After beating Clovis East 45-8 at home last Friday, No. 14 Inderkum will play host to Spanish Springs of Sparks, Nev., on Sept. 7 in Natomas.
It's not that the Tigers are scheduling tough early games for possible postseason consideration for a Northern California Regional or State Bowl bid.
Successful area programs such as Inderkum are finding it more of a challenge to find nonleague games.
Much of that has to do with the Sac-Joaquin Section's 4-year-old playoff format that rewards teams in the postseason based primarily on regular-season wins, not strength of schedule.
For teams in tough leagues, scheduling too many difficult nonleague opponents could mean missing the postseason.
Inderkum has been primarily a Division III school, but because of its football success a seven-season record of 71-14 schools of comparable size avoid the Tigers.
"It's frustrating trying to schedule games," says Inderkum coach Terry Stark. "We were sweating it a little bit because we were into April and May and we had only seven games on our schedule. Everyone has to get wins in the preseason."
It's meant Inderkum has had to find schools outside of the area the Tigers also play host to Terra Nova of Pacifica on Sept. 28 or play up against larger-enrollment schools such as No. 4 Pleasant Grove, a D-I school, Sept. 14 at Inderkum.
Despite its success, Inderkum has struggled to find a home audience. Playing three out-of-area opponents doesn't help boost interest.
Stark isn't the only coach dealing with scheduling issues.
Granite Bay coach Ernie Cooper says some schools are reluctant to play his team because the defending D-I section champions run the fly offense.
"We never get that phone call, 'Hey come over here and play us,' " said Cooper, whose No. 5 Grizzlies play CalHi Sports' state No. 4 Oaks Christian on Saturday in Westlake Village. "Part of it is we've been pretty good. But some teams don't want to spend a game playing against an offense like ours if they are never going to see it again."
Burbank coach John Heffernan would prefer not to host No. 3 Grant (Sept. 7) and visit No. 6 Del Oro (Sept. 14) in back-to-back weeks because of the physical toll it may take. But he had little choice.
Because of No. 12 Burbank's reputation for toughness, speed and its unorthodox triple option, Heffernan rarely gets return calls from coaches when he tries to schedule a game. It doesn't help that Burbank isn't a big road draw.
"We're not Grant, Del Oro or Pleasant Grove, and teams know that on a good day, we can beat you," Heffernan said.
More separation Rio Linda's Mike Morris is amazed at how sophisticated year-round football has become through the years.
There's not only a gulf between the haves and have-not programs it's true for the haves and the lesser haves, too.
Rio Linda has strong school and booster support with seven winning seasons in the past eight years, including a Division III section championship team in 2004.
But after finishing the regular season 7-3 last season, the Knights were beaten by eventual section runner-up Folsom 56-19 in a D-II playoff opener. The Knights trailed 49-0 at the half.
"We're fairly established and had a pretty good team, and look what happened to us," Morris said before No. 10 Folsom beat then-No. 20 Woodcreek 68-28 last Friday. "My first year, we were 0-10, but even though we played some really good teams, the scores weren't nearly so lopsided.
"So can you imagine that gap between the upper level and our downtrodden teams now?
Services for Guerra Memorial services for Dewey Guerra, the famed Cordova coach from the 1960s and '70s, will be held at 10 a.m. Friday at St. John Vianney Church in Rancho Cordova. A barbecue will follow at Hagan Community Park near Cordova High.