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By: Chace Bryson    Are we really already at the half way point of the high school football regular season?    Do the A’s...

By: Chace Bryson

   Are we really already at the half way point of the high school football regular season?

   Do the A’s really have a chance to finish with the best record in the American League?

   Is there really cross country on the cover of this issue? (Kidding, cross country folks. Just kidding. We’re big fans, really.)

   The point is, there’s a lot to think about. 

   And as the high school football season begins to transition into league play, we thought we’d take moment to lay out the top five things we think we know so far. 

   1. Jake Browning is going to set the state record for touchdown passes in a single season. We know that the Folsom junior quarterback is going to start facing some tougher defenses in the Delta River League, but he only needs 40 more TD passes (as of Sept. 21) and that offense is showing no signs of slowing down. To get a better look at the pace he’s on, check out our Locker Room section on the next page. 

   2. De La Salle is only getting better. And this is no surprise, of course. This is what they do. But there were murmurs after the Spartans’ scare at Serra-San Mateo, especially since that come-from-behind win also featured significant injuries to two key starters in Das Tautalatasi and Adam Mayer. All that’s happened since then is the Spartans defeated St. Mary’s-Stockton 40-13 on national TV and followed that with a 41-3 drubbing of Del Oro-Loomis. If they are able to win at Servite-Anaheim on Oct. 5, they likely won’t be challenged again until the regional bowl game. 

   3. There won’t be a better league race to watch week-in and week-out than the West Catholic Athletic League. We already have three of the eight teams ranked in our NorCal Top 20 — Bellarmine-San Jose, Serra-San Mateo and Archbishop Mitty-San Jose — and there are at least two more (St. Francis-Mountain View and Valley Christian-San Jose) that could easily make it there too. In the case of Valley Christian, they already have been. Our preseason pick to win it was Serra, and we’re sticking to it, but we aren’t betting the mortgage on it. 

   4. The North Coast Section Division III tournament could be one for the ages this year. Between Marin Catholic-Kentfield, Campolindo-Moraga, El Cerrito, Cardinal Newman-Santa Rosa as the favorites, and Analy-Sebastapol and Acalanes-Lafayette looking like serious contenders, that bracket should be a doozy from the quarterfinals on. We’d also be shocked if the team that comes out on top doesn’t eventually advance to the state bowl game in Carson. 

   5. Antonio Saldana is going to win a game for Pittsburg at some point. Everybody knows that the Pirates big weapon this year is running back Harris Ross, thanks to his NCS-record setting night against Monte Vista-Danville on Sept. 13 (see page 10). But the Pirates have another weapon in the leg of Saldana, who seemingly drills 50-yarders with ease during pregame warm-ups. The coaches have confidence in him, too. Which means at some point during a competitive Bay Valley Athletic League schedule, Saldana is going to make a difference.

   Now, who’s ready to dig into some cross country? We got the goods this issue. Go check it out! 

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