Adult league football came to Riverbank over the weekend, when the Modesto Raiders picked the Riverbank Sports Complex for one of their pre-season scrimmages. They played a pre-season game in Riverbank last year, as well.
The local team is celebrating its 27th season, which begins with a home game in Modesto on March 17, against the Salinas Valley Spartans. This year, the Raiders, a part of the Pacific Coast Football League, are slated to play a 10-game schedule that ends at the beginning of June.
The term semi-pro in this case is a misnomer. Modesto Raider players are not paid, in fact, there are fees they pay to the team. And players come from all over the Central Valley. The team used to be called the Central Valley Raiders.
The PCFL has teams that are organized from as far away as Reno, NV, and Chico, in the Bay Area, Sacramento, Merced and Fresno. Tier 1 of the league has six teams, while Tier 2, which includes Modesto, has five teams.
Each Tier has scheduled a championship game, with a potential for the winners to play a final game.