The North Lake Tahoe Rams started football practice Aug. 1 and after a month of limitations due to air quality found their way to Carson City last week to scrimmage against area opponents Carson, South Lake Tahoe and Truckee.
Sagebrush Pop Warner’s league-wide Jamboree in Fallon was canceled on Aug. 24 due to the smoke.
“The kids and parents have worked so hard and dealt with so much adversity already this season,” said Rams Association President Scott Wilderman. “Canceling Jamboree was tragic. We had to do something for them to experience a game-like situation.
“These poor kids were sick of looking at each other and really tired of listening to coaches talk. All our dry erase markers are bone dry, and these guys needed to go hit somebody.”
The Rams open their season at home Saturday when both the Junior Pee Wees and Junior Midgets face friendly rival Reno at noon and 2 p.m. at North Tahoe High School.
This year in an effort toward becoming truly “North Tahoe,” the Rams moved practices from Preston Field in Incline Village to the North Tahoe Regional Park in Tahoe Vista, and games from Incline High to North Tahoe High.
Wilderman said the team hopes to split its home games between both high school venues next season.
“The Tahoe City and extended area parents have commuted to Incline for a couple of years and we appreciate their dedication to the program,” Wilderman said. “Centralizing practices has really helped us grow participation this year. We still have just the two teams, but we have 46 football players this year versus 38.
Wilderman added that he hopes the Rams will help tie the communities together into one North Tahoe as it develops a feeder program for North Tahoe and Incline high schools.
The Rams open the season with three consecutive home games. View their schedule at www.northtahoepopwarner.com.