Dave Price: Miners have their day in the Capitol | TheUnion.com

Dave Price: Miners have their day in the Capitol

As a teacher, Dave Humphers always emphasizes to his students the importance of striving to achieve an A in the classroom. The same holds true anytime the Nevada Union football coach is on the field.

“Our standards are awfully high, but I believe it’s a worthy pursuit to strive to be the very best,” Humphers told a small crowd that gathered for a tribute to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I champion Miners Thursday morning on the floor of the Senate Chambers at the Capitol. “Go for the A and I believe you’ll be happy with the outcome.”

In short, a student/athlete who gets the job done in the classroom will get it done on the field. But in Humphers eyes, there’s more to it than that.

“The difference between a B and an A is a little bit extra effort every single day,” Humphers said. “And I think the young men on this team exemplify that. They’re scholars in the classroom who are great football players … always striving for excellence.”

Many accolades have come along since the Miners wrapped up their 12-1 championship season. There have been banquets. In January, they were recognized by the Army National Guard and Maxpreps.com as one of the top 20 high school football teams in the nation for this past season. And on Thursday, players and coaches gathered on the floor of the Senate to receive a special resolution from Sen. Sam Aanestad (R-Grass Valley).

This was something special. That was evident just by looking around the historic chambers and listening to Capitol Office Manager Kathy Hilke explain the voting procedures of the Senate as well as some historical details – for instance, the desks are all original and the room is still carpeted in red, just as it was originally patterned after Great Britain’s House of Lords.

“Oh, yeah. This is a very nice honor to be able to come here,” said senior lineman Andrew Jackson. “Just the connection … 150 years of senators … this place has the original feel to it. It’s not your everyday or your year-to-year. It’s the state recognizing us. I don’t think we could ever have imagined this.”

Aanestad said he has had an opportunity to see many NU football players go on to lead successful lives. High school football played a large role in many of the valuable life’s lessons they learned, he added.

“You get up to go lift weights at 6 in the morning … you may not realize it at the time, but you are preparing yourself for a lifetime of lifting some kind of weight … for your family, for your community, or whatever,” he told the players.

There was a time when Aanestad was part of the KNCO 830-AM radio broadcast team that covered Nevada Union football. In fact, the Senator says he still follows Nevada Union football games on Friday nights on KNCO, and when he is travels, he follows the games via the radio station’s play-by-play broadcast on the Internet.

“I was in Toronto, Canada and followed the game on the Internet when you beat Grant (21-0) the first time,” he told the Miners.

Humphers described the championship as a victory for the entire program that entails all the players and all the coaches who have been involved in their progress through four seasons at Nevada Union. Along the way, all have worked together with a couple of common objectives – “The team goal is greater than the individual, and I think they’ve learned to finish things that are difficult,” Humphers said.

The memories of Thursday morning – for the entire season and beyond – will last a lifetime.

“To me, it’s a tremendous honor to be part of Miner Magic,” Humphers said. “And this group of seniors, I’m going to miss them a great deal. I’m looking forward to following them into the next phases of their lives as they go on to take on the world.”

Trivia time

There isn’t another county anywhere that had a higher percentage of championship high school football teams this season than Nevada County – three schools, three championship teams. If you take it one step further, Nevada County is unmatched in terms of having three championship teams that competed in two states:

• Nevada Union won Metro League and Division I Sac-Joaquin Section titles.

• Bear River won the Pioneer Valley League title and advanced to the Division IV section semifinals before finally losing.

• Truckee won its Northern 3A division and then won the Nevada Class 3A state title.


To contact Dave Price, e-mail him via davidp@theunion.com or call 477-4240.

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