There are worse ways to spend a birthday.
Wallowing in defeat, for example.
But that wasn’t the case for Rocklin High School defensive lineman Jonah Wehrli, who celebrated his 18th birthday Sunday by basking in the glow of victory over rival Granite Bay two days earlier.
Wehrli made five tackles, but beyond the numbers, it was the tone he helped set – and the fumble he forced that led to a touchdown – that led to a 27-24 victory over the Grizzlies to secure a Sac-Joaquin Section Division II playoff spot.
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For his efforts, Wehrli is The Bee’s Prep of the Week, as voted on by fans and followers on sacbee.com
Wehrli had some of his best individual performances in defeat, which failed to numb a team loss. The senior produced six tackles in a 28-20 loss to Whitney on Sept. 11 as Rocklin played without three key starters. Wehrli had 12 tackles in a 38-22 loss to No. 3 Oak Ridge.
“Jonah is an emotional leader, an incredible fighter,” Rocklin coach Greg Benzel said. “He empties his tank daily. He has what it takes to be successful in whatever he decides to do. He is an overcomer who plays impressive defensive line for us.”