Ju­nior Bru­ins Kick Off Sea­son With New Level

Riverbank News - - SPORTS - BY RIC McGINNIS

River­bank’s Youth Foot­ball or­ga­ni­za­tion, the Jr. Bru­ins, started the 2017 foot­ball sea­son over the week­end, fight­ing the heat and in­tro­duc­ing a new level of play.

Game times on Satur­day were moved up an hour to avoid the later con­tests be­ing played in the heat of the day. The first team to play, at 9 a.m., was the new ‘Fu­tures’ team, 5- and 6-yearolds that are brand new to foot­ball.

They played against the vis­it­ing Stock­ton Jaguars, on the River­bank High field. Be­ing so young and new, they played a scrim­mage for­mat, from the 40 yard line to­wards the end zone. Only two of­fi­cials are on the field, and, like T-ball in Lit­tle League, coaches are on the field, too, to help di­rect the ac­tion.

And of­fi­cials didn’t keep score, although the par­ents prob­a­bly know who scored on the team, and how of­ten.

The Fu­tures scrim­maged for about an hour, stop­ping of­ten for wa­ter breaks. A mis­ter had also been set up for play­ers, over near the Snack Bar, to help fight the heat.

Af­ter the Fu­tures, it was the Starts, at 10 a.m., the Rook­ies at noon and the JV at 2 p.m., fol­lowed by the var­sity game. By the time they were ex­pected to be fin­ish­ing up, the tem­per­a­ture in River­bank was re­ported at 106 de­grees and it got hot­ter as the day con­tin­ued. TV weather fore­cast­ers re­ported Modesto had a record high of 108 on Satur­day.

The Starts lost, 14-0, and the Rook­ies lost 13-6. The JV team also lost, but the Jr. Bruin Var­sity won their con­test, 25-0.

In the week lead­ing up to last Satur­day’s games, the Golden Val­ley Grid­iron Youth Foot­ball League is­sued a re­vised sched­ule, one that re­sulted in the Jr. Bru­ins fac­ing the Stock­ton Jaguars in­stead of the Jr. Bull­dogs of Ceres.

This week, Sept. 9, the Jr. Bru­ins host the Steeler-Jags of Sal­ida. On Sept. 16, they go to Ceres, then, on Sept. 23, they host the Jr. Pride of Tur­lock.

On Sept. 30, River­bank hosts the Jaguars of Stock­ton again, and on Oct. 7, they take on the Cen­tral Val­ley Jets in Modesto. On Oct. 14, they meet the Steeler-Jags of Sal­ida on the Gre­gori High School field.

Oct. 21 sees the Jr. Gau­chos of Merced/At­wa­ter here at home, then the Jr. Bru­ins fin­ish the sea­son on the road at the Grape Bowl in Lodi, fac­ing the Jr. Flames, on Oct. 28.

RIC MCGINNIS/THE NEWS

Youth foot­ball run­ning back An­gel Aguirre, 4, breaks through the line in the first game of the Jr. Bruin Fu­tures scrim­mage against the Stock­ton Jaguars on Satur­day. The ‘Fu­tures’ is a new team this year for 5- and 6-year-olds, just start­ing out in the game of foot­ball, with Aguirre ul­ti­mately scor­ing the team’s first touch­down.

RIC MCGINNIS/THE NEWS

Jr. Bruin cheer­lead­ers Ly­dia Madrid, left, and Alexis Cor­nett root for their ‘Fu­tures’ foot­ball team from the side­lines Satur­day morn­ing at the RHS sta­dium. The brand new 5and 6-year-olds team played its first game ever, kick­ing off the youth foot­ball sea­son.

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