Happy returns – After six-year hiatus, NU and Bear River face off
The Nevada Union and Bear River football programs rekindled an old rivalry Friday.
The teams, which had scrimmaged regularly for most of the 1990s before nixing the annual preseason series six years ago, squared off at Bear River’s J. David Ramsey Stadium for two and a half hours of full-contact fun to the delight of the players, coaches and large crowd alike.
“It was great. The two teams have respect for each other (and it showed) There was no trash talking out there, we were all friends,” Bruin senior lineman Keagan Robison said.
NU senior running back Ryan Herrera agreed.
“I think we all had a lot of fun out there, although at times it was pretty brutal,” he said.
The teams, which each open their 2004 seasons at home Friday – Nevada Union will host Laguna Creek and Bear River will entertain Center (Antelope) – kicked off the controlled scrimmage with special teams play, then dove head first into offense and defense.
“I was very happy with the effort. This was exactly what I thought it was going to be,” Bear River head coach Scott Savoie said. “NU’s well coached, and obviously a very talented football team. And that’s what we wanted to play. That was the whole objective of this thing for me.”
Longtime Miner skipper Dave Humphers kept his cards close to his chest, but admitted the scrimmage shined light on some things on which his boys need to improve.
“There were a ton of bright spots, but there were also a ton of areas we need to work on,” he said. “I thought as we relaxed, we started to play better and better as the thing went on.”
The crowd was treated to big play after big play – on both sides of the ball – but was spared any of the cheap stuff an event of this nature could bring to the surface.
“I think that speaks volumes about both programs,” Savoie said. “Neither program or coaching staff are going to put up with that kind of stuff.”
Heard at the game
“This isn’t a regular scrimmage. Those guys out there are dead serious. Bear River wants to prove it can play with the bigs boys at Nevada Union, and NU doesn’t want to get beat by lil’ ol’ Bear River”
– Bear River fan Rick Simmons
“This was good for us. The way I look at it is who are you going to see all year any tougher than Nevada Union?”
– Bear River head coach Scott Savoie
“We had a lot of fun. It gave the kids a chance to play against someone else. Plus, Bear River was a very competitive team and that gave us an opportunity to look at what we need to get better at.”
– Nevada Union head coach Dave Humphers
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The Nevada Union Junior Miners Football and Cheer teams traveled on Saturday to Casa Roble High School in Orangevale to play the Casa Roble Junior Rams in Sacramento Youth Football League action.