Elementary, middle school children and high schoolers returned to those hallowed halls last week, but the Riverbank High football team got a head start on their season, with a spirit-building barbecue and midnight movie on the Sunday before. And at 12:01 a.m. Monday, Aug. 8, the earliest possible moment practice was allowed by league officials, the Bruins officially began their 2016 football campaign with their first practice of the season, held under the stars.
Coach Kit Jory reported there are about 35 players turned out. He expects this year to continue the foundation of hard work and accountability begun last season. The Bruin football teams remain unaffiliated with a formal league, playing an independent schedule.
The season schedule has been released, showing 10 games scheduled over 11 weeks, with one bye. The JV team, however, will see only four games. Most teams Riverbank is scheduled to play don’t field JV teams.
When the JV season is over, midway, it is expected that some, if not all players might move up to play with the varsity.
The 100-degree temperatures of the past week were making afternoon practices grueling, with the varsity working out in full gear, including helmets. Junior varsity players had not had equipment issued as of last week. Training concentrated on stamina and endurance enhancing workouts, with ball handling and pass catching drills included.
The varsity Bruins’ first game is on Friday, Aug. 26, at Rocklin, taking on the Western Sierra Collegiate Academy Wolves, with a single game starting at 7 p.m. The home opener is set for Friday, Sept. 2, with the JV game to begin at 5:30 p.m., followed by the varsity game at 7:30 p.m. The Bruins will be hosting the Bret Harte Bullfrogs from Angels Camp.
Football Fundraiser Set
The RHS Bruins football program has set its second annual Silver and Maroon kick off fundraising dinner and auction at the Riverbank Community Center for Sunday, Aug. 28. Last year’s event was successful in raising funds to support the football program and help purchase new uniforms.
Other RHS Sports Start
With the start of school, other fall sports are underway on campus as well.
Practices have begun for Girls Golf, Cross Country, and varsity and JV girls volleyball. And the RHS Cheer Squad has been working out on the quad on campus, getting ready for their Friday night performances.
The volleyball team will start its season with the Orestimba Tournament on Saturday, Aug. 27, in Newman.
Cross Country competition starts on Friday, Aug. 26, at the Lodi Flame Tournament, and Girls Golf swings into its season on Tuesday, Aug. 23, against Sonora.