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.
THIS WEEK’S HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL SCHEDULE
All games kick off between 7 and 7:30 p.m.
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
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
No. 16 Cosumnes Oaks at Marin Catholic, 2 p.m.
Valley Christian vs. Encina at El Camino, 11 a.m