Turns out the Sierra Foothill League is excelling in just about every major sport again this academic year.
Granite Bay won the CIF State Division I football championship, and Brandon Monroe, The Bee's Player of the Year, hails from Del Oro.
In basketball, four SFL boys teams are ranked in the top 14. All six SFL teams enter the week on two-game winning streaks, including Woodcreek (9-8) and Nevada Union (7-10).
Ninth-ranked Rocklin (12-5) has emerged as a team to watch under first-year coach and former star guard Casey Cutts.
The Thunder has two victories over No. 10 Del Campo and one over No. 20 Lincoln.
Rocklin, a recent regional power that slipped to 4-24 last season, visits rival No. 11 Del Oro (12-5) on Thursday to open SFL play.
Del Oro fields one of the biggest teams in the Sac-Joaquin Section, even after losing 6-foot-5 forward Kyle Setterlund for the season with a knee injury.
Coach Geoff Broyles has four new starters and a lot of heft inside with Jack Huizenga and Keenan Finney, both 6-5, and Connor Drake (6-8).
No. 14 Roseville, three years removed from a 4-23 season and a year after going 14-13, is 15-2.
The losses were in the Atascadero Tournament to Paso Robles and Steele Canyon of Spring Valley during the holiday break. The Tigers open SFL play Thursday at No. 7 Granite Bay (11-5).
The Grizzlies, postseason regulars in recent seasons, face one of the toughest schedules in the area. They defeated Jesuit 60-44 on Friday.
On fire No. 20 Lincoln has won 10 consecutive games, the area's longest current streak. At 13-4, the Zebras have matched last season's victory total. The highlight for second-year coach Robert Ash was beating Del Oro 74-69 on Jan. 2. All this from a team that has just one senior starter in Alex Gonzalez, second on the team in scoring with 11.5 points per game.
Marcus Salgado leads the Zebras with a 13.7-point average. They open Pioneer Valley League play Thursday at home against Bear River (13-3), which is led by 6-6 forward Justin Beskeen (22.5 points per game).
The PVL also includes Colfax (14-3) and Placer (13-4).
Hot scorer Alex Van Dyke, a nationally recruited wide receiver at Cosumnes Oaks, scored a career best 37 points to help beat El Dorado 69-52 in the third-place game of the Oak Ridge Trojan Toss-Up.
Van Dyke is a three-sport star who also sprints and jumps on the track and field team.