Joe Davidson

Area football powerhouses must look outside region for early-season opponents

Former Folsom quarterback Jake Browning (12) rolls out to pass during the game between the Folsom High School Bulldogs and the Grant High School Pacers at Hornet Stadium in Sacramento on Friday, December 12, 2014. This was the CIF Northern California Regional Division I football championship game.
Former Folsom quarterback Jake Browning (12) rolls out to pass during the game between the Folsom High School Bulldogs and the Grant High School Pacers at Hornet Stadium in Sacramento on Friday, December 12, 2014. This was the CIF Northern California Regional Division I football championship game. rbenton@sacbee.com

The problem with being a dominant high school football team is nobody wants to play you unless absolutely necessary.

That’s especially true in the season’s first week. Because many area powerhouses find it difficult to schedule local competition – no teams like to get walloped early, apparently – some must look outside the area. In Friday’s season openers, top-ranked Folsom welcomes Bay Area power Clayton Valley Charter of Concord, No. 3 Del Oro hosts Pleasant Grove of Utah, No. 4 Elk Grove hosts Reno, and No. 8 Franklin hosts Clovis North of Fresno.

Two teams always eager for a challenge make for perhaps the best opener between local teams as No. 10 Burbank plays at No. 2 Grant, which will unveil a new field. Another noteworthy game is No. 6 Jesuit at No. 12 Granite Bay. (Check The Sacramento Bee on Thursday for a season preview, rankings, top players and story lines.)

CIF upholds section’s transfer denial – Justus Spillner, a 6-foot-3, 220-pound senior quarterback at Colfax, has been denied eligibility this fall by the Sac-Joaquin Section.

A two-year varsity starter at Nevada Union, Spillner transferred to Colfax in January and would have been eligible to play this fall. But when it was learned his family did not move with Spillner to the Colfax region, the section in June deemed the transfer “athletically motivated” and ruled him ineligible.

A three-member CIF appeals board recently upheld the decision after Spillner’s family argued the relocation was academically motivated.

Three named to All-American event – Running back Mike Green and defensive back Elijah Orr of Grant and wide receiver Trey Udoffia of Del Oro have been chosen for the Blue-Grey All-American Bowl in Arlington, Texas, on Dec. 20. The trio might have to skip the game for a good reason. Grant and Del Oro hope to cap the season Dec. 18-19 at Sacramento State, home of the 2015 CIF State Bowl games.

Former Herd coach dies – Dan Goldman, who coached all levels of basketball at Elk Grove in the 1990s and 2000s and was a longtime on-site contributor to the section playoffs at Sleep Train Arena, has died after a lengthy illness. He was 47. Said Todd Reiswig, a longtime coaching colleague and co-worker of Goldman’s at the arena: “Very, very sad. Such a good person.”

Folsom’s Mike Wall, El Camino’s Martin Soyama and Del Oro’s Steve Birch received Northern California coaching honors.

Coaching honors – Three area coaches were named Northern California Coaches of the Year by the California Coaches Association.

▪ Mike Wall guided Folsom’s boys basketball team to a repeat section title behind Bee Player of the Year Jordan Ford.

▪ Martin Soyama guided El Camino’s girls volleyball squad to a section title behind Bee Player of the Year Mikaela Nocetti.

▪ Del Oro defensive coordinator Steve Birch was awarded the NorCal Assistant Coach of the Year honor. The top assistant to Casey Taylor at Del Oro for 13 seasons, Birch has helped the Golden Eagles win three section titles and earn two trips to CIF State Bowl games in the last five seasons.

Joe Davidson: 916-321-1280, @SacBee_JoeD

THIS WEEK’S HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL SCHEDULE

All games kick off between 7 and 7:30 p.m.

FRIDAY

Top 20

Clayton Valley Charter-Concord at No. 1 Folsom

No. 10 Burbank at No. 2 Grant

Pleasant Grove-Utah at No. 3 Del Oro

Reno at No. 4 Elk Grove

Pleasant Grove at No. 5 Rocklin

No. 6 Jesuit at No. 12 Granite Bay

Whitney at No. 7 Oak Ridge

Clovis North-Fresno vs. No. 8 Franklin at Cosumnes Oaks

No. 9 Inderkum at Fairfield

Monterey Trail at No. 11 Antelope

No. 13 Placer at Nevada Union

No. 15 Bear River at Pacheco

No. 17 Vista del Lago at Wood

No. 18 Christian Brothers vs. River City at Hughes Stadium

Edison-Stockton at No. 19 Del Campo

Rio Americano at No. 20 Capital Christian

Other games

Argonaut at Colfax

Beyer-Modesto at Sheldon

Casa Roble at Bella Vista

Center at Rio Linda

Cordova at Pioneer

Delta at Le Grand

El Dorado at South Tahoe

Foothill at Union Mine

Golden Sierra at Foresthill

Highlands vs. Mesa Verde at San Juan

Johnson at Franklin-Stockton

Las Plumas at Marysville

Lincoln at Ponderosa

Lindhurst at River Valley

Mira Loma vs. Florin at Monterey Trail

Oakland Tech at Bradshaw Christian

Pleasant Valley at Yuba City

Rosemont at El Camino

Roseville vs. Chico at Pleasant Valley

San Juan at Amador

Vallejo at Natomas

Vintage at Woodcreek

West Campus vs. Laguna Creek at Cosumnes River College

Woodland at Dixon

SATURDAY

No. 16 Cosumnes Oaks at Marin Catholic, 2 p.m.

Valley Christian vs. Encina at El Camino, 11 a.m

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