Youth sports

Youth football returns to the North Coast this Sunday

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By Ray Hamill — Youth football will make a welcome return to the North Coast this Sunday, with the first games in almost two years.

After last season was canceled in the midst of the pandemic, the Six Rivers Youth Football Conference has 23 teams in total competing this year at three different levels.

Single-A will include one team from each of the seven local associations, including Eureka, Eel River, Ferndale, McKinleyville, Hoopa, Redwood and Del Norte, with the latter fielding two teams in AA and AAA.

And while overall numbers are down a little with some parents still hesitant, the players who have signed up are excited for the opportunity.

“It gives them something to do,” conference commissioner Joanna Russell said. “Everybody was disappointed last year when we had to call it off.”

A total of 11 games will be held this weekend at four different locations — Crescent City, McKinleyville, Ferndale and the Redwood Fields in Cutten.

All seven associations will have to follow new COVID protocols. which have been posted on the Six Rivers Youth Football Conference Quickscores website.

“We’ve taken a lot of steps trying to follow the rules and regulations,” Russell said. “We’re encouraging people to wear masks. We’re not the mask police, but we’re encouraging them, and we’re encouraging people to bring your own chairs.”

The preseason did not feature a jamboree, which would have seen a lot of people coming and going from one location.

The regular season will run for seven weeks, with a three-week postseason kicking off on Halloween.

Championship Sunday has also switched locations this season, moving from the Redwood Bowl to Mack High, with the deciders set for Nov. 14.

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