One program achieves success in the foothills with a smash-mouth approach on natural grass.
The other makes an impact with speed and skill on the fast tracks of field turfs in Sacramento.
The mark of a good program is sustained success, and no where is that more evident on the regional high school football landscape than at Bear River and Inderkum.
Bear River of the Lake of the Pines and Grass Valley border trots out 22 players and co-coaches who have been tied one way or another to the program since 1987. Under the direction of longtime friends Terry Logue and Scott Savoie, The Bee No. 11 Bruins are 6-0 after beating Center 16-7 on Friday to open Pioneer Valley league play in a meeting of small-school unbeatens.
At about the same time, No. 5 Inderkum raced past Woodcreek 51-7 in a Capital Valley Conference showdown of unbeatens.
The Tigers rely on the run-heavy wing-T and had seven players carry the ball for 482 yards and six touchdowns, three by Johnny Williams and two by Savien Pressley. Inderkum challenges players to focus on production.
How do you please a bevy of backs?
“You don’t,” longtime Tigers coach Terry Stark. “They count carries.These kids are into highlights, into stats. ‘He’s getting more than me,’ they’ll say and we just tell them that’s the way it is. When you get the ball … score. But that’s nothing new. That’s the way it’s always been. So do something with it when you get it.”
At Bear River, everyone plays – a lot. The team’s “Three Amigos” are the leaders: quarterback Calder Kunde, running back Tre Maronic and receiver Dylan Scott. Each plays on defense and on special teams.
“Every week we come to play,” Logue said. “We’re prepared. We work hard, and we play hard, clean football. We’ll knock you down and then offer you a hand to get up.
“Football is a big deal at Bear River.”
Bear River has produced 22 winning seasons in the past 23 years, a streak that is all the more remarkable considering the declining enrollment, down to an all-time low of 611. Logue and Savoie have led 19 playoff teams and have reached three Sac-Joaquin Section title games in the past four seasons, winning two.
Bear River won section titles in 1991 and 1994 when Logue was the sole head coach. The Bruins were state-ranked No. 1 at Division IV by Cal-Hi Sports.
Inderkum, meanwhile, has won 10 or more games 12 successive seasons, all under Stark. That’s the longest such streak in the area. The Division II Tigers went 12-2 in 2014, 12-1 in 2015, 11-3 in 2016 and 11-1 last fall.
Inderkum has produced scores of major college recruits, a credit to the complete student-athlete experience, Stark and his coaching staff say.
Evans honored – A Jesuit football coaching fixture for nearly 40 years, Ross Evans will in March receive the Fred Arp Memorial Assistant Coach of the Year award from the Northern California Chapter of the National Football Foundation. Arp was an assistant coach at UC Davis for 41 years.
He died in July at 73.
Stat marvels – The section’s leading touchdown passers are from schools about four miles away from each other. Kaiden Bennett of top-ranked Folsom and Grant Patterson of Vista del Lago each have 24 touchdowns.
The section rushing touchdown leader is Marshall Chapman of Placer with 19, followed by Ryan Hurley of Rio Vista and Isaiah Woods of Millenium of Tracy with 18 and Cameron Skattebo of Rio Linda has 16.
Traivion Drummer of Foothill leads the section with 16 touchdown receptions.
Christopher Chang of Highlands is the area leader in sacks with 9.0.
Follow The Bee’s Joe Davidson: firstname.lastname@example.org, @SacBee_JoeD, sacbee.com/high-school.
All games kick off between 7-7:30 p.m. Friday, unless noted.
Whitney at No. 1 Folsom
No. 6 Oak Ridge at No. 2 Del Oro
Kennedy at No. 3 Monterey Trail
No. 4 Placer at No. 17 Rio Linda
River Valley at No. 5 Inderkum
No. 7 Capital Christian vs. Sacramento, Saturday
Rocklin at No. 9 Grant
No. 11 Jesuit at No. 13 Elk Grove
Lindhurst at No. 12 Bear River
Woodcreek at No. 14 Antelope
Foothill at No. 15 Center
Marysville at No. 16 Colfax
No. 18 Ponderosa at No. 20 Lincoln
No. 19 Casa Roble at Pioneer
Byes: No. 8 Sheldon, No. 10 Granite Bay
Christian Brothers at El Camino
Rio Americano at Del Campo
Yuba City at Bella Vista
Franklin at Cosumnes Oaks
Oakmont at Nevada Union
Florin at Cordova
River City at Burbank
Encina at Foresthill
Delta at Western Sierra
Golden Sierra at Highalnds
San Juan at Rio Vista
El Dorado at Rosemont
Galt at Bradshaw Christian
Union Mine at Liberty Ranch
Mesa Verde vs. Dixon at San Juan
Natomas vs. Valley at Cosumnes River College
McClatchy vs. Laguna Creek at Hughes Stadium