Sierra College football

As Wolverines win, they lose players

By: Cecil Conley, Sports Editor
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Zack Graves did not want to remove his helmet as time ran out last Saturday in Sierra College’s 27-21 overtime win over Feather River. It may be a week or so before the running back can wear it again. The freshman will not play Saturday night when the Wolverines travel to Reedley for their Valley Conference opener. The 2009 Whitney High School graduate’s left knee will not allow him to do so. Graves sprained the medial collateral ligament in his knee in the first half last Saturday. He spent the rest of the afternoon standing on the sideline with an ice bag wrapped around his left leg. Speaking of ice bags, sophomore linebacker John Bloomfield had one wrapped around his left wrist in the second half. He broke a bone in his forearm and will undergo surgery today. Bloomfield’s season has come to an abrupt end. Sierra will go on without its defensive captain. Head coach Jeff Tisdel will be counting the days until Graves can return. Graves’ backup, sophomore Josh Dupree, did not dress against Feather River as he continues to nurse a high ankle sprain. Tisdel turned to Chris Haskins, a freshman from El Dorado High, after Graves went out. Haskins lost a fumble on his first carry, however, and Feather River made Sierra pay right away for it. Defensive tackle J.J. Jaramillo grabbed the ball at Sierra’s 16-yard line and returned it to the 1. The Golden Eagles scored on the next play to cut a 14-0 deficit in half early in the second quarter. Haskins then joined Graves on the sideline. Tisdel went to his depth chart and called for Dalton Dyer, a freshman from Placer High. Dyer answered the call by rushing for 83 yards on 22 carries. “He’s hardly gotten any (playing) time, but he did a super job,” Tisdel said of Dyer. “He ran really hard.” Dyer will likely start against Reedley, but Tisdel said he will use a backfield by committee. Haskins and freshman Lyndell Deatherage from Ponderosa High will also get opportunities to carry the ball. “Whoever is the hottest, we’ll stay with him,” Tisdel said. Sierra’s offense has been a work in progress. Quarterback Tanner Mathias and Graves bumped Sam Martinez and Dupree out of the starting lineup after Sierra’s 27-7 loss in its opener at Butte. Sophomore wide receiver Michael Elliott from Roseville High dislocated his left shoulder in that game. His injury opened the door for freshman Courtney Gardner from Hug High in Reno to start. Sophomore Casey O’Connor from Lincoln High has moved from center to left tackle after the Wolverines lost sophomore Adam Harmon, who went down with a torn anterior cruciate ligament. Freshman James Crespo from Vista Del Lago High in Folsom has replaced O’Connor at center.