Youth football: Junior Miners shine in conference openers |

Youth football: Junior Miners shine in conference openers

The Nevada Union Junior Miners Football and Cheer teams traveled to Roseville to take on the Oakmont Junior Vikings in Sacramento Youth Football League action last Saturday.

The 8U, 12U and 14U teams defeated the Junior Vikings and improved to 1-0 in the Foothill Valley Conference. The 8U won 26-13. The 12U won 18-13, and the 14U won 30-14. The 10U team fought hard but lost a tough game 18-0.


Junior Miners’ Caleb McCallum breaks a tackle attempt before taking off for one of his four touchdowns in the 8U game.
Submitted by Sarah Hooper

The Nevada Union Jr. Miners 8U team won their league opener against Oakmont thanks to strong performances on both sides of the ball.

Quarterback Jaxon Sullivan spent the game working through the tough Vikings defense using both his legs and as well as playing receiver on crucial two-point plays after touchdown scores.

Fullback Stephen Tipton was able to run through massive holes on offense thanks to his offensive lineman consisting of center Zander Burton, guards Tyler Hicks and Bentley Dana, and tackles Brody Bringolf and Spencer Murray.

Junior Miners quarterback Jaxon Sullivan (17) heads up field after getting a good block from Stephen Tipton (44) during the 8U game.
Submitted by Lori Dana

Receivers Noah Burkhart and Rhedyn Scott set the edges on the outside sweep runs that were ran by halfbacks Kayden Mayen and Caleb McCallum, who scored all four of the Miners touchdowns. McCallum was also successful on multiple two-point conversion throws and runs to ice the game late in the fourth quarter.

On the defensive side of the ball the Miners were able to fight back from a slow start in the first quarter due to the relentless pursuit and tackling ability by defenders Caleb Hutchison, Harvey Kahler, Colby Stanley, Westin Green and Logan Warner. After allowing Oakmont an opening drive touchdown, the Miners would go on to outscore the Vikings 27-7 behind their “bend but not break” mentality they have developed in a short time by the hard work that they have put into the summer practices.

“This team has really impressed me a lot in the last couple of months,” said head coach Kyle Klauer. “We only have a total of 16 players this year, so by necessity every one of our guys and girls have to play pretty much the entire game with not a lot of rest. They never seem to complain and always come out to practice everyday, work hard, and are all around a very coachable group of kids. Credit goes out to our entire coaching staff, which consists of David Hicks, Amber Sullivan, R.J. Green, and Team Mom Jamie McCallum.

Nevada Union’s 8U cheer team puts on their halftime show.
Submitted by Sarah Hooper


The 10U Nevada Union team faced a gritty Oakmont Junior Vikings opponent.

Nevada Union’s Uriah Painter led the offense with the support of his front five linemen, Nick Leach, Braylen Link, Connor Hall, Daniel Hoppis and Chad Traverso.

In the backfield was Parker Van Matre, who had a reception and multiple touches on the day with his longest carry being 8 yards.

A Junior Miner (10U) ball carrier looks for open space during a game against Oakmont Saturday.
Submitted by Sarah Hooper

The receiving crew consisted of Luke Conway, Ryan Schlacter, Anthony Lang, Kevin Mohr and Traven Huntington.

The Junior Miners defense played well early on, holding the Junior Vikings scoreless until the final drive of the half. Defensive linemen Noah Rangel and Link put lots of pressure on the Junior Vikings quarterback. Connor Hall, Landon Youngman, and Chad Traverson rotated in at defensive end with Painter and Schlacter, holding down the middle of the field at the linebacker spot. Ryland Flynn and Van Matre controlled the outside edge at the outside linebacker positions. The defensive backfield consisted of Conway at free safety, with Hunter Lampe and Dylan Grossmann at the cornerback spots. Trailing by one score at halftime, the Miners were still in striking distance, but never got going offensively.

Through the remainder of the game, the Junior Miners fought well with pressure on the defensive side from Kai Barber, Dominic Gray, Mason Betruccio, Aiden Maier and Carl Cookson. Aiden Rureup, David Hicks, Grant Gidlund, Lucas Gethings, Chris Collins and Jayce Ahmadi also assisted.


A Nevada Union ball carrier tries to break free during the 12U Junior Miners’ 30-14 win over Oakmont.
Submitted by Sarah Hooper

The 12U game was hard fought from the opening kickoff.

The Junior Miners started out strong and jumped ahead in the first quarter. The touchdown was set up by a 44-yard pass from J.C. Harris to Ayden King. The scoring drive was capped off with a 3-yard run from T.J. Cook.

The rest of the first half was a defensive battle, and the Miners took a 6-0 edge into halftime.

Early in the third quarter, Harris extended the lead by completing a 30-yard touchdown pass to King.

Oakmont battled back and grabbed a 13-12 lead in the fourth quarter, and was threatening to extend the lead, but the Junior Miners halted the Junior Vikings at the 7-yard line.

With 20 seconds left in the game, Nevada Union snapped the ball from inside their own 10-yard line. The ball flew over the head of Harris, who picked the ball up in the very back of the end zone. As time expired, Harris ran 109 yards from the back of his end zone all the way for the game winning score.

The defense was strong with great play from Amadeus Sharp, Leeland Huntington and Jarrett Sleeth.


Nevada Union’s Brandon McCallum throws during the 14U Junior Miners’ 30-14 win over Oakmont.
Submitted by Sarah Hooper

The Nevada Union 14U offensive line consisting of Kevin Davis, Caleb Souza, Tristan Rohde, Ethan Allen and Brogen Lyden did an outstanding job protecting Brandon McCallum, who threw three touchdown passes to Austin Putnam. Putnam also scampered for a touchdown run.

Aonghas Wright made three of his four extra-point kicks, which are worth two-points each in youth football.

Offensively, Nathaniel Pritchett, aka “Ziggy,” Anakin Steen and Jared Sanzone also had several key receptions and runs offensively.

Defensively, lineman Tristan Rohde, Isaiah Strasser and Aiden Smith had excellent games. Lucas Liller and Gary Chicarelli played tough on the edges, shutting down Oakmont’s jet sweeps. Pritchett, Rhyder Eelkema, Zade White, Joseph Wiseman and Putnam shut down the run up the middle.

Davis was named Offensive Lineman of the Week. Rohde was Defensive Lineman of the Week. Eelkema and Rohde received the “Hit of the Week” honors.

Nevada Union’s 14U cheer team puts on their halftime show.
Submitted by Sarah Hooper

The Nevada Union Junior Miners will travel to Casa Roble High School in Orangeville to take on the Casa Roble Junior Rams on Saturday. The 8U team plays at 10 a.m., 10U at noon, 12U at 2 p.m. and 14U at 4 p.m. Visit Junior Miners for information on the Nevada Union Junior Miners Football and Cheer organization.

Source: NUJM coaches Kyle Klauer (8U write up) and Troy Fry (10U, 12U, 14U write up)

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