2021 NorCal Football Player Of The Year | Tyler Tremain
High School FootballSac-Joaquin Section January 26, 2022 Ike Dodson 0
The Superlative Impact Player, Folsom Senior Quarterback Tyler Tremain Brought Unmatched Value To The Gridiron This Fall •
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A charter bus technically provided transport for the 445-mile trek to Saddleback College, but Folsom’s journey to a CIF Division 1-AA State Bowl game was absolutely driven by the ambition of senior quarterback Tyler Tremain.
For unrivaled impact to his program, sensational postseason heroics and remarkable comeback from injury, Tremain was named the SportStars NorCal Football Player of the Year.
The recognition is deserved praise for an athlete that exemplifies the power of desire — because, despite profound obstacles, Tremain is a guy who never gave up hope that he would be “The Guy.”
Before he was a NorCal and Sac-Joaquin Section champion and the only Bulldog quarterback to ever beat De La Salle, Tremain was a dreamer.
“My first high school game starting for coach (Paul) Doherty, I remember looking into the stands at people there to watch us, and it brought me back to memories of being up there, watching (current Cincinnati Bengal) Jake Browning and (former Cal Poly QB) Jake Jeffrey, thinking, ‘I want that to be me someday,’” Tremain said. “Never did I think that in a blink of an eye, that would be me down there on that field, and it would all happen faster than I ever expected.”
The former Junior Bulldog showed dogged determination to become the next great signal caller for the Sacramento area’s premier football program.
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Just getting the job is intensely difficult. To start, Tremain had to battle 6-foot, 5-inch recruitment wunderkind Ari Patu for snaps. When Patu enrolled early at Stanford, Tremain seized the position during the 2020 COVID-shortened season and quickly shined.
“The competition, the COVID stuff — Tyler was unwavering about any of that,” Doherty said. “He wanted to be the quarterback for this team, and he always felt like he would be ‘The Guy.’
“He is one of those kids who thrived during shutdowns. He took advantage, lit up as a junior and built momentum going into his senior year, really starting fast.”
In his first six games of the fall, Tremain passed for 1,661 yards and 31 touchdowns, with another 181 rushing yards and three scores on the ground. In a 58-6 shellacking of Del Oro-Loomis on Oct. 1, Tremain passed for six scores to six different players and ran for a touchdown. All but one score occurred in the first half.
“We were putting up 50 a week and Tyler was playing at a really high level,” Doherty said. “He is just focused, process-oriented, and understands offensive timing, progression and reads.”
It’s a complicated dance, but Tremain can boogie.
“We have a lot of offense for high school, and a lot depends on route adjustments that are not that defined, and depends on what the defense is doing,” Doherty explained. “What Tyler does is snap the ball, and figure it out as he goes.
“He has a wide vision and sees the field really well, and puts the ball where it is supposed to be, when it is supposed to be there.”
The Del Oro game primed Folsom for a highly anticipated showdown with De La Salle that went awry about as fast as Zeke Berry’s opening kickoff touchdown. Not only did the 31-10 defeat extend De La Salle’s nearly decade-long winning streak over the Bulldogs, but Tremain tore his labrum and dislocated his shoulder.
Without Tremain, Folsom’s 54-game Sierra Foothill League winning streak was shattered in a 40-7 stunner by emerging SJS Div. I favorite, Rocklin. Another league loss, 31-21 to Granite Bay, dropped Folsom to the No. 3 seed in the D1 SJS bracket.
Time away from the grid crawled for Tremain, but the physical therapy that followed his injury, and Doherty’s careful redeployment, would set the stage for one of Folsom’s most electrifying moments in program history.
“We were kind of melting, and it was as low as can be, losing to Rocklin, limping into the playoffs and gradually losing momentum,” Doherty said. “But Tyler’s presence is incredibly powerful to his teammates, and they saw him working out on the side, though very limited, during the (playoff) bye week.
“He gave his teammates a lot of confidence in themselves.”
Tremain returned in time to guide Folsom to a 38-14 second-round win over Lincoln. He executed Doherty’s cautious game plan of mostly quick, short passes and zero rushes up field.
A week later, Tremain threw some of that caution to the wind, but he also threw a laser to fellow All-NorCal honoree Walker Lyons for the game-winning touchdown over Jesuit with under two minutes to play.
The win set up the revenge game with Rocklin in the SJS finals, which Folsom also won, after a sensational defensive performance. It was the final step on a path to a De La Salle rematch and the D1-AA Northern Regional playoffs.
It is here that Tremain’s status as SportStars’ NorCal Football Player of the Year was etched into stone. He accounted for all four Folsom touchdowns, including three rushing scores and a 12-yard touchdown to Austin McMillan. He also led Folsom back from a 14-0 deficit and ran in the go-ahead touchdown himself to cap a 12-play, six and a half minute drive that left De La Salle with just 2:12 to escape defeat. The Spartans still scored, but Folsom stuffed a two-point conversion and recovered the onside kick to win the game.
It was Folsom’s first win in six tries against De La Salle, dating back to 2012. After two attempts by Browning and one each by Kaiden Bennett and Jake Reithmeier, it was Tremain who finally got it done.
“I think we will be looking back on it forever,” Tremain said. “It’s indescribable. Afterward we were just like, ‘We did it.’ It was a whirlwind after the game, seeing all the alumni who watched it happen.
“It really felt like we were doing it for more than ourselves — for everyone who had been there.”
Folsom went on to fall 33-21 to Cathedral Catholic-San Diego in the Division 1-AA State Bowl game. Despite missing three games and part of another, Tremain finished 220 of 354 for 3,052 yards. He tallied 43 touchdowns, though he wasn’t counting.
“I am a super competitive, outgoing person who always wants to win, more for the team than myself,” Tremain said. “I don’t care about stats, just the team.”
“He just wants to be one of the group, and it’s very comfortable hanging out with the kid,” Doherty said. “He’s obviously a very talented football player too, and it gives everyone a lot of confidence knowing we have a lot of options on the offensive side of the ball.
“We are fully functional and versatile with him being around, and he’s just a really good teammate.”
Tremain hasn’t decided who his next teammates will be. He has received modest recruitment so far, and will weigh his options with dad Bob Tremain, mom Jamie Tremain and Doherty in the coming months.
Wherever he goes, his ambition will undoubtedly be behind the wheel.
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