The 2001 Sierra College Wolverines

2001 Sierra College
       Wolverines

 

 

 

Head Coach:  Jeff Tisdel (2nd Season, 5-5)

2000 Record: 5-5 (3-2 in Bay Valley Conf.)
                        T-2nd Place in BVC

2000 Bowl Game: None

Returning Starters:  16 (9 Off, 7 Def)

Jeff Tisdel


All that you have to do is take a walk around a practice to realize that there is something special getting started at Sierra College in Rocklin, a suburb or Sacramento, California.  Although the Wolverines' 5-5 record in 2000 may not blow anyone away, by comparison it was a great year for the Wolverines.  Jeff Tisdel's first season at the helm of the program was the first time in years that the Wolverines had reached .500.  Having gone 2-8 in 1998 and 1999, the 5-5 record of 2000 appears that it could mark a turning point in the program.

Head coach Jeff Tisdel was no stranger to junior college football prior to his arrival at Sierra.  Prior to serving as the head coach at the University of Nevada (I-A), Tisdel was the head coach for many seasons at Sacramento City College, building the program into a national power.  Although he was invited to return to Sacramento City following his stint at Nevada, he liked the challenge of building a program from the ground up.  If the early going is any indication, it appears that Tisdel is well on his way to building the program at Sierra.

Working with a squad composed primarily of freshmen in 2000, Tisdel's Wolverines finished 5th in the state of California in total offense, averaging 459.3 yards of offense per game.  The defense finished in the middle of the pack, giving up 352.2 yards per game.  The 2001 Wolverines should be able to pick up right where they left of as Tisdel welcomes the return of nine starters on offense and seven starters on defense. 

Offense

Returning to lead the offense is one of the state's best tandem of tailbacks.  Troy Marks (5-9, 215, Foothill H.S.) and Malfred Shaw (5-11, 215, River City H.S.) return after both enjoyed very productive seasons as freshmen in 2000.

Troy Marks looks to pick up where he left off in 2000

Marks finished 13th in the state with 1,094 yards rushing in 2000.  Shaw was not far behind with 897 yards rushing in nine games.  In Sierra's single back offense, Marks and Shaw share repetitions at the single back position.  Both are very powerful runners with Shaw possessing the greater straight ahead speed. 

Troy Marks

Malfred Shaw

 

Joining the pair of tailbacks is sophomore quarterback Andy Bryner (5-9, 175, Del Campo H.S.), who shared playing time as a freshman in 2000.  Although Bryner is one of the smaller starting quarterbacks at this level, he enjoyed a very productive season in 2000.  In seven games, Bryner completed 80 of 136 passes (59%) for 1,050 yards and 9 touchdowns with 4 interceptions.  His rating was among the top twenty in the state. 

 

QB Andy Bryner prepares to lead the Wolverine offense into 2001

Bryner will be throwing to a number of familiar faces as the the Wolverines return three starting receivers from the 2000 squad.  Although leading receiver Frank Tapia has completed his time at Sierra, the other three receivers that made up Sierra's four receiver offense return.  Tisdel believes that two of his receivers could play at the Division I-A level. 

Chris McDaniel

Pat Rouzard Mike Watson

Chris McDaniel (6-2, 195, Menlo Atherton H.S.) came to the Wolverines as a defensive back but moved over to receiver and was a part time starter in 2000.  Joining McDaniel is Pat Rouzard (6-2, 180, Miami Beach H.S., FL), also a strong prospect.  Sophomore Mike Watson (5-9, 170, Roseville H.S.) completes the corps of returning receivers that will be expected to lead the Wolverines' pass oriented offense in 2001.  Boise State bounce back Antoine Williams (6-3, 240, Grant H.S.) will likely start for the Wolverines at tight end as a freshman in 2001.

Chris McDaniel and the other sophomore receivers will
be a big part of the Wolverines offense in 2001.

Not to be outdone, the Wolverines' offensive line will be among the best that the college has ever seen.  Sierra welcomes the return of three starters and welcomes one transfer.  In addition to having good size, the players on the offensive line will very athletic.  "These aren't a bunch a fat guys," Tidel points out.  "They're athletic."  Steve Berg (6-3, 280, Roseville H.S.) returns at center for the Wolverines after starting there all season as a freshman.  He is joined by tackle Jason Hicks (6-5, 295, Lincoln H.S.), also a starter as a freshman and guard Kevin Lynch (5-10, 255).  The Wolverines received a boost when they learned that tackle Matt Roth (6-4, 300, Del Oro H.S., Loomis, CA) would be bouncing back to Sierra from U.C. Davis.  Although Roth will be a freshman, Tisdel is only planning on having Roth for one season before helping him return to the university level.  Clay Harrell (6-3, 280, River City H.S.) also returns from the 2000 team.

Steve Berg Jason Hicks Kevin Lynch

Defense

Although the Wolverines don't return as many starters on defense, they return a number of key players from a year ago.  Defensive lineman Sam Faavisi (5-11, 260, So. Lake Tahoe H.S.) returns after an all-conference freshman season.  He is joined by returning defensive end Nick Katsuleras (6-4, 240, Colfax H.S.), also a starter in 2001.  Fellow sophomores Chris Strika (6-0, 270, Colfax H.S.) and Ryan Sevy (6-2, 235, Del Oro H.S.) will compete for positions on the D-line.

Sam Faavisi Nick Katsuleras

At linebacker, a few things are up in the air.  Oscar Rigg (5-11, 220) was a standout tailback at Shasta College in 1999.  He transferred to Sierra and had to sit out the 2000 season as he established his residency at Sierra.  He was slated to start at linebacker  However, he has some academic concerns that may prevent him from playing at Sierra this season.  Sophomores Gavin Ray (6-0, 220, Colfax H.S.) and Mike Cunningham (5-10, 225, Mira Loma H.S.) will be competing for positions.   

The secondary features a group of athletes that Tisdel feels very good about.  Sophomore Sydney St. Hilaire (5-9, 175, Miami Beach H.S.) is slated to start at cornerback after starting there as a freshman.  Fellow sophomores Jeremy Mills (6-1, 185, Bella Vista H.S.) and Clint Kennedy (5-9, 180, Foothill H.S.) are also penciled in as starters in the secondary.  

Sydney St. Hilaire

Looking Ahead

Based on what Coach Tisdel has done in the short time since he arrived at Sierra, I expect the Wolverine program to steadily improve.  It appears that the Wolverines have the pieces in place to compete for the Bay Valley Conference championship this season.  Walking around an early August practice, there were already a number of incoming freshman working hard to keep pace with the outstanding core of sophomore players.  This tells me that the program at Sierra is in good hands for years to come.


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