By Tim Peterson
11 days and counting…It seems like just last month that San Marino was celebrating the CIF championship but football is here. Thursday, August 26 is next week as the 2016 high school football season kicks off.
Have you seen some of the games on tap for Zero Week? Thursday starts off with a bang as Northview hosts Charter Oak at Covina District Field. The Vikings, who are expected to contend for a CIF title this year, have definitely stepped up their schedule. It will be interesting to see how Northview quarterback Steven Comstock, who is already receiving D1 offers, fares against a top tier team like the Chargers.
Then on Friday night Arcadia is at Bell Gardens. Last year was a shootout of epic proportions and now for BG, the Margarito Beltran era begins. Intriguing contest. Monrovia is at Burbank as Jerry Chou makes his head coaching debut for the Wildcats. This is a big game for Monrovia, not just because it’s Chou’s first game but also because Burbank beat Monrovia last year. The Bulldogs are out to prove 2015 was no fluke.
Maybe the biggest game of the weekend will be at San Marino. It may seem like last month that the Titans raised the CIF banner but in reality it was eight months ago and this is a totally different San Marino team. With Mike Hobbie at the helm, we know San Marino is a contender but gone are several big time players. The Titans have been criticized previously for a weak non-league schedule but they will be tested right out of the gate as Los Altos comes to town. The Conquerors have running back Tyler Nevens, (yes he’s still there) and they are still smarting after missing the post season last year with a disappointing 5-5 finish. HC Dale Ziola will have them amped up and ready to rock.
Cal is at Schurr, can the Condors bounce back? Norwalk is at El Rancho as Adrian Medrano gets the Dons off and running and South Pasadena, very much improved by all accounts, is at Rosemead which is breaking in a new quarterback after the graduation of Steven Nava.
Looking for more? How about the Smudgepot? Yes it’s on Zero Week as San Dimas takes on Bonita at Citrus College. Ibis Aguilar will be on the sidelines for the first time as the head coach of the Bearcats and San Dimas is coming off a trip to the Mid-Valley Division Finals where the Saints fell to Sierra Canyon last December. The Smudgepot rarely leaves you wanting.
Other games of note on Friday are El Monte at Montebello in Lions’ HC Eric MacIntyre’s first game, Pasadena Poly is at Temple City and Gladstone travels to South El Monte.
Arroyo and Covina put a cap on the weekend when they square off at CDF on Saturday night. In case you forgot, the Colts ended the Knights season last November with a 35-28 victory at B.L. Bergstrom in the first round of the playoffs. Should be a barn burner…
Let the games begin.
That’s my principle.
Tim can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @tspeterson40.