Prep Roundup

Del Oro Will Play Host To Football Showcase

Two-Day 'Battle at the Capital' to Feature Golden Eagles, Colfax, Whitney
By: Mike Ray, Gold Country News Services
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The NCAA basketball Final Four, the opening of the major league baseball season and The Masters’ golf tournament always seems to make this time of the year one of the most exciting in sports. So, with that in mind, it must also be time to talk high school football. And although the first games to begin the 2010 grid season are still over four and a half months away, there’s a lot of interest revolving around the 2nd annual “Battle at the Capital” which this season will be played over two days at Del Oro High in Loomis. “We’re really excited about this year’s line-up,” said Battle at the Capital organizer Matt Williams. “We think we have some very good match ups this season.” A year ago, Williams organized the first “Battle at the Capital” that included four games being played at Folsom High. Prior to that in 2008, Williams brought several Sacramento area teams to play in Pocatello, Idaho in what was dubbed “Rocky Mountain Rumble”. This year Williams has a line-up of six games to be played over two days, Sept. 3-4, which this season with most teams opening the week of Aug. 27, will be many of the squads second games of the season. Here’s a breakdown of this year’s “Battle at the Capital” games with last year’s records listed in parenthesis: Friday, Sept 3 6 p.m. – Colfax (6-5) vs. Durham (7-4) : The Falcons will be meeting the Trojans from the Chico area on the gridiron for the first time since 1975 when the two schools were members of the North Section. Durham returns a standout athlete in 6-3 205-pound run-pass quarterback Nelson Fishback who threw for 1,000 yards last season and ran for 500. Fishback is reportedly drawing attention from several Div. I programs including Oregon State. 8 p.m. – Aptos (5-4-1) vs. Del Campo (13-1): Legendary California prep coach Randy Blankenship is the new head coach at Aptos. Blankenship, who has amassed 203 career victories at stops which include Nevada Union, Clovis West, Fallbrook, Grandbury, Texas, Capistrano Valley and Madera, will install the wing-t for the Mariners to run. In a game side note, Blankenship in his early coaching days was an assistant coach when now Del Campo coach Mike Dimino was one of his players. Saturday, Sept. 4 11 a.m. – Christian Brothers (6-5) vs. St. Mary’s (Berkeley), 8-3: In another battle of two 2009 playoff squads, the Falcons from Sacramento willl have to try and find a way to slow St. Mary’s quarterback Francisco Torres who threw for over 1,200 yards as a junior. 2 p.m. – Central Catholic (Modesto, 11-2) vs. Cardinal Newman (Santa Rosa), 7-5: In a rematch from last year’s games, Central Catholic and Cardinal Newman will lock horns again. The game could go along way down the road in helping determine the small school representative from Northern California in the CIF’s state playoff games. 5 p.m. – Whitney (7-4) vs. Concord (8-3): Two teams that have the capability to put points on the scoreboard will collide. Concord, a North Coast Section Div. II school, is led by Div. I prospect Ricky Lloyd who last season filled the air with passes that totaled 2,736 yards and 36 touchdowns. Whitney, on the other hand, may have some of the best young talent in the area next season. 8 p.m. Del Oro (11-3) vs. Bullard (Fresno), 13-0: Saying that Del Oro is playing a tough schedule in 2010 may be an understatement. The Golden Eagles will open the first week of the season at defending Nevada state champion Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas and then return home to meet Bullard, which won last season’s Central Section Div. I crown. Also on Del Oro’s pre-season slate are the likes of Clovis West, Oak Ridge and Oakmont.