Don’t need to ask if you’re ready for some football. If you weren’t, you wouldn’t be reading this.
With all four city high school teams kicking off their seasons Friday night, let’s hope they’re more ready for some football than they were in 2012.
To recap, they were a combined 9-30 with no team over .500, the first time that’s happened since 1982.
There were plenty of reasons from struggles last season.
• Armijo, Fairfield and Rodriguez each had new coaches, all of whom were hired dreadfully late in the year for there to be any chance of success.
• Each Fairfield-Suisun school lost players to transfers because of the threat of the school district eliminating high school sports. That especially hurt Fairfield, which had its smallest roster ever, barely over 20.
• Each school except for Fairfield over-scheduled, though not all intentionally. Vanden’s three nonleague losses were to Christian Brothers, Napa and Center, all of which made the playoffs, and against whom the Vikings acquitted themselves well – they just didn’t win.
Rodriguez played Deer Valley and Whitney, both of which it had no business playing, especially in light of yet another coaching change, and lost to by a combined 96-7.
Armijo was blitzed a combined 179-42 by its first four foes – American Canyon, Davis, Benicia and Antelope – and opens against the same four teams this season.
Many of these concerns remain heading into the 2013 campaign.
• Rodriguez and Fairfield again have new coaches, the former not getting theirs until the week before the start of practice. You know the numbers by now: six coaches in six seasons, not a recipe for success. A plus is that Berwyn Hutcherson comes from within the Mustangs program, having coached the JV team last season.
David Fishleigh had essentially a full offseason after taking over at Fairfield, though again the Falcons are few in numbers.
• Again each team has a tough nonleague schedule. Armijo’s opponents are mentioned above. Fairfield opens at Del Campo and also plays at Stagg of Stockton, both nine-win teams in 2012.
Rodriguez again opens at Deer Valley and added former Solano County Athletic Conference rival Bethel.
Vanden retained Center and Napa, also adding a game in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, against Copper Hills of West Jordan, Utah.
Will it be a better season for the city teams in 2013? Probably. Even with Hutcherson’s late hiring there is greater stability within the programs. No team can afford injuries, especially Fairfield and Armijo, the former thin in numbers, the latter lean in experience.
Save for Armijo, each team returns major playmakers. And with the Indians three-yards-and-a-cloud-of-black-rubber-bits offense, a star could come from anywhere.
Each team is worth watching. Regardless of their final records, each will have memorable moments.
Reach Paul Farmer at 425-4646, ext. 264, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pfarmerdr.