Football Jamboree

Valle’s Drew Bauman (9) wrapped up Ste. Genevieve’s Kaden Buatte (28) during the final scrimmage while Valle’s Bryce Giesler (10) got in position to potentially back up the play Friday evening. Both teams participated in the four-team jamboree which included Park Hills Central and St. Pius before they meet at Dragons Stadium next Friday for the Old Settlement Rivalry game. (Photo by Jason Viox/Herald staff)

Four teams around the area, including the two local teams, got an opportunity to kick off the football season at Dragons Stadium Friday night.

Ste. Genevieve welcomed neighbor Valle Catholic along with Park Hills Central and St. Pius for the annual jamboree scrimmage a week before games start to count in the record books. For the two neighboring schools, they were able to walk away from the jamboree with some positives and areas to improve on.

 “We came out real slow, then worked up and looked real good after that,” said Ste. Genevieve head coach Kenneth Weik. “We struggled at the beginning, but I think our kids woke up and had fun. Nobody got hurt, so we’re on the right side of that.”

“It’s always hard to tell until you watch the film,” Valle head coach Judd Naeger said. “Every year we come up to these things and say, ‘Holy cow. Everybody is big.’ I guess we’re going to have to get used to it,” laughed Naeger. “We’re always going to be the smallest team most of the games, but I thought our kids played with a lot of heart. I thought our kids were extremely physical all night.”

All four teams participated in the jamboree at the same time as two of the teams split off at opposite ends of the field starting from the 40-yard line. Each team got a chance to run 12 offensive plays, and when those plays were complete, the other team got the ball. After both teams ran their plays, all teams faced off against a different squad until all four programs faced each other once.

The first session started with Ste. Genevieve and St. Pius, while Valle and Central faced off. The second session paired I-55 conference foes Valle and St. Pius together, while MAFC-White rivals Ste. Genevieve and Central got an early meeting. The last session pitted St. Pius and Central against each other, while the two neighboring programs squared off before the Week 2 meeting.

One of the biggest positives from both teams was that there were no serious injuries that took place due to the jamboree.