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Youth football: Junior Miners drop contests with Ponderosa

The Nevada Union Junior Miners (12U) dig in against the Ponderosa Junior Bruins on Saturday.
Sarah Hooper

The Nevada Union Junior Miners traveled to Shingle Springs this past Saturday to take on the Ponderosa Junior Bruins in Sacramento Youth Football action. All the Nevada Union Junior Miners teams battled hard but lost.


The Nevada Union 8U Junior Miners had their three-game winning streak snapped by the Ponderosa Junior Bruins on Saturday.

Throughout the contest the Junior Bruins were able to attack the outer perimeter of the NU defense and despite the Junior Miners having only 14 players in total, half of which are 6 years of age, Nevada Union never gave up and were able to force a late Bruins turnover to keep the game from going to a running clock in the second half.

The Nevada Union Junior Miners (8U) faced off with the Ponderosa Junior Bruins on Saturday.
Submitted by Lori Dana

“I want to take a moment to give credit to our entire 8U cheerleading team,” said head coach Kyle Klauer. “They practice alongside us every day during the week and from what we notice is that they always show up everyday and support our team win or lose. Head coach Tana Chicarelli has put together a great group of girls that make our football team proud.”

The NUJM 8U cheerleading team is made up of cheerleaders Cerena Brooks, Sophia Carman, Elena Darlington, Malina Evans, Marin Green, Loretta Kahler, Dalila Loza, Elizabeth Mohr, Kallie Peters, Olivia Rogers, Payton Rurup, Mia Shoopman, Maylani Sodini, McKenzie Stanley, Amaya Wright, and coaches Dena Carman and Hailey Hooper.


The 10U Junior Miners visited the Junior Bruins for a league bout on Saturday. Ponderosa entered the competition with a 2-1 record and the Junior Miners were in search of their first league win.

“We had a solid week of practice in preparation for Ponderosa,” said coach Joe Hart. “We knew they were going to be big and we’re going to be physical.”

Ponderosa stepped out to a very quick start, putting up 19 points in the first quarter.

The Junior Miners responded with a touchdown before the half. Parker Van Matre took a handoff from Uriah Painter to the right side of the field. He found a running lane between Aiden Maier and Daniel Hoppis’ blocks. Ryan Schlacter led up the hole to clear the path and allowed Van Matre to out run the defenders for a 34-yard touchdown jaunt.

The Junior Miners held Ponderosa scoreless in the second half with outstanding defensive play by Painter (5 tackles), Schlacter (4 tackles), Cody Wasson (4 tackles and a caused fumble), Carter Ehlers (4 tackles), and Talon Smith (2 tackles and 2 quarterback sacks). Flynn, Van Matre (2 tackels and 1 sack), Link, Conway and Huntington all recorded tackles for the Miners.

“It was a tough, physical game, I am proud of our boys battling until the final whistle,” said assistant coach Jared Painter.

The 10U squad was not able to add any more to their total in the second half and ultimately settled with a final score of 19-6

“Smith and Hall were our standouts on the offensive line this week. They took to heart playing and blocking to the whistle,” said Hart. “We are going to need all of our athletes to do so against our next opponent, West Park, in order for us to walk away victorious.”


The Nevada Union 12U Junior Miners took the field on a two-game winning streak against the Ponderosa Junior Bruins on Saturday.

It was a hard fought game from the opening kick off to the final whistle.

The Junior Miners hit pay dirt first with J.C. Harris scoring a touchdown on a 4-yard run. That was followed up with an extra point to take a 7-0 lead into half time.

The Junior Bruins opened the second half with a kickoff return for a touchdown and converted a two-point conversion to take a 8-7 lead. Ponderosa found the end zone again on a long run and took a 16-7 lead.

The Junior Miners fought back and drove the ball down the field twice late in the game, but came up short both times.

The strong defensive effort was led by Harris and Jarrett Sleeth. Wyatt Elliott also had a standout effort, notching a sack and punt block. The Junior Miners looked strong all game, showing true grit and heart playing hard all day.


14U Junior Miners quarterback Brandon McCallum returned a kickoff for a touchdown and Aonghas Wright kicked a two-point conversion to round out the scoring for the Junior Miners.

“Ziggy Pritchett, Austin Putnam, Brandon McCallum and Anakin Steen had some excellent receptions and runs,” said 14U head coach Troy Fry.

Steen recovered a fumble. Steen and Zade White received “Hit of the Week” honors. Colton Wasson made some nice tackles.

The Nevada Union Junior Miners will host the West Park Junior Panthers at Nevada Union High School on Saturday. The 8U team plays at 10 a.m., 10U at noon, 12U at 2 p.m. and 14U at 4 p.m.

Source: NUJM coaches Kyle Klauer (8U write up), Joe Hart (10U write up), Matt Meek (12U write up) and Troy Fry (14U write up). Coaches may be submit reports to Sports Editor Walter Ford at wford@theunion.com


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