a great break on the ball and hit Max right when he was trying to bring in the catch. The ball was jarred loose and the game would end in a loss for Truckee 14-7. It was a great battle. So good the two teams agreed to play again the next season.
After another tough matchup in week 3 Truckee would get back in the win column in week 4. The Wolverines would play their next home against Bear River…this time at Bear River. Yep that’s right a home game at our opponents home field. As strange as it sounds it was one of the most normal days we had experienced in over a year. Truckee’s band was there playing, the stands were packed on both sides, and it was a day game. Something Truckee knows well. Bear River had gotten the better of Truckee in their 2019 matchup and the Wolverines had something to prove in this one. Bear River would come out fighting but Truckee was too strong and would have their way with the Bruins. Truckee’s defense would have another good game putting the offense in great spots all day. Truckee’s offense would take advantage and they would roll to a big win 36-0. Truckee was now 2-2 and looking to finish their season strong traveling to 5A Galena in week 5. This would be the only game Truckee would play against a Nevada school. Up to this game Truckee parents were able to attend their kid’s games in California. That wasn’t the case for this game. Washoe county had a rule in place
preventing visiting teams to have fans. This didn’t stop Truckee’s fans. They packed into the surrounding hills with a huge sound system and blasted TnT all night long. The Wolverines would ride the momentum and dominate the bigger school beating the Grizzlies 19-6. That’s how the season would end. Truckee would go 3-2 in one of the most bizarre seasons of all-time. It would be the longest and shortest season of all-time as well. Truckee would never get a chance to play on their home field and were lucky to have a place to practice. And though it was only five games, it was one of the toughest schedules Truckee had played in a many years. Overall we were lucky to have a football season and we are all grateful it happened. Now we turn our attention to the 2021 football season where we hope and pray it resembles something from the distant past.
HONORING A LEGEND: 2019
One of the top highlights of the 2019 season was the honoring of coach Shaffer in week 3 vs North Valleys. The Shaffer Family, Teri Bergstrom, and host of volunteers and donors placed a Memorial Touchstone at the base of the stairs at Surprise Stadium to honor Coach Shaffer. The idea was to start a new Tradition at Truckee as the football teams walk down the stairs to TnT they would touch the stone to honor coach. Though Shaffer’s Legendary status was already cemented into Truckee Football History, the stone literally planted his legacy for years to come. Shaffer impacted all students at Truckee High School and beyond. He received the Key to the Town of Truckee in 2010 and is forever in our hearts. We know he is looking over us and is proud of our continued pursuit of excellence. Shaffer coached football 18 seasons at Truckee and was also a track coach for many of those years. He loved riding horses and spending time with his family. Shaffer is dearly missed and I am proud to be part of this new Tradition that will extend his memory for years to come. A huge thank you to the Shaffer Family for always supporting Truckee Football. Specifically I’d like to thank Bob Shaffer Jr. for his tireless dedication to the Truckee Football Tradition. Thank you to all who made the Touchstone happen: Teri Bergstrom, Lopez Excavating, Al Pombo for the stone, Andy at Truckee-Tahoe Mortuary, Bobby Jones Concrete for setting the Stone, The Village Nursery for donating plants around the stone, and to everyone who donated to pay for the plaque on GoFundMe.
Dates: Spring practice starts May 18th, Truckee’s 39th Lift-a-Thon June 3rd, and several 7 on 7’s planned before school gets out June 24th. Stay tuned for more details given we get back to school this year.
April 1st 2017 the Truckee community was turned upside down and more specifically so was my life. We all lost a great person, great teacher, and great coach. Words can’t express how much gratitude, respect, and love that I have for Coach. We talked daily and I am going to miss him a great deal. Coach was an amazing mentor but an even better friend. He was the ultimate family man making us all feel like we were part of his family! He saw things in me (and everyone) that I never saw in myself. Shaffer brought the best out in all of us, giving us a sense of confidence that is unmatched. Coach had opponents but never had enemies. He was always gracious in victory and humble in defeat. That’s not to say he accepted a loss. He was the ultimate competitor and the master of preparation. I am honored to have been part of it all. He set a clear path and we all followed. I will do my very best to continue down that path. Thank you coach for entrusting me with the Pride and Tradition of the Truckee Wolverines!!!
Founded by physical education teacher Jim Brehler in the fall of 1952, Truckee Football has developed into an institution in our Town that has touched the lives of countless families. Our hope is that everyone that loves Truckee Football can make a connection here at Truckee Pride. Whether it’s keeping up or reuniting with old teammates, recalling our history, or keeping up with current Wolverines! Truckee Football is a Family and we look forward to seeing the many generations come together to be a part of the past, present, and future of Truckee Football. CHECK OUT CHASING TRADITION