For most football players, their passion for pigskin begins early on.
With dreams of making the big play in front of large crowds roaring in approval, youths set out to play as early as they can.
In this area, that means playing for the Bear River Jr. Bruins or the Nevada Union Jr. Miners.
They learn sportsmanship and the fundamentals of the game as members of these youth teams.
Both the local programs get their final tune-up Saturday at the Sierra Valley USA Youth Football Jamboree hosted by the Bear River Jr. Bruins at Bear River High School.
The Jamboree will feature four of the 16 teams from the SVUSA, including host Bear River along with Nevada Union, Antelope and Woodland.
Games get started at 9:30 a.m. with the Midget teams taking the field first. The four squads will play at J. David Ramsey Stadium, splitting the field in half to accommodate all the teams. Squads will rotate between each other, facing off against multiple teams throughout the scrimmage.
The Jr. Midget teams take the field at 11 a.m., the Peewees follow at 12:10 p.m., the Junior Peewees play at 1:30 p.m., and the Mighty Mites close out the festivities with a 2:45 p.m. start.
A snack shack complete with a barbecue along with several other vendors will be at the Jamboree providing food and refreshments for players and fans.
The jamboree is a rapid-fire scrimmage designed to get teams geared up for the regular season, which kicks off Aug. 17. The Jr. Miners’ first game is on the road at the Granite Bay Jr. Grizzlies and the Jr. Bruins open at Elk Grove.