Saves, passes and tackles were made by the Quesnel Cheetos on Saturday, Oct. 1, in front of cheering parents and fans.
A football jamboree was held at the outdoor soccer fields on Anderson Drive, with teams from Prince George and players from Vanderhoof taking part.
“We started out as the underdog, and now we can actually play against these teams,” said Angele Nutley with the Quesnel Youth Football Association. “It brings me to tears to be able to watch them play and come together and have developed as a team, and then the relationships we’ve built with the other teams since, so it’s just amazing.”
It was around three months ago Nutley contacted the Prince George Kodiaks with the ultimate goal of bringing minor football back to Quesnel.
The Quesnel Youth Football Association started its first year as a relatively small group.
On Saturday, there were enough players, however, with Cheetos in Grades 4 and 5 getting the morning jamboree started with limited contact games wearing traditional football equipment as well as a tackle bar.
Cheetos in Grades 6 and 7 later went on the offensive without tackle bars.
“This takes me back to 1971,” said Cheetos assistant coach Jeff Morris. “It was just like when I was playing at their age that long ago, so this is the way to organize it. Everyone is having fun, the parents are fantastic, and the kids are great — the atmosphere is just as important as everything else, and we’ve got a winning thing going here.”
The jamboree format ensured each team played the other at least once.
Morris described it as more important to teach skills and participation on the field than trying to win.
“The thing I love most about football is it is so inclusive, and there is a spot for every kid,” Nutley added.
“It matters so much because nobody is left out, nobody is left behind, everybody plays, and you get to watch them develop.”
The Quesnel Cheetos will continue their regular season until Saturday, Oct. 15.
Morris and Nutley hope to see more players next year.
Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.