Every once in a while, the Solano County Athletic Conference is fit to be tied, especially in football.
The teams at or near the top are so closely matched that when the dust settles after Week 10, three are tied for either first or second.
It could be one of those seasons in 2013.
If anyone’s a favorite, it’s defending champion American Canyon (4-1), whose only loss was by one point to powerhouse Stagg of Stockton.
After that, it’s anybody’s guess.
“In all honesty, you really can’t pinpoint one main game that’s going to make you be the league champion,” Vanden coach LeVon Haynes said. “You have to play them all like that, like it’s going to come down to the very last game.”
Former Rodriguez coach David Fishleigh is back in the SCAC at Fairfield (2-3), and he also has trouble narrowing it down to one favorite.
“I would say Benicia (4-1) and American Canyon would be my front-runners to begin with,” Fishleigh said. “There’s no lightweights in the league. Bethel (3-2) and Vanden (2-3) are good teams, Vallejo (1-4) as well, they’re really athletic.”
Vanden’s 41-34 comeback win over Center was big, not only for morale purposes after consecutive one-point losses, but for playoff considerations.
A 6-4 record would likely get the Vikings into the postseason, but not with a 5-5 mark.
“It gives us momentum going into league coming off a great win,” Haynes said.” I like where we’re at. We’ve got to go in and winning three of the five league games can get you into playoffs, which is where we want to be. We want to win more, we want what everybody wants, a league title, and playing in the first round (of the playoffs) at home.”
Fairfield, meanwhile, is in survival mode after back-to-back losses that saw three players lost for the season due of injuries.
“Our roster is kind of challenging us,” Fishleigh said. “We’re just going to line up the next five games and do what we can.”
As for the Monticello Empire League, it all starts with Vacaville, winner of the last four titles and 21 straight MEL games.
Just as last year, the Bulldogs (2-3) are coming off three straight losses entering league play, but those were to powerhouses Granite Bay, Oak Ridge and Deer Valley, which are a combined 14-1.
The consecutive losses were enough to cost the Bulldogs the top spot in the Solano County rankings for the first time in . . . probably a decade or more.
That nod goes to Wood (4-1), which has gutted out one-point victories over Vanden and Benicia, which are also in the top four in the County.
Keep in mind that the rankings have a way of working themselves out. Either the Wildcats will hold onto the top spot or they won’t.
Wood may not get past the Vacaville for the first time since 1997, but they’re in a good position to end up with the best overall record in the MEL when the season’s over at 8-2.
Napa (3-2) is again a top contender, with Vintage (2-3), Armijo (1-4) and Rodriguez (1-4) likely to battle for fourth.
First-year Rodriguez coach Berwyn Hutcherson feels that others are underestimating the Mustangs and looks for a good showing in the MEL.
“We’re a powerhouse, we’ve just got to play up to that,” he said. “I totally believe in my guys. We just have get refocused and play some smash-mouth (football), regardless of how other people believe.”
Reach Paul Farmer at 425-4646, ext. 264, or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pfarmerdr.