Backyard battles: Upcoming prep football season is a short one, but features lots of interesting bouts |

Backyard battles: Upcoming prep football season is a short one, but features lots of interesting bouts

Longtime rivals Bear River and Colfax will face off on the gridiron twice this season, once at Bear River High School April 9, and again at Colfax High School April 17.
Photo: Elias Funez

Area bragging rights will be earned on the gridiron this season.

With COVID-19 wiping out the fall and winter sports seasons, prep football in California has found a place in the spring to play out a shortened regular season.

There won’t be playoffs and the season must end by April 17 in order to allow enough time for players to recover for football’s possible return to its normal fall slot next school year. Schools are also only allowed to play other schools in the same county or the counties that directly neighbor it. Despite all the restrictions in place, there are still plenty of intriguing match ups slated for the upcoming prep football season.


At Bear River High School, March 12

The two football-proud schools, located 17 miles apart, have had plenty of pre-season scrimmages as a way to tune up for the regular season in the past, but have never faced off in an official game until this year.

“These are interesting times,” said Bear River co-head coach Scott Savoie. “Coach (Brad) Sparks and I thought it would be a great match up, especially in these times. I think there will be a lot of excitement about that.”

The Bruins, who have three Section titles to their credit, with the last coming in 2017, went 8-4 overall and reached the second round of the playoffs during the 2019 season.

The Miners, who boast four Section banners, with the last coming in 2009, are coming off a 5-6 season in which they made the playoffs and snapped a seven-season drought.

Nevada Union head coach Brad Sparks added, “I’m excited about playing Bear River, I know Scott (Savoie) is excited about playing us. I think it’s good for the community.”


At Placer High School, March 19

The Miners and Hillmen have a long and storied rivalry and it will continue even in a pandemic shortened season.

The series has been a fun one in recent years. The teams have split the last six match ups, with each winning three, but Placer has claimed the last two contests including a 28-14 win in 2019.

A season ago, The Hillmen went 10-3 and won the Foothill Valley League title.


At Bear River High School, March 26

There is a lot of familiarity in this one, and not because these teams have a long history on the gridiron — they don’t — but because Western Sierra’s coaching staff is led by Zach Logue, a former Bruin and son of longtime Bear River co-head coach Terry Logue.

Zach Logue was a standout at Bear River when he played for his father, and now the two will set up on opposite sidelines.

“That’ll be really neat for me,” said Terry Logue. “I can really relate to him, because he’s going through what I went through when I first started at Bear River. I’m proud of the work he’s doing there. That will be really special.”

Western Sierra is coming off a 4-7 season in which they earned a playoff berth.

“They got a staff made up of a lot of Bear River football alumni,” said Savoie. “That’s going to be awesome. Going to be a lot of fun.”


At Nevada Union High School, April 2

The last time Colfax played at Hooper Stadium was in 2018 when they topped Bear River, 31-28, in a thriller for the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V title. The Falcons make their return to Hooper, but will line up opposite of the Miners this time. It’ll be the first time these schools, located just 16 miles apart, have ever faced each other on the gridiron.


At Bear River High School, April 9

At Colfax High School, April 16

It’s a rivalry so nice, they’re going to play twice.

“We’re very excited about that,” said Savoie.

The Bear River-Colfax rivalry is one built on decades of facing off in the same league and, in recent years, in the playoffs. Strangely enough, this won’t be the first time the Bruins and Falcons have faced off twice in a season. In 2014, 2017 and 2018, the fierce rivals also double-dipped, facing off in the regular season and later in the Division V Championship game.


At Truckee High School, April 17

The Miners close out the season with an unfamiliar foe, facing off with Truckee in a day game. Despite residing in the same county, the Miners and Wolverines have never faced off in football before. Truckee is coming off a 7-4 season in which they reached the second round of the playoffs.

Truckee is also set to host Bear River for a day game, April 3.

To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, email


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