As the seasons literally have changed before Carsonites' eyes, Sunday's fancy seemed to be coaxing the throngs outdoors.
Cyclists circled the Legislative Lawn, bikers in sleeveless leathers roared up Highway 50 and the scent of backyard barbecue permeated the afternoon breeze.
And, of course, the sound of a football announcer on the loudspeaker banked off the metal seats at Carson High stadium.
Football? In the spring.
"That's exactly right," said Chuck McGee of Gardnerville, who was at Carson High on Sunday to watch his godson Kyle Morrison, 10, take to the gridiron for the Scholars and Champions football jamboree. "Some of these guys just can't wait till the fall to play. So this is a good way to get them out there and put some pads on."
The football jamboree is a part of the local league's spring practice schedule. The regular season begins April 20 and runs through June 8.
Unlike Pop Warner, which runs exclusively in the fall, Scholars and Champions has fewer practices (three a week as opposed to five) and keeps tabs on participants' grades.
"I coach Pop Warner," McGee said. "I like both leagues. They each offer a little something different. This league really emphasizes getting guys on both sides of the ball; the intensity is there - but it's not as involved as Pop Warner on some levels."
And that suits many parents just fine.
"I like the fact that they keep track of how my sons' grades are," said Washoe Valley resident Scott Jones, whose sons Logan, 10, and Calvin, 13, were both playing Sunday. "I think they get good exposure to the game and they really get a good background on how to balance school with football.
Calvin, who attends Carson Middle School, said he likes playing defensive end and offensive line, said Scholars and Champions has given him "good exposure" to football, without having it take up "all my time."
"I do like the game," he said. "It's interesting to learn and fun to play. The guys and coaches are all really good - supportive."
Scott Ray of Carson was readying to make his coaching debut with son Ben, 10, a fifth grader at Seeliger Elementary - who was suited up in the gold pants and maroon jersey of the Trojans, modeled after USC.
"I like this league a lot," Scott said. "Pop Warner it's a huge commitment. Both are good, mind you. But in (Pop Warner) it's travel, travel, travel.
"Here, you play locally and the kids have a good time."
Ben, an aspiring middle linebacker, said even though many of the guys he plays with don't go to his school, it's fun to meet new people and start playing with them at an early age.
"I really like the sport," he said. "It's good to just suit up and play and see guys from all around - especially in the spring."
Scholars and Champions will also host fall sign-ups 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. every Sunday through June 8 at Carson High.
• Contact reporter Andrew Pridgen at 881-1219 or firstname.lastname@example.org.