Four weeks into the high school football season, coaches and athletes are spent.
But there’s no rest for the weary. League play starts in earnest this week.
What we’ve learned so far:
These setbacks can serve as wake-up calls. Meanwhile, SFL members No. 1 Folsom, No. 6 Rocklin, No. 14 Woodcreek and No. 18 Nevada Union continue to roll with a combined 15-1 record.
Any local teams that dare frown at those scores and think, “Oh, we’d give De La Salle a game,” are sorely underestimating the Spartans. De La Salle methodically mows under all comers. It is 8-0 against Sacramento-area teams, all blowouts, including 5-0 since 2012. Kudos to the regional teams for taking on the best, to live, learn and grow.
Most telling is this: De La Salle is unbeaten in 254 games against Northern California competition since 1992. The Spartans seek their 21st undefeated season and 10th national No. 1 finish since 1991.
What enhances this argument is the recent CIF tweak that now will allow the NorCal No. 1 team (De La Salle pretty much the last 30 years) a NorCal Open bye and an immediate path to the CIF State Open game. Local teams that have reached the state finals include Grant in 2008 (win), Rocklin in 2009, Folsom in 2010 (win), Del Oro in 2011, Granite Bay in 2012 (win) and Del Oro in 2013.
Projected D-II teams in the bowl mix include Elk Grove, Grant, Rio Linda, Rocklin and Vacaville, and smaller schools wanting some of that action include Capital Christian, Placer, Sutter and Winters.
“Jake’s a senior, a great story, a kid who plugged right in and has done a terrific job,” Folsom co-coach Kris Richardson said. “He’s been our most consistent lineman. He’s not a dominant force like (teammate) Cody Creason or Jonah, but he’s very good, and he doesn’t make mistakes.”
The Bulldogs (2-1) lost their last road game against a ranked team, 24-23 at Oak Ridge on Sept. 5, when a winning two-point conversion attempt fell just short. Vacaville coach Mike Papadopoulos said of Granite Bay: “They make us better every year.”
A personal favorite for the elder Whitmire was coaching son Brian, a tough-minded, cerebral linebacker, runner and kicker for the Blue Devils a generation ago.
Dave Whitmire is retired from teaching and coaching, though he does help his son with his pool business in Yolo County.
“He’s a great son,” Dave Whitmire said. “He makes me fish out the rats.”