The start of the high school football season is just four days away and five Santa Clarita Valley teams will be in action this Friday.
Coming off a scrimmage last Friday against Paraclete, Hart will travel more than 100 miles south to open its preleague slate on the road against Carlsbad, a Division 1 team in the CIF-San Diego Section.
“It’s always good to get another good look, you can never have too many,” Hart quarterback Zach Johnson said after the scrimmage. “You’re always going to see a different defense, different personnel, so it’s a great way for our whole team to learn, great way to get a little bit of extra work in. It’s extremely helpful going into next week.”
The Indians and Lancers had similar seasons in 2018, both finishing with six victories and winning their last three games before the first round of the playoffs. Also, both teams went 3-2 in their respective leagues.
Saugus is the other Foothill League team that will be on the road this Friday, taking on Granada Hills Charter.
The Highlanders have not had a winning season since 2011 and have played three games against Foothill League teams in the past, losing to Golden Valley twice and Canyon once.
The Division 1 CIF-Los Angeles City Section team welcomes in a new coach this season, Bucky Brooks, a former NFL player and current analyst for NFL Network.
“The challenge for us with Granada, a new coach, the first game of the year, we don’t know what we’re going to see,” Saugus head coach Jason Bornn said during training camp. “We have to be prepared to be able to defend multiple offenses as well as attack multiple defenses because we just don’t know what they’re going to be doing.”
West Ranch, who will take on Granada Hills in its second game of the season, open the year at home against Nordhoff.
The Rangers finished the 2018 season with an 8-3 record, with one of their losses coming against the Wildcats in the first game of the year. The two teams have played each other three times in total, with West Ranch holding a 2-1 record.
In last year’s game, Wildcats quarterback Weston Eget went 13-for-18 for 288 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. Ryan Camacho carried the ball 11 times for 74 yards and three scores. Jovan Camacho caught eight passes for 203 yards and two touchdowns.
All three players have since graduated.
The Joe Maiale era at Canyon begins with a home contest against Crespi, a Division 6 team that has gone 8-33 over the past four seasons.
The Cowboys and Celts have met four times in their history, between 2004-2007, with Canyon winning all four games.
Canyon scrimmaged against Ventura on Friday, allowing Maiale and his players an opportunity to get some live action in before the start of the season.
“I think the two things that we can learn from for Crespi next week is settling our feet more and just training our eyes to make sure that we don’t anticipate a play first,” said defensive back Connor Romero after the scrimmage. “And we’re just executing every single play and making sure that we’re all one team and everything.”
Trinity Classical Academy will head 160 miles east to Bermuda Dunes to open its season against Desert Christian Academy.
The teams have met five times since the 2012 season, with the Knights holding a 3-2 advantage over the Conquerors.
Valencia and Golden Valley open the season on Friday, Aug. 30, with the former facing Arcadia on the road and the latter at home against Burbank.
The CIF-Southern Section released its first rankings of the year on Monday, a preseason top 10 for every division.
Included in the preseason polls are three Santa Clarita Valley teams: Hart is ranked No. 9 in Division 4, West Ranch is ranked No. 9 in Division 7 and Trinity Classical Academy is ranked No. 6 in Division 14.