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Youth Football ready to make it prime time

PLAYERS from the Gorge Youth Football League hit the field in tackle football action last season at Sid White Field in The Dalles. Starting at 9 a.m. and going until 2 p.m. Saturday at Columbia High School in White Salmon, Wash. teams from across the region will take part in their annual jamboree showcase.

PLAYERS from the Gorge Youth Football League hit the field in tackle football action last season at Sid White Field in The Dalles. Starting at 9 a.m. and going until 2 p.m. Saturday at Columbia High School in White Salmon, Wash. teams from across the region will take part in their annual jamboree showcase. Photo by Ray Rodriguez.

Schedule

2013 Youth Football Jamboree

at Columbia High School

1455 N.W. Bruin Country Road

White Salmon, Wash.

Fifth and Sixth grade Schedule

Hood River #1 vs. The Dalles #5, 9 a.m. on North Field

Hood River #2 vs. Goldendale Black #9, 9 a.m. on South Field

Stevenson #4 vs. The Dalles #7, 9:30 a.m. on Noth Field

White Salmon #3 vs. Goldendale #9, 9:30 a.m. on South Field

Hood River #2 vs. The Dalles #7, 10 a.m. on North Field

Hood River #1 vs. Lyle #8, 10 a.m. on South Field

Stevenson #4 vs. The Dalles #6, 10:30 a.m. on North Field

White Salmon #3 vs. The Dalles #5, 10:30 a.m. on South Field

Hood River #1 vs. Goldendale #9, 11 a.m. on North Field

Hood River #10 vs. Lyle #8, 11 a.m. on South Field

Stevenson #4 vs. The Dalles #5, 11:30 a.m. on North Field

Hood River #2 vs. The Dalles #6, 11:30 a.m. on South Field

Hood River #10 vs. The Dalles #7, Noon on North Field

White Salmon #3 vs. Lyle #8, Noon on South Field

Hood River #10 vs. The Dalles #6, 12:30 p.m. on North Field


Third and Fourth Grade Schedule

Hood River #21 vs. Goldendale #22, 12:30 p.m. on South Field

White Salmon #23 vs. The Dalles #25, 1 p.m. on North Field

The Dalles #26 vs. Goldendale #22, 1 p.m. on South Field

White Salmon #23 vs. Stevenson, 1:30 p.m. North Field

Hood River #21 vs. The Dalles #26, 1:30 p.m. on South Field

The Dalles #25 vs. Stevenson #24, 2 p.m. on North Field

In less than 24 hours, 16 teams from third-through-sixth grades will hit the gridiron at Columbia High School in White Salmon, Wash., for the start of the 2013 Gorge Youth Football campaign.

Across the board, each of these squads is ready to showcase their talents in these tackle football contests, which consist of each team playing 12 minutes of offense and defense.

There will be no scores kept while on offense, on the 25-yard line, there are no turnovers, but if there are some, the ball goes back to the offensive team.

After touchdowns, point-after attempts will be optional for the scoring squad.

This jamboree is used as a teaching tool for many of these gridiron athletes as they start the season.

Penalties are called and officials will be on hand to explain the infractions to the players and coaches.

The early contests are schedules for the fifth and sixth graders where games are scheduled from 9 a.m. until 12:30 p.m.

There will be six games on the slate for the third and fourth graders, who hit the field in contests starting at 12:30 p.m. until 2 p.m.

In all, there are three teams from The Dalles and two from Hood River.

On the Washington side, Lyle, Stevenson, White Salmon and Goldendale are also set to play. One big reason for optimism in The Dalles is the numbers – there are 127 players spanning the three classifications, including flag where there are 28 players.

On the tackle front, the fifth and sixth grade numbers have swelled to 58 this season, while 41 make up the third and fourth graders.

Of all the programs, The Dalles will have the most kids in tackle and flag out amongst all of the communities in the league.

“We are excited to have 99 players in gear this year with th tackle program,” said The Dalles Youth Football secretary Didi Abbas. “We have had tremendous growth. Just four years ago, our program had less than 45 players in gear and no flag program. We will support 28 additional flag kids as well.”

Defensive guru Allen Beeks and running specialist Jeff Keinlen are two The Dalles coaches representing the third and fourth grade squads.

Some of the names on display in that classification include, Jaxon Pullen, Andrew Savaiinaea Jr., Kade Wilson and Styles DeLeon.

Up a level, The Dalles has three coaches, one of them new this year.

Joe Abbas brings his fast-paced spread offense to the table with a first showdown versus Hood River at 9 a.m. and then TD plays again 10:30 a.m.

Up-and-coming coach, Chris Lente, brings a vast knowledge of the game to the gridiron as his squad starts the year at 10:30 a.m. with a scrimmage against Stevenson.

Dufur girls basketball coach and former all-league football standout Hollie Darden has his group in lockdown mode as one of the coaches of The Dalles’ fifth and sixth grade teams and they start play on the north field at 9:30 a.m. against Stevenson.

Taylor Beeks, Trenton Schacher and Tre Darden make up three of the top fifth grade standouts, and the hard-hitting Mac Abbas and shifty Ben Nelson highlight a stout sixth grade group.

The main goal of the youth program is to promote fun in a family environment.

With future development and an instilled desire, the hope is that they could make enough of a progression to fight for spots on their respective high school varsity teams.

“We understand that the success in our program feeds into TDMS (The Dalles Middle School) and ultimately into TDW,” Didi Abbas said. “Retention is key. Coaches are working very hard to make sure players are learning the game and having fun. Being competitive and enjoying what you are doing is a delicate balance.”

Columbia High School is located at 1455 N.W. Bruin Country Road in White Salmon, Wash. 98672.

There is a gate fee for this event for all players, coaches, parents and volunteers.

Prices are set at $5 for individuals and $10 for families.

This fee helps cover a small part of the Referee and Umpire costs for the entire league.

This is the only League fundraiser of the season.

League games start on Sept. 7 at surrounding areas. For more information on the league or to volunteer, interested parties can e-mail questions to www.tdyouthfootball.com.

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