With The Bee preparing a flood of previews next week in print and online, including a regional Top 20, here's a peek at The Bee's preseason Sac-Joaquin Section rankings with last year's record (the beauty of the early schedule shows a lot of heavies taking on heavies, and we'll learn a lot more about the top of these rankings after the season's first three weeks):
1. Lincoln-Stockton (11-2)
QB Zack Greenlee and RB Justin Davis form 1-2 punch; open against Elk Grove and Pleasant Grove.
2. Elk Grove (12-1)
Wing-T sprint team includes RB Robert Frazier, fast D; open at Lincoln.
3. Del Oro (13-2)
RB Brandon Monroe could rush for 2,000 yards; early games against Oaks Christian, Westlake, Grant, Burbank.
4. Nevada Union (7-4)
QB Kyle Cota, LB aces Hank Humphers, Tanner Vallejo are vets; new LB Cole Hannum a boost. At Grant in Week 1.
5. Grant (8-4)
Pacers eye section-best 22nd straight playoff berth; WR/S Trayvon Henderson a recruit. NU, Del Oro, Burbank early games.
6. Pleasant Grove (12-2)
Eagles are as fast as ever and tough with DL/OL Nick Terry and FB/LB Tyree Hanson; Lincoln and NU early games.
7. Vacaville (13-1)
Bulldogs have won 12 in a row and return RB Curtis Goins; play Granite Bay early.
8. Granite Bay (12-2)
Defending D-I champs break in new QB, RBs, linemen; loaded early schedule includes Westlake and Oaks Christian.
9. Franklin-Elk Grove (8-4)
Section-best 17 starters return; fast team could go 10-0, though Grant and Elk Grove loom in league play.
10. Placer (9-3)
Hillmen could bolt to 10-0 start behind wing-T express and USC commit DL Eddie Vanderdoes.
11. Central Catholic (10-3)
Small-school bruisers find out what they have in Placer opener.
12. Oakdale (13-1)
Mustangs fell to Del Oro in D-III section finals last 2 years; army of starters return.
13. Folsom (11-3)
Bulldogs usher in new QB, linemen but defense is stout with LB Derek Stiles, DB Phillip Carter.
14. Oak Ridge (7-5)
Trojans new QB ace is Jason Samuels; loaded lines; early schedule includes Grant.
15. St. Mary's-Stockton (9-3)
Rams are spread-option gurus, well coached, skilled. De La Salle early game.
16. Buhach Colony-Atwater (12-1)
Thunder return five leading rushers and 6-6, 360-pound OL Aaron Cochran.
17. Burbank (9-2)
Uber-quick Titans could soar up these rankings with wins early against Napa, Grant.
18. Napa (7-4)
Indians have QB ace in Zach Jones, also a DB; open vs. Burbank.
19. Cosumnes Oaks (8-4)
Huge on the lines, fast skill players, rising program indeed; vs Franklin early.
20. Inderkum (10-2)
Major injuries early hurt; early game vs Pleasant Grove is monster track meet.
21. Del Campo (8-4)
Another brutish running game, linemen and hitters; vs. Elk Grove early.
22. Jesuit (5-6)
New coach Marlon Blanton works with old QB Thomas Sperbeck.
23. Antelope (6-5)
Titans have WR/DB ace in Tyler Winston; eye another league title.
24. Pitman-Turlock (10-2)
Pride return top three RBs and have easy nonleague/league.
25. Casa Roble (10-3)
Rams could climb here fast; RB Kody Jones ran for 1,500 yards.
Added note: For a refresher/crash course to the Sacramento-area high school football season, we suggest four courses of action to satisfy your curiosity:
Stay tuned for a flood of Bee previews next week in print and online, including:
- Area Top 20 rankings
- Top 25 top players to watch
- Top returning players with stats, comments (more than 100 players total)
- League-by-league previews and projections, with comments
- Overview story on the state of high school football with the haves and have-nots, fundraising issues, concussion concerns and the expansion of the playoffs.
- Point-counter-point between The Bee's Bill Paterson and me on topics such as the good/bad of regional games, transfers, etc.
Go to SureWestSports.com for a countdown rankings shows with host Mike Finnerty and yours truly as we offer:
- Interviews with coaches
- Interviews with athletes
- A breakdown of top players
- Big-picture commentary on prep football topics
Go to ESPN1320.net Friday morning for a link to the SureWest Sports Radio Show kickoff preview show that I co-host with Finnerty. Topics include:
- Can Del Oro three-peat?
- Is Grant a factor again?
- How good is Franklin?
- Does Folsom have a new QB ace?
- The biggest transfer in the region in years
- Can Granite Bay repeat?
- How fast is Pleasant Grove?
- Top players
- Top leauges
The show will also air each Saturday from 9-10 a.m. on ESPN1320, including this week.
Tune into Fox 40's Final Quarter Prep Football Preview Show on Friday from 11-11:30 p.m. During the season, Jim Crandell and Kristina Werner will break down highlights each Friday night, from 11-11:30 p.m. in the Final Quarter.
The Final Quarter this Friday includes:
- A visit with Del Oro
- A visit with national recruit lineman Eddie Vanderdoes of Placer
- A peek back at last year's top talents in Grant's Shaq Thompson (now at Washington) and Pleasant Grove's Arik Armstead (now at Oregon).
- A visit with Sac-Joaquin Section preseason No. 1 Lincoln-Stockton.
- A feature on retired legendary coach Ed Lombardi.
- An interview with Sac-Joaquin Section Commissioner Pete Saco.
- A story on concussions
- Five questions in a 2-minute blitz session with yours truly in breaking down the region in quick, big-picture form.
In short, football season is here.
- Joe Davidson
Follow on Twitter: @SacBee_JoeD
Follow on Facebook: sacbeepreps
Email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Bee photo by Brian Baer: Pleasant Grove High School's, Tyree Hanson, #23 losses his helmet as he is tackled by Oak Ridge High School's Preston Dean, #3 as Oak Ridge High School hosts Pleasant Grove High School, Friday Oct. 21, 2011.