Week 0 of the 2011 Central Section football season kicks off Thursday, Sept. 1. Here's Andy Boogaard's preseason team and division rankings, and the latest buzz topics:
(last year's records in parenthesis)
PRESEASON TOP 20
1. Clovis (8-5) Open: at Golden Valley-Merced (5-5), Friday
2. Clovis West (12-1) Open: at Merced (4-6), Thursday
3. Stockdale (6-6) Open: vs. East (2-8), Sept. 9
4. Central (8-4) Open: at Paso Robles (10-3), Friday
5. Bakersfield (10-3) Open: vs. Timpview-Provo, Utah (1-1), Saturday
6. Bullard (3-7) Open: vs. Independence-S.J. (9-3), Saturday
7. Memorial (10-4) Open: vs. Yosemite (6-6), Sept. 9
8. Clovis East (4-8) Open: vs. Edison (4-7), Friday
9. Tulare (9-2) Open: at Golden West (2-8), Sept. 9
10. Ridgeview (9-3) Open: vs. Independence (5-8), Sept. 9
11. Edison (4-7) Open: at Clovis East (4-8), Friday
12. Frontier (6-5) Open: at South (2-8), Sept. 9
13. Hanford (6-5) Open: vs. Chavez (2-8), Friday
14. Centennial (10-2) Open: at Mission Viejo (13-1), Friday
15. Tehachapi (13-1) Open: vs. Exeter (8-3), Friday
16. El Diamante (9-2) Open: vs. Clovis North (5-7), Sept. 8
17. Washington (11-2) Open: vs. Alisal-Salinas (4-6), Friday
18. Clovis North (5-7) Open: vs. Independence-Bk. (5-8), Thurs.
19. Garces (10-2) Open: at Cypress (9-2), Friday
20. Kingsburg (12-1) Open: vs. San Luis Obispo (4-6), Friday
D-I 1. Clovis; 2. Clovis West; 3. Stockdale
D-II 1. Memorial; 2. Frontier; 3. Clovis North
D-III 1. Ridgeview; 2. Hanford; 3. Kingsburg
D-IV 1. Washington; 2. Coalinga (10-3); 3. Wasco (8-3)
D-V 1. Lindsay (10-3); 2. Fowler (11-1); 3. Corcoran (7-4)
D-VI 1. Orange Cove (9-3); 2. Strathmore (8-5); 3. Mendota (5-6
Defending Central Section champions are Clovis West (D-I), Tehachapi (D-II), Kingsburg (D-III), Washington (D-IV), Fowler (D-V) and Orange Cove (D-VI). This is the final year of a two-year cycle for league and division realignment, meaning they change next year.
Tough to tell if Clovis West coach Mike Parsons was sandbagging when he made this comment about the Golden Eagles' No. 14 state ranking by Cal-Hi Sports: "I don't know where they get that. Are they watching JV film?" His shockingly small 38-player roster for a school with a 2,330-student enrollment – to say nothing of the program's rich history – includes seven sophomores. And there will be 10 new starters on defense. But QB Ian Hall is poised for a breakout year.
El Diamante, another perennial section power, will start six sophomores, including three on the D-line and promising tailback DeAngalo Torres. The Miners have gone 24-0 in the West Yosemite League in the past four seasons, but Hanford and sophomore QB Jake Young loom large to disrupt the run. Bullpups at Miners on Oct. 7.
Transfer updates: QB Khari Magee (from Central) eligible at Edison, but DB Tee Shepard's (from Central) still pending at Washington. Section commissioner Jim Crichlow says he has mailed a letter to the Notre Dame-bound player's parents, but he declined to elaborate while honoring student privacy laws.
Washington coach Jeff Freitas says his skill position talent is actually superior to that high-octane outfit of a year ago.