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High school football is here again.
Here are previews and predictions for the best games of Week 0
Oaks Christian Team Preview | Team Chaminade preview
GAME PREVIEW: Chaminade hosts Oaks Christian in the Daily News top 5
(All game times at 7pm unless otherwise noted)
This is an all-time rivalry game in the San Fernando Valley…well, it used to be. There was a time when Crespi was in the Mission League, which made the annual game with Notre Dame attractive to the community, players and alumni.
Friday’s game won’t have the same luster as before, but the outcome will be telling for both programs. Notre Dame is coming off a two-win season and is looking for improvement behind standout sophomore quarterback Wyatt Becker and returning running back Brennan Dragomer. Crespi is also coming off a tough 2021 campaign, winning just two games. The Celtics return Holden Gering, who will look to catch passes from Tristan Fauria, a junior quarterback with a familiar last name.
Tristan is the son of Crespi alum Quinn Fauria and nephew of Lance and Christian Fauria, and related to recent standout Joe Fauria. Fauria’s name being spelled out only from the field speakers will add nostalgia to this great rivalry.
Notre Dame beat Crespi 41-7 the last time the two programs played. That was in 2018.
Prediction: Notre Dame. Too much size and talent.
This is a great start for both teams, and this matchup will serve as a comeback test for two programs expected to go for their respective league titles.
St. Francis will throw in freshman transfer running back Devyn Turner and senior Jack Jacobs will have a new receiving corps at his disposal.
West Ranch will be led by quarterback Ryan Staub, who is committed to Colorado, and there’s nothing more dangerous in the high school than an arm that can put him anywhere he wants. St. Francis has an inexperienced defense that could struggle to slow down Staub.
Prediction: Saint Francis Expect a lot of points, but the Golden Knights will score more.
Sierra Canyon will begin its journey to the CIF Southern Section Division 1 playoffs with a matchup against a Trinity League opponent on the road. Sophomore quarterback Alonzo Esparza started the Trailblazers’ game against Orange Lutheran last week, so expectations are high for Esparza to start Friday night, but coach Jon Ellinghouse has yet to name an official starter .
Junior Damon Wrighster may also get reps at quarterback.
Sierra Canyon beat JSerra twice last year, including a playoff win.
Prediction: Serra Canyon The Trailblazers beat the Lions for the third time in two seasons.
There are so many question marks over Germany’s domestic opening. The Warriors have a new quarterback in CJ Ceron, new running backs in Jeremiah Claiborne and Paden White, and untested wideouts. The most veteran group is the offensive line, which could be a great foundation for a successful season. Will all the new faces gel quickly? Maybe, it doesn’t matter, as long as he warms up before Mission League play starts.
Prediction: Lone Peak Alemany is still figuring it out.
Royal to Birmingham Charter
Birmingham Charter, the two-time defending Open Division City champions, will begin their title defense at home against Royal High. Friday night’s opener will be the real coming-out party for Peyton Waters and quarterback Kingston Tisdale. Waters and Tisdell will be the leading figures in a new era in Birmingham following the graduation of 2021 Daily News Player of the Year Arlis Boardingham, who is now at Florida.
Royal is under new leadership with first-year head coach Michael Puopolo. While the Highlanders are establishing a new identity, Birmingham City’s title goals are already on their minds.
Prediction: Birmingham. Coach Jim Rose will have the Patriots ready.
Calabasas may be thin in numbers, but their big game potential is huge. Aaron Butler and running back King Miller are capable of making big plays. But the x-factor for the Coyotes will be the debut of transfer quarterback Alonzo Contreras. Contreras, who came from Sierra Canyon, is expected to take Calabasas to the next level offensively. Coach Cary Harris was very vocal about the team’s inability to pitch last season, which made the Coyotes one-dimensional, essentially handing the ball to Miller most of the time.
The home opener doesn’t call for a heavyweight matchup with Santa Monica coming to town, but that’s fine. Calabasas must establish versatility if it wants to compete in the new and competitive Marmonte League later this fall.
Prediction: pumpkins Welcome to the Aaron Butler Show.
The battle of the cards. El Camino Real’s program is very healthy in numbers under coach Jason Sabolic, but can they go on the road and beat Pali? see me I think ECR will be improved after a Division II city title win in 2021, but you may have to grow up first.
Prediction: Pali The ECR will reach the middle of the season.
Newbury Park will debut freshman quarterback Brady Smigiel, Golden Valley will look to get the ball to do-it-all athlete Ajani Smith as often as possible.
Golden Valley has a core of seniors returning at key positions that will be the difference in this game.
Prediction: Golden Valley Ajani Smith will score a TD defensively or on a special team.
A duel of the City Section. Kennedy seems to be getting better every year under coach Troy Cassidy. Will this matchup set the tone for each program as a top contender for this year’s City Division I playoffs, or perhaps, an Open Division berth?
The running back tandem of Gor Abrahamian and Gabriel Argott will lead the Cougars.
Prediction: Kennedy. Abrahamian and Argott combined for three or four TDs.
The best side of the City Section Dijon Stanley will win this match for Granada Hills itself. Stanley, who is committed to Utah, is capable of 300 yards and five touchdowns in a game, but he needs to stay healthy. That will be coach Bucky Brooks’ priority this season: keeping Stanley on the field.
Prediction: Hills of Granada. “Stanley sees the light of day… the 40, 30, 20, 10…”
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