Schablaske stands tall at Sierra College

By: Cecil Conley, Sports Editor
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Don’t sell Taylor Schablaske short because he is 5-foot-9. The Sierra College sophomore prefers to be measured by his hands, and the wide receiver is putting his to good use this season. In the past two weeks, the 2008 Ponderosa High School graduate has caught 15 passes for 420 yards and four touchdowns. Schablaske has become the Wolverines’ most lethal weapon. The emergence of freshman quarterback Tanner Mathias in Sierra’s past two games has coincided with Schablaske’s productivity. Schablaske was never this busy during his days at Ponderosa. “I was the leading receiver in high school, but I didn’t have that many catches. We were a running team,” said Schablaske, who had just 27 receptions as a senior. “It’s nice getting the ball.” The 6-foot-5 Mathias can lean on his top target – literally. Mathias paid his dues in 2009 at Sierra as a redshirt. Schablaske missed the first four games last season after pulling his hamstring. The injury hindered him after his return. “It was a disappointing year,” he said, “but I’ve gotten over that.” His four-week absence was another dose of frustration for Schablaske, who walked on at Sacramento State in 2008 in hopes of proving he belonged. The Hornets did not accept him, however. Schablaske was redshirted, so he could not prove he was worthy of the tuition assistance he claims the coaches promised him for 2009. It made no sense to stay without any dollars coming. “It didn’t work out as I expected it would go. I was told some things, and some of those things didn’t work out,” he said. “If I have to pay to go to school, I’d rather go to a JC and play more.” When Schablaske told the coaches that he was leaving, he said they made it clear that he would have a difficult time finding another place to play because he was “undersized” as a receiver. “I’ve been hearing that for a long time,” he said. “Even my high school coach said I wasn’t going to make it because I wasn’t 6-3. I don’t let that bother me. If you can perform, you can perform.” Sacramento City College’s defensive backs can certainly attest to that. Schablaske stood tall Sept. 18 by catching 10 passes for 241 yards and three touchdowns in Sierra’s 45-16 victory. Schablaske followed last Friday night with five receptions for 179 yards and a touchdown in Sierra’s 49-32 loss to Diablo Valley. The Wolverines (1-2) will travel to American River on Saturday. Sierra head coach Jeff Tisdel is expecting more of the same from Schablaske, especially after their recent chat. Tisdel used the conversation to ensure Schablaske understood his expectations. “He told me he was expecting me to make big plays,” said Schablaske, who caught an 85-yard touchdown pass from Mathias against Sacramento City and a 77-yarder against Diablo Valley. “I have a lot of respect for (Tisdel). I want a coach that gives it to you like it is instead of beating around the bush.”