By Ray Hamill — Local youth football takes center stage this weekend at the annual Six Rivers Youth Football jamboree at the Redwood Bowl.
With the regular season just one week away, all 23 teams and their cheerleading squads will be in action at the jamboree, which has been moved from Sunday to Saturday this year because of scheduling conflicts.
The action gets under way at 9 a.m. and will run until 3:30 p.m., with a cover charge of $6 for adults and $3 for children.
At 11:45 a.m., the cheerleading squads will preform.
According to conference commissioner Joanna Russell, numbers have been pretty steady this season, with an extra team added to the AAA division and one less in single-A.
Arcata remains without a team due to a shortage of volunteers, but players in the area will again be allowed join either the McKinleyville or Eureka squads instead.
In the AAA division, the Ferndale Mustangs are the defending champions after getting the better of a defiant McKinleyville team in a close championship showdown, 19-16, last year.
Del Norte Gold is the defending AA champion, while Eureka capped an undefeated season in single-A with a 19-0 win over Del Norte in their championship game.
The AAA division will feature eight teams this fall, with the addition of a second Del Norte team, while single-A now has seven teams, with Del Norte dropping one of two teams in the bracket.
Del Norte, which features five teams in total, will also field two teams in AA.
With the new laws in regard to player safety due to come into effect in 2021, Russell says the conference will be following the guidelines carefully.
“We’re taking more and more steps precaution-wise,” she said. “The goal is to have a good season. We’re out there for the kids.”