Davis Junior Blue Devil official Debbie Shoup chatted with pep squad members and football players, asking them about their memories and rewards from being involved in the local gridiron program.
Here are a handful of the perspectives of DJBD participants …
Ethan Cavanaugh, age 8, Junior Pee Wees football: “I am a running back and a linebacker and my favorite football memory is sacking the quarterback from the Natomas Nighthawks.
“I was playing linebacker and I found a hole in the line and went straight through it. I brought him down in the backfield. It made me feel happy to make them lose yardage. I helped my team get a shutout (18-0).
“Our coach Paul (Masson) threw a pizza party because he was so happy with us.
“My second favorite memory is making a conversion because that was my first-ever points on the board. I love being in football. It is so fun making tackles and friends on the team.”
Gianna Robles, age 10, Pee Wee cheer squad: “My favorite memory as a DJBD cheerleader has been at the Sacramento Youth Football League cheer showcase. It was a great feeling knowing we had the crowd’s full attention and that made me feel so good.
“The best part of the performance was the stunts we performed, even though I had a full butterfly patch in my stomach.
“Knowing my dad was in the crowd, cheering me on, made me feel confident and ready to do my best.
“The stunts are an important piece of the choreography. We practice hard to make sure the stunts look perfect.
“When I cheer, I feel like I can do anything. Cheer is my passion. I have the opportunity to cheer for the football team, dance and perform stunts. This is my first year as a cheerleader and I have loved every, single moment I have spent cheering.
“I have made great friends that have helped me learn the routines and that cheer me on. Cheer has created the best memories, memories I will never forget. Go, Blue Devils!”
Joseph Morrison, age 13, Midget football: “My favorite memory was winning the 2011 SYF Junior Midget championship game in River City against Rio Linda.
“What was great about it was going so far ahead of a team that had crushed us earlier in the year and then giving up a lot of points but still winning at the end and then celebrating with the entire team.
“We came close in the prior years, but that year we made it. It made me feel great that I was able to block a guy throughout the game who was bigger than me. We really came together as a team that day and played very well.
“What I like most about the Davis Junior Blue Devils is how much the coaches care about the team. They never give up, teach us new things and help us improve as players.
“The most fun thing of all is playing in the games. And it is the one sport where you can tackle and not get in trouble. And I love to block.”
Jacqueline Jones, age 14, Midget cheer squad: “My favorite memory as a DJBD cheerleader was last season’s end-of-the-year competition.
“But last year did not start so well. We didn’t have a stable coach for half the season, but our team stuck together. Finally a new coach took over — and she was able to rally us all by encouraging us to work as a team. I learned how to be patient and trust the instruction from the coach and the ideas from our parent coaches.
“The competitions are always my favorite part of the season. I love learning new routines.
“Practices leading up to those events were always stressful because everyone wants to get the routine perfect, the hours are longer and we meet more frequently, but the hard work always pays off.
“When we hit the mat we are ready to go with hair bows just right and confidence soaring. And it was rewarded — last season we won first place for the second year in a row.
“Everything was worth it in the end. I’ve had so much fun over the past three years and can’t wait for the next competition in a few weeks.”