Prep football: Hungry Bruins must wait another week |

Prep football: Hungry Bruins must wait another week

The Bear River High School varsity Bruins gather on the sideline during their only action so far this season, an Aug. 14 scrimmage with Nevada Union.
Photo: Elias Funez

The high school football season kicked off three weeks ago, and Bear River’s varsity team has yet to take the field for an official game.

Bear River co-head coach Tanner Mathias said his players are hungry and ready dig into the season. But, a series of unfortunate events has kept the Bruins sidelined so far.

The team’s opener at Truckee, scheduled for Aug. 21, was canceled due to poor air quality.

A week later, the Bruins’ road game at El Dorado High School was nixed just hours before kickoff for air quality concerns.

This week is Bear River’s scheduled bye week, but desperate to get their players on the field the Bruin coaches were able to schedule a Thursday night game against Pioneer (Woodland). But, shortly after putting the game on their schedule, they had to take it off. This time it was due to COVID-19 concerns.

Mathias said his team is frustrated by the way things have unfolded, but players are handling it the best they can.

“They’re pretty disappointed,” he said. “They’re classy kids and kids of high character. We got kids who are good leaders, and it seems like they’re holding it together. But, it’s a gut punch.”

Bear River Bruins fans were out in force during the Bruins’ scrimmage against Nevada Union Aug. 14. The Bruination will have to wait another week before the possibility of cheering under the Friday night lights.
Photo: Elias Funez

COVID-19 concerns and poor air quality have forced several teams across the state to cancel or postpone contests, leading to an uneven and chaotic start to the 2021 season.

Nevada Union’s varsity and junior varsity teams were able to play their opening week games against Bella Vista, but the Miners freshman squad had its opener canceled due to air quality concerns. In week two, NU’s varsity home game against Sheldon was canceled due to COVID-19 concerns, and the junior varsity and freshman games were called off due to poor air quality.

As of press time, NU’s junior varsity and varsity teams were still on track to play their scheduled contests at Woodcreek Friday night. For coverage from those games, visit

The Bruins are expected to be cleared and back to full strength by next Friday when they travel to Liberty Ranch (Galt) for what they hope will finally be their season opener.

“Everyone should be back next Friday,” Mathias said. “In theory, we will show up to Liberty Ranch really well rested. Really hungry and well rested.”

Liberty Ranch has also had to cancel games this season, but was able to get on the field for the first time Friday night against Linden.

The last time the Bruins played against an opponent was a scrimmage against Nevada Union, Aug. 14.

To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, email

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