For every powerhouse football program such as Grant, Del Oro and Folsom, there are many more like Bella Vista.
Though they have good school support and participation, the Broncos haven't developed into a Top 20 program.
Coach Matt Polston fought the good fight for the past five seasons at the Fair Oaks school but decided earlier this month to step away.
The Broncos compiled a 27-24 record under Polston, but they couldn't crack the dominance of neighboring Capital Valley Conference rivals Casa Roble and Del Campo in the open-enrollment San Juan Unified School District. The Rams and Cougars have combined to win the last 10 league titles.
Bella Vista opened last season with three victories but then lost its last seven. Polston's most successful team in 2008 made the playoffs for only the second time in 25 years and finished 7-4, the last of three successive seven-win seasons for Polston.
Still, Polston, 40, felt he was at a disadvantage as an off-campus coach. He teaches an independent studies program in the San Juan district based at a Fair Oaks elementary school.
"When I accepted the job, the independent studies program was at Bella Vista," Polston said. "But after the first year, it was moved, and I haven't been able to get back on campus."
Polston said being on campus is invaluable in maintaining relations with teachers and players, as well handling the logistics of running what is essentially a year-round program, especially when all of his assistants also were off-campus.
"I left on good terms," Polston said. "I know they didn't want to lose me, but their hands are tied as far as the budget crunch. It's hard for jobs to come open. But at the end of the day, you need that on-campus presence to be able to take things to the next level."
Polston, a former Cordova football and baseball standout, isn't sure if he'll coach in some capacity this fall.
But he's noticed one thing since resigning. "I have so much more free time," Polston said.
Another coach steps down Jerry Van Lengen, who set the Sac-Joaquin Section's longest football winning streak while leading Hilmar High, has stepped down after 10 championship seasons as the Del Oro junior varsity coach.
Van Lengen had assistant coaching stints at Burbank, his alma mater, Highlands and Grant before turning Hilmar into a small-school state power, winning four section titles from 1986 to 1989 with a section-record 46-game winning streak. He coached at Placer for five seasons, then moved to Del Oro, going 36-4 his final three seasons.
Et cetera Cordova has officially hired Vance Mueller, the former Argonaut High and Los Angeles Raiders player, as its head coach. He takes over for Perry Mansch.
Mike Rosales has been hired as the Florin coach, taking over for George Smith, Florin's athletic director who held the job for one season.
Oak Ridge kicker Jon David-Smith has given a verbal commitment to play for Southern Oregon in Ashland.
Roseville quarterback Zac Cunha is taking a recruiting trip to Division II Minot State University in North Dakota, which has offered a substantial scholarship package.
Pleasant Grove lineman Arik Armstead had a home visit from Auburn coaches Wednesday, and on Thursday he was visited by Oregon coach Chip Kelly. Later Thursday, Washington hosted Armstead at a nearby hotel.
Grant star Shaq Thompson had home visits from Cal coach Jeff Tedford and Washington coaches Thursday, and Oregon's Kelly will visit today. Thompson may take an unofficial trip to UCLA next week.