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Miner Magic goes to Capitol

Dave Price

SACRAMENTO – Andrew Jackson couldn’t help but look around at the surroundings as he stood along with James Brindley on the floor of the State Senate Chambers on Thursday morning, holding a special plaque presented in tribute of the Nevada Union football team’s championship season.

A small gathering of parents, coaches, school officials and other well-wishers watched as two seniors held a ceremony in which Sen. Sam Aanestad (R-Grass Valley) presented the players and coach Dave Humphers were honored with a special resolution. Overall, an electronic marquee flashed a greeting: “Senate Welcomes Nevada Union H.S. Sac-Joaquin Division I Football Champions.”

The ceremony was originally scheduled to take place during the Senate’s morning session, however, the session was postponed until later in the day. Instead, the Nevada Union players were given an opportunity to sit at the desks where lawmakers sit during their voting sessions.

Jackson, a 6-foot-5, 250-pound lineman, seemed to be in awe by the experience.

“It was just neat looking around, seeing people up there watching us, seeing all the artwork and realizing all the important people who have been in here,” Jackson said. “This building just makes us feel small.”

At the moment, the Nevada Union football players and coaches were in the spotlight. It wasn’t the first time – nor the last – since the Miners wrapped up their 12-1 season with a 46-7 victory against Tracy’s Merrill West in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I championship game Dec. 10 at the University of Pacific in Stockton.

The accolades just seem to keep on coming, though Jackson and his teammates don’t seem to mind.

“This season has been full of rewards,” Jackson said, adding with a smile. “The dinners and banquets just keep on coming. It’s great. We want to carry it on as long as we can.”

Jackson, a key cog in Nevada Union’s defense with a team-high 11 sacks this past season, will also carry football into his future after signing a letter-of-intent to play at Fresno State.

Senior fullback Jason Wethern is looking at Cabrillo College in Santa Cruz in the fall, though he isn’t sure if football figures into those plans. Wethern, who rushed for 352 yards and three touchdowns during the season, is enjoying the championship ride along with the rest of his teammates.

“This is pretty exciting, kind of a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” he said, referring to the Capitol visit. “The senator is pretty nice. I didn’t know he was a Miner fan who lives in Grass Valley. I didn’t know anybody this high was interested in us.”

Interested, indeed. Aanestad immediately identified himself as a long-time Nevada Union fan when he began to speak.

“Miner Magic has been a part of my household and the community for a long, long time,” said Aanestad, whose son, Eric, played football for Humphers in the late 1980s and early ’90s. “And the reason is the dedicated young men and women … all the people who have put in so much hard work to put together a program that does your community proud.”


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


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