A week from today, the 2017 high-school football season kicks off. Here’s a look at each Foothill League team’s most interesting preleague game.
Golden Valley vs. Highland, at Canyon High – Aug. 25
Over the last two years, the Grizzlies have made a habit of accomplishing things they’d never before accomplished and beating teams they’d never before beaten. It’s time to add Highland of Palmdale to that list.
In two previous meetings, Golden Valley is 0-2 with a composite score of 72-20. With Golden Valley’s talented roster, it’s hard to imagine this game will resemble the other two.
West Ranch vs. Simi Valley, at Valencia High – Aug. 25
Look no further than Week 0 for West Ranch’s most interesting preleague game. The Wildcats feel the Pioneers ripped a playoff berth from their hands in last year’s opener.
Simi Valley won 28-26 at home, and West Ranch finished 4-6. Had the Wildcats finished at .500, they likely would have earned at-large berth to the Division 9 playoffs.
West Ranch wants to start on the right foot. That means a win against Simi. It will also be Wildcat fans’ first look at transfer quarterback Colton Mitchell.
Canyon at Highland – Sept. 15
This is a rematch of what will forever be known as the Cole Manclow game.
The then-senior blocked an extra point in the fourth quarter to lift the Cowboys to a 21-20 home win.
Canyon hopes to hand the Bulldogs another loss this time around.
Hart vs. St. Bonaventure, at Ventura High – Sept. 22
In each of the last two seasons, the Indians have lost a heartbreaker to the Seraphs.
Last year, it was 38-32 at College of the Canyons. In 2015, it was a 42-38 setback headlined by an offensive pass interference call against Hart in the closing seconds.
St. Bonaventure went 6-5 last season.
Saugus vs. St. Francis, at COC – Sept. 22
The Centurions will welcome former Hart High quarterback Jim Bonds, now the head coach at St. Francis of La Canada, and his Golden Knights to Cougar Stadium.
The Golden Knights went 9-2 last season, with their only regular-season loss coming to Cathedral of Los Angeles. They graduated star quarterback Michael Bonds.
This matchup will be the final preleague game for Saugus. Will the Centurions be playing for their second straight 5-0 start?
Valencia at Calabasas – Sept. 28
In what could be a preview of the CIF-Southern Section Division 2 title game, the Vikings will go on the road against a reloaded Calabasas team that lost only once last year, 60-53 to Madison of San Diego in the state playoffs.
Cal-Hi Sports ranks Calabasas as the No. 16 team in the state and Valencia close behind at No. 19.
The Coyotes beat the Vikings, 37-21, at Valencia in 2016. The Vikings led 21-16 at halftime.