If you build it, They will come – Twelve Bridges Jr. Rhino Football & Cheer

The 2023 inaugural football season of the Twelve Bridges Jr. Rhino’s was nothing short of amazing. In 2022 it was decided that another youth football and cheer program was needed in Lincoln due to the incredible growth we had experienced in the last ten years. In March of 2022 a small group of passionate adults got together and began the extensive research of how to start a non-profit organization and how to raise upwards of $75,0000 to purchase equipment. As news leaked out about another youth football organization in Lincoln, people came out in droves to be a part of it. So many people came forward and helped us fundraise the much needed money to put on our first football season.

Once it was decided a football season was going to happen, we began the difficult task of registration. After a few crazy weeks of only seeing 10-15 kids registered, the floodgates opened. Within a month we had more than 100 kids signed up for all 4 levels of football. What was special about these kids was that so many of them had never played football and some hadn’t even played a sport. After talking to some of the families about their decision to play for the Jr. Rhino program, it seemed that a major decision-making factor was the excitement that was brewing around football in the Twelve Bridges area. Twelve Bridges High School was extremely successful the first two years in existence and in its third year, they made it to the CIF section final game, losing by one point in the last minute of the game. A first for any football program in Lincoln.

At the beginning of the football season the Jr. Rhino’s were originally placed in the lowest bracket in the Sierra Athletic Conference. Due to some restructuring, the Jr. Rhino’s were placed in a division higher than originally planned and took on programs like St. Mary’s of Stockton, Whitney Jr. Wildcats, Capital Christian Jr. Cougars and Woodcreek Jr. Timberwolves. These programs have been a staple in the junior football arena for years and had seen a lot of success. As a first-year program we saw success almost immediately. By the end of the season, three teams made it to the playoffs; the Jr Midget team making it to the semi-finals, the Midget team making it to the first round of playoffs and the Jr. Pee Wee team making it to the final round and losing a hard-fought battle against the Whitney Jr. Wildcats by one score.

Even after the season was over, there was so much hype surrounding the Jr. Rhino program. Kids were wearing Jr. Rhino gear around town; Jr. Rhino stickers were in the back window of so many cars; and the Friday night high school games were packed with families wearing Jr. Rhino swag. Friday night and Saturday at Twelve Bridges High School is the place to be in Lincoln if you want to watch some great football!

As excited as we are about going into our second season of football, we are also excited to be introducing our inaugural season of STUNT the Sport and Sideline Cheer! STUNT the Sport is one of the fastest growing female sports in the United States. STUNT is known as an emerging college sport and can officially start offering scholarships to college students. STUNT starts in February 2023 so if you want to come and tryout, please reach out to [email protected] to get information.

We will be offering sideline cheer for the first time this fall as well. We will open up sideline cheer at the same time football registration is open. Sideline cheer will perform at all football games and once the season is over, those that want to continue to competition cheer are welcome to join! From November – January we will compete in 3-4 local competitions and hopefully end up competing for a national championship in Las Vegas! We are so excited for cheer to officially be a part of this program! You don’t need to have any prior cheerleading experience to come and do sideline cheer. We love to teach!

We wanted to thank everyone for the support given to us over the last year. We truly wouldn’t be here without our sponsors and our selfless board members, volunteers and coaches. We can’t wait to start the 2024 season!

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