Youth football: Junior Miners fall to West Park |

Youth football: Junior Miners fall to West Park

The Nevada Union Junior Miners football and cheer program hosted the West Park Junior Panthers this past Saturday at Hooper Stadium.
Submitted by Sarah Hooper

The Nevada Union Junior Miners football and cheer teams took on the West Park Junior Panthers in Sacramento Youth Football Conference action this past Saturday. The Junior Panthers defeated all four Junior Miners teams.


The 8U Junior Miners team fought hard but ultimately lost to the West Park Junior Panthers, 20-6, this past Saturday at Hooper Stadium.

Throughout the game the Junior Miners completely shut down the outside running attack of the Junior Panthers thanks to the edge pressure brought on from defenders Stephen Tipton, Jaxon Sullivan, Zander Burton and Brody Bringolf.

Cornerbacks Kayden Mayen, Colby Stanley, Noah Burkhart, and Rhedyn Scott stayed to their assigned spots outside the numbers to force all sweeps to have to bounce back to the inside. This marked the first time this season where West Park had to change up its game plan of running the ball in between the tackles and completely abandon anything outside the hashmarks.

As the game went on, the Junior Miners never allowed the Panthers to get any rhythm going on offense by forcing multiple fumbles and recovering them before the Panthers could finish any of their long drives. Defensive Linemen Tyler Hicks, Bentley Dana, Westin Green, Harvey Kahler, and Logan Warner did the best they could through four quarters to slow down West Park’s powerful running back, but time eventually ran out for Nevada Union.

Late in the fourth quarter, NU running back Caleb McCallum took a sweep play down the right side for a long touchdown run and also helped his team by recovering the ensuing onside kick. Nevada Union then had one more chance to add points to the board, but time ultimately expired before they could do so.

“I want to give a quick thanks to our entire NUJM Board for everything that they have done for us so we have been able to play our home games at Hooper Stadium this season,” said head coach Kyle Klauer. “Equipment Manager Rick Kiser does so much every morning before the sun even comes up to get the field set up for the day. A lot of moving parts have to come together to put on four separate football games, and we coaches want to let everyone know that we really appreciate it to the fullest.”


It was a long afternoon for the 10U Junior Miners as they fell 36-0 to West Park Saturday at Hooper Stadium.

“(West Park) were well coached and had some amazing speed,”  said coach Joe Hart.

Both Parker Van Matre and Cody Wasson had positive yards on the ground.

“The offensive line really came out well In the first quarter. We were making our blocks and sticking with them, we were moving the ball up until we, unfortunately, had a turnover,” said Hart. “We are looking through the loss and focusing on preparations in order to earn a victory against Roseville next weekend.”

Assistant coach Adam Hall added, “I would say that our team persevered in the face of adversity. The boys gave it their all, even after it became a scrimmage. They never gave up and that is something to be proud of.”


The 12U Junior Miners took to the field Saturday to take on the undefeated West Park Junior Panthers.

The opening quarter was a back-and-forth battle with both teams moving the ball, but neither team was able to find the end zone.

West Park found the end zone first in the second quarter, and continued to add to their lead. Nevada Union was able to chip away at the lead with a score of their own bringing the score to 21-7 at the half. West Park was able to find the end zone again before NU’s J.C Harris was able to scramble to the end zone for his second rushing touchdown of the day, bringing the score to 28-14.

West Park scored two more times before the Junior Miners were able to find the end zone with a 25-yard pass from Harris to Ayden King.

The Junior Miners recovered the onside kick and scored again with a pass from Harris to King, this time for 48 yards, to bring the score to 42-28.

The Junior Miners fought hard all day and almost recovered back-to-back onside kicks. The energy from the cheerleaders and the crowd was felt on the field as they continued to cheer and motivate the team. West Park walked away with the win and a final score of 48-28.

The Junior Miners were led by Harris, King and Owen Hooper on offense. Defensively the NU was led by Amadeaus Sharp, Leeland Huntington, and Jarrett Sleeth. The next opponent for the Junior Miners is the Roseville Jr. Tigers on Saturday.


The Junior Miners lost their starting quarterback on the first offensive play, and Gary Chicarelli and Anakin Steen played quarterback during his absence.

Steen completed two touchdown passes to Austin Putnam during scrimmage time. Ziggy Pritchett also caught several passes and ran for 25 yards after one catch.

Defensively, Zade White had five solo tackles, Pritchett had two, Jared Sanzone had two, Steen had two, and Lucas Liller and Caleb Souza had one tackle each. Rhyder Eelkema, Pritchett and Steen all knocked down Junior Panther passes. Pritchett also intercepted a pass. Sanzone and Joseph Wiseman got the “Hit of the Week” honors.

The Nevada Union Junior Miners Cheerleaders competed in the Sacramento Youth Football Cheerleading qualifier competition on Sunday. The 8U and 12U cheer squads took home first place trophies. The 10U cheer squad placed fifth in their division. The 14U cheer squad placed fourth.

The 8U, 12U and 14U Junior Miners are still in contention for playoff bids, despite the setback against the Junior Panthers. The Nevada Junior Miners will travel to Roseville High School to take on the Roseville Junior Tigers 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

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