South Tahoe football standouts Albrecht, Shearer celebrate college commitments on National Signing Day
Next fall, a pair of South Tahoe football standouts will continue their football careers across the country. Vikings seniors Joe Albrecht and Zach Shearer made it official on National Signing Day, with each committing to New York schools in a ceremony at the Blue Gym on Wednesday, Feb. 3.
Albrecht committed to Cornell University in January and celebrated the occasion Wednesday while Shearer put pen to paper at the ceremony to sign with SUNY Maritime College. The seniors are the first college signees during Louis Franklin’s tenure as head coach at South Tahoe.
“It’s bittersweet; they’d make me a better coach if they came back next year,” Franklin said. “Getting to coach quality kids like this is awesome.”
Albrecht chose Cornell over a handful of schools, ultimately based on its location and size. The 6-foot-8-inch offensive tackle known as “Big Joe” didn’t have the Ivy League on his radar until the Big Red came calling, and he relishes the academic opportunity it presents.
“It was the school I wanted academically,” Albrecht said. “It’s awesome and the recruiting process was really fun.”
Albrecht has the size and potential to make an impact in the trenches at the next level. As he heads to Ithaca, New York, Albrecht will aim to keep improving in the fashion that his head coach saw during his senior season as a Viking.
“From the beginning of the season to the end of the season, I look at Joe as a new kid,” Franklin said. “He has the potential that not many have — it’s going to be a fun journey to watch.”
Shearer had already planned to continue his education at SUNY Maritime based on a future career path. The senior aims to drive boats for a living, and attending the maritime school in Bronx, New York, offers the chance to earn an unlimited captain’s license in four years — playing football at the Div. III school is simply a bonus.
“I just wanted to go to the school for the school, but then I thought, ‘Why not play football for them?’” Shearer said. “I talked to the coach, they watched my film and they liked it.
“I’m really excited,” he added. “It’s definitely going to be a big deal.”
The 6-foot Shearer caught 32 passes for 588 yards and three touchdowns last season, including a pair of 100-yard games. The Privateers run a similar offense to South Tahoe, which makes Shearer a good fit at slot receiver — he played multiple positions for the Vikings last season.
“He was a surprise player — as the summer kept going along, he just kept getting better and better,” Franklin said. “For Zach to embrace the new philosophies and stick with it this season, it was nice to see him trust us and he really benefited.”
As they look to the future, both Albrecht and Shearer look back fondly on their playing careers at South Tahoe. And both standouts are excited about the chance to represent their hometown on the East Coast.
“Not many come out of here, but a lot of people know about it; so it’s a cool place to come out of,” Shearer said. “I love it and I’m excited to represent it.”
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After more than 70 years of operating with a term deemed derogatory by many Native Americans, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows has changed its name to Palisades Tahoe.