Wolverines limp home from Modesto

As injuries mount, so do losses for Sierra College
By: Cecil Conley Gold Country News Service
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A 30-point loss did not bother Sierra College football coach Jeff Tisdel as much as losing four more players to injuries. This has become a lost season for the Wolverines in more ways than Tisdel cares to count. Sierra fell to 0-4 in the Valley Conference with a 58-28 loss at Modesto on Saturday night. Hopes of a fourth consecutive conference championship were dashed long ago, along with a ninth straight bowl bid. At this point, Tisdel would settle for his 3-6 team finishing the season with as many players intact as possible. “When it rains, it pours. And it’s pouring,” Tisdel said Sunday. “It’s been one of those years for us, unfortunately.” Tisdel’s 11th season at Sierra will end this Saturday when the Wolverines host Sequoias at 1 p.m. A victory will do nothing more than prevent Sierra from going winless in the Valley Conference for the first time. Sierra will finish with a losing record for the second season in a row and for the second time in Tisdel’s tenure. The veteran coach takes losing about as well as he deals with a player who dogs it in practice. “It’s not acceptable for me,” Tisdel said, “because I put those types of expectations on myself.” Those expectations have been deflated, however, by a rash of injuries that have depleted Tisdel’s depth chart. Running back Dalton Dyer joined the injury list Saturday night when he sustained a concussion. The freshman from Placer High School became a starter when Zack Graves went down with a knee injury Oct. 9. Following Dyer to the sideline Saturday night was his backup, Sir Johnson, who broke two bones in his right wrist. Tisdel then turned to Graves, the 2009 Whitney High graduate, but Graves lasted just five plays. Graves had been out three weeks since tearing the medial collateral ligament in his left knee. His departure after a brief return left Tisdel with Tim Bevins, a freshman from Lincoln High, at running back. Sierra’s defense also was blindsided by injuries. Strong safety Chris Romero and linebacker Clark Partridge went out with hamstring injuries, and defensive tackle Sione Fuapau joined them with two cracked ribs. The Wolverines were already without linebacker John Bloomfield (wrist) and offensive tackle Casey O’Connor (ankle). The two sophomores have been reduced to spectators in their final season at Sierra. “We don’t have many bullets left in the pistol,” Tisdel said. “This has been very humbling.”