Anybody excited with anticipation for the coming high school football season? This could be a one of our most highly competitive years we've seen. We have no juggernaut team locally, but several that will be quite good.
Last season was the year for top-notch quality individual football players, warrant that 18 or 19 players inked national letters-of-intent to play college football. This season we'll have just a few, but I think we will have better teams (if that makes sense).
Pleasant Grove, Franklin, Elk Grove, Cosumnes Oaks, Bradshaw Christian
I think PG will win the Delta River League outright and that will be the fourth time in the past five years. The Eagles are an amazing 23-2 in the DRL since 2007 and that's considered the most competitive league in our area. PG is about a notch better than Folsom and Jesuit. Other local media types are over-rating Oak Ridge.
Franklin and EG will probably tie for the Delta Valley Conference championship
with Grant finishing second. One of them will lose to Grant and thus both will end up 4-1 in the DVC. Watch out for Davis who could end up 3-2.
Cosumnes Oaks could, and I repeat, could be in the Division III championship game. They'll win the Sierra Valley Conference pretty easily. Then a bit of a "monkey on the back" will be removed from Coach Scooter Gomes, who has been known to be successful in getting quality looks from college coaches for his boys, yet hasn't really accomplished much on the field with the team.
Bradshaw is destined to return to either the Div V or VI championship game. An interesting game will be its non-conference home contest against Vista del Lago.
Pretty Good -
Sheldon, Monterey Trail
I wish the very best for Huskies' first-year man Herbie Berry. The former EGHS and Stanford quarterback gets a one-year shot while Josh Crabtree spends time with an ailing father. I just don't know if they'll reach the .500 mark or not.
Of all of our local football coaches, TJ Ewing probably gets the very most out of his players. Monterey Trail had some really good football players in '09 and '10. Right now they are a question mark. Don't be surprised if the Mustangs beat a team or two they shouldn't.
Laguna Creek, Valley, Florin
Another first-year coach, Dave Morton, comes back to Laguna Creek after not coaching at all the past 14 seasons. He was that school's first football coach.
He's got lots of experience himself, but little experience with these players. The Cardinals will struggle in the DVC and may not win a game in conference.
Florin will drop off a bit and be in the middle of the pack in the Metro Conference. Valley will probably win one game this year, let's hope for two.
Here's this Friday's schedule: (7:15 p.m. kickoff)
Franklin vs. Thousand Oaks (at Del Oro H.S.) 5 p.m.
Elk Grove vs. Lincoln/Stockton
Rocklin vs. Pleasant Grove
Sheldon vs. McNair
Mira Loma vs. Florin
Roseville vs. Cosumnes Oaks
Laguna Creek, Monterey Trail, Valley - bye
Jon Gudel (and occasionally me) writes a weekly feature usually in the Wednesday Citizen we call "5 Thoughts." It is a re-cap of our top five stories of the week. This week's 5 Thoughts reminds us that we haven't seen Spencer Levin much recently on the PGA Tour's leader board. Plus, Jon has a great comment on the controversy surrounding Sheldon baseball. ...
One item to be watching in the coming weeks will be football players who suddenly aren't in the starting lineup. There may be a few key players who may struggle to remain academically eligible this season. No one will go on the record and tell us in the media to avoid possible embarrassment of the boy, yet know that is why there's usually one or two on each team every fall. Watch the rosters beginning around the third week of September.