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High school rivalries begin at youth level for Chiefs
The Ripon Chiefs junior varsity works on agility drills at the Ripon Community Center. - photo by DAVE CAMPBELL/The Bulletin

Some youth football teams pattern themselves after the high school they feed. The Ripon Chiefs take that to a whole new level – they are part of a league of feeder teams that will face each other in high school.

“We tied our league – the Mother Lode Valley Youth Football League – in with like teams in like towns,” said Brian Wood, second-year team president. “The kids from those teams will be playing each other in high school. That is what we are trying to accomplish.”

And the Chiefs that do go on to play for Ripon High School will be a step ahead of those who did not play for the Chiefs.

“We are working off the high-school playbook with high-school terminology so we are sending players up there ready to play football,” Wood said.

Two of the three Chiefs squads that are competitive – the junior novice do not keep score – made it to the Super Bowl last season.

“We had two teams make it to the Super Bowl – the varsity and JV – and our JV team won and went undefeated and our varsity team came up a little short,” Wood said

In addition to having good numbers at every level, the Chiefs have a strong support staff as well.

“We are strong as far as our coaches go,” Wood said. “We have a lot of guys with a lot of experience. Each level will have eight coaches.”

The Chiefs begin play Sunday, Aug. 24 at Amador.