Like the 11 players working together as one on the football field, this year’s Sierra Youth Football League Experience needed the same teamwork, but on a much bigger scale.
More than 7,000 players, coaches, families and spectators flocked to the Lahontan Valley Saturday for the annual youth football scrimmage event. Teams from Reno, Lassen, Sparks, Fernley, Dayton and Fallon converged at the Edward Arciniega Athletic Complex as the regular season begins this weekend.
In addition to the scrimmages, vendors and sponsors were on display as well as many of the Greenwave teams, selling items from lemonade to tacos.
“It’s a great way to show off Fallon,” said Steve Moon of the Fallon Youth Football League. “We had some of our sponsors set up booths. That’s cool. The fact we can host an event like this, they’re fairly unique. I love about midday when everything’s going on.”
The SYFL has about 2,200 participants this year, which meant Moon and the FYFL needed to plan early and coordinate with various resources to ensure the event would not flounder. From working with law enforcement to assist with directing traffic and parking to Brooke Hill’s high school football program working the gates and assisting throughout, the SYFL Experience didn’t miss a step.
It’s the second year in a row that the FYFL hosted the Experience and Moon said the traffic control was the biggest improvement. A process that begins in the winter when meeting the SYFL board, Moon and his staff work with Hill, athletics director Brad Daum, the city of Fallon and law enforcement to have everything in place. Moon also said Fallon improved on its waste management this year.
“When the whole thing gets kicked off like that, it shows what a community like Fallon can do,” he said. “Nothing is insurmountable. It’s just getting everything to pull together.”
And it worked out for the teams, which normally begin practice in late July, as they break from facing each other in practice to competing in game-type situations during the Experience.
“We’ve been going at it a good three weeks plus,” said Moon, who coaches the FYFL’s varsity team. “You get to see somebody else. You get to see a different offense or a different defense. It’s huge even at the varsity level. It’s hard to replicate that in practice.”