At first glance you notice the dust bowls kicked up or the mud puddles exploding; and then you see the various colored helmets, jerseys and maybe 80-pounds of cleat shod athlete crouching, running, bumping, falling, and then picking him or herself back up again.
This is the Juneau Youth Football League.
On the baseball diamonds of local high school teams and the city park fields they practice for game days on the real turf fields that their idles now play on. This is how their idles themselves started. Learning to run, block, pass and tackle on dirt and in all weather cleats.
The JYFL has four divisions: Flag (1st/2nd grade); Cubs (3rd/4th grade); Juniors 5th/6th grade); and Seniors (7th/8th grade). They also feature cheerleaders for the cubs, juniors and seniors.
Beginning Friday their months of practices and league contests will come to an end with championship games.
The Junior Division will feature the Spartans against the Wolverines in a 6:30 p.m. Friday title clash on Adair-Kennedy Field.
The Spartans are: Asher Aanrud, Tyson Brooks, Remmel Carter, Jeremiah Cheatham, Brice Crawford, Devinn Domin, Jaren Douglas, Bryson ‘Echiverri, Kamron Falls, Luis Mojica, Andre Neal, Jonah Penrose, Daniel Phillips, Dyllan Price, Sam Smith, Alexander Wehe, and Brandon Weiber-Harris. The Spartans are coached by Tommy Penrose.
The Wolverines are Aiden Christensen, Jonathan Clayton, Ariana Connally, Spencer Gates, Tristan Gleaton, John Hamrick, Kasey Hamrick, Zachary Hayward, James Hunt, Deston Land, Jahrease Mays, Randy Naegle, Frederick Norman, Connor Norman, Ashton Oyloe, Jesse Tupou, Viapuna Toutaiolepo and coach Kevin Hamrick.
The Cubs and Senior Division championships will play on Saturday at Adair-Kennedy Field.
At 10 a.m. the Seahawks (Alaska’s team) take on the Cowboys (America’s team) in an anticipated thriller for the Cub Division title.
The Seahawks are Solomon Alper, Noah Chambers, Bradley Dybdahl, Blake Hudson, Kaivai Latu, JR Latu, Clinton McQueen, Marion McQueen, Ashton Melton, Cody Morehouse, Dominic Pemberton, Toby Russell, Gaby Soto, Terry Stansell, Trey Stansell and coach Marion McQueen.
The Cowboys are Caleb Antcliff, Cale Brown, Michael Burleson, Caden Derick, Kaden Eppers, Daniel Isaak, Dawson Isaak, Oliver Mendoza, Jake Sleppy, Meki Toutaiolopo, Trent Whitehead, Marcos Yadao and coach Vince Yadao.
The cream of the JYFL crop will play in the Senior Division Championship game at 12:30 p.m. Saturday at AKF when the Hawkeyes take on the Hurricanes.
The Hawkeyes are Nathan Adams, Forrest Bizzarro, Kenneth Brown, Michael Cesar, Taylor Funderburk, Brandon Garrison, Kayden Mathers, Brenden Okins, Tanner Raney, Koen Schultz, Justin Sleppy, Nathan Van Sickle, Liam Van Sickle, Quaid Weiler, Royce Whitehead and coach Krag Campbell.
The Hurricanes are Derek Boord, Gabe Crawford, Kristoper Derr, John Elisoff, Benjiman Hendren, Lucas Mallinger, Donavin McCurley, Ezra Mendoza, Owen Mendoza, John Morris, Joshua Quinto, Kieran Smith, Bubba Stults, Mahina Toutaiolopo, Angus Vollmer, John Williams, Camrin Yturbe and coach Rory Niere.
The public is encouraged to attend and cheer on the future teammates for the Crimson Bears and Falcons. An awards ceremony will be held in Centennial Hall on Sunday at 1 p.m. for Flag and Cub Divisions and 2 p.m. for Junior and Senior Divisions.
The JYFL is finalizing plans to send the Senior champions to Anchorage and the Junior champions will host Ketchikan.