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30Q-2-KICKOFF (No. 21): Worth the price of admission

As most of you are, I’m getting fired up to actually see some games next week. That got me thinking for today’s topic.

If you had to buy a ticket, what three nonleague games would you attend this season?

I’ll break it down chronologically.

Aug. 24: Buhach Colony-Atwater at San Ramon Valley
Had to find an opening week game to stoke the fire, and this intersectional battle is going to be a good one. Buhach was undefeated heading into the Sac-Joaquin Section D-II playoffs last year, and got bounced in the semifinals by eventual champion Vacaville. San Ramon also had a good playoff run, making it to the final before losing to De La Salle. Playing SRV represents a definite step up in the nonleague slate for Buhach, but the Wolves will likely have some kinks to work out with a new QB (Cameron Birse) and some new faces up front. For the first week of the season, this is a game to circle on the calendar.

Aug. 31: De La Salle vs. Bellarmine at San Jose City College
Every year, I kind of hope for an easy game to cover in week one because it’s a good opportunity to shake the rust off. This game last year was the complete opposite. Double overtime at Owen Owens Field, capped by a missed PAT that looked for all the world to be the end of De La Salle’s NorCal unbeaten streak and instead turned into one of the Spartans’ most improbable wins ever. What can these two do for an encore? We’ll find out, this time in the South Bay. Bellarmine has some new blood in the offense, and DLS has a new quarterback, so there are definite variables to be worked out. One thing not up for debate? These remain two of Northern California’s absolute best teams.

Sept. 28: James Logan at Del Oro-Loomis
Logan’s┬ádecision to go independent has been well chronicled, and to the Colts’ credit, they scheduled accordingly. This game takes place right in the middle of the season, so barring injuries, you would expect both teams to be running at peak performance when they lock up. The Golden Eagles made it to the CIF Division II bowl game last year, and I would expect them to be bowl contenders again with the services of running back Brandon Monroe and the consistency of head coach Casey Taylor. If Logan wanted to be battle tested before the playoffs this year, this is definitely the way to do it.

 

Ben Enos