Friday Night Lights Are Back

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Crossing the threshold: Westlake would not be denied a touchdown on this carry, which produced the Warriors’ only score of the game. Thousand Oaks broke the 7-7 tie with a field goal from the 10-yard line. It was the first time T.O. beat the Warriors in more than 13 years. Final score: 10-7.

First, it’s nice to have the boys playing football again, and in pads, meaning they are protected. I watched the Dallas Cowboys play 7 v. 7 against the L.A. Rams, and they were in shoulder pads and helmets, playing touch football — and nobody got hurt! I wish CIF would let our high school athletes play protected. Every time I go to a 7 v. 7 game in California, the boys are not wearing gear … and I always see senseless injuries. That needs to change. … CIF says they don’t sanction 7 v. 7 but forbids the use of protective gear? With all this talk of protecting our athletes from concussions, not allowing them to wear a football helmet or shoulder pad for 7 v. 7 seems to contradict safety. The pros would never play without being protected, but our children are banned by CIF from wearing protective gear.

It’s a sad day for the athletes at St. Bonaventure High, as they are the first county football team to fall victim to the COVID crisis in the 2021 fall season. They were forced to cancel their season opener … Simi Valley was next, and the day before the game, Newbury Park got shut down … They’re harming the kids all over again! My younger son got COVID a few months ago. He is a healthy athlete and had it for two days, gave it to my wife, and she had a mild case for two weeks … I did not catch it. My elder son had COVID back in Feb. 2020. After my wife tested positive, I called the doctor to ask what the treatment was … He said, “There is no treatment.” The way I understand it, if they had a treatment, an emergency-use vaccine would not be allowed. So I asked him to give my wife the same steroid he gave my son back in Feb. 2020. That worked for him, but the doctor said they are not allowed to anymore. He repeated that there is no treatment for COVID. But the treatment back in 2020, a prescribed steroid, helped him get better … A few weeks later, all survived. No problems. Let the fear-driven madness end.

Here’s how coaches pick teams to play … Look at the state ranking. It’s not exact but gives you a good idea. If a team is playing another team from out of the area, and the ranking is over 100 points askew, then the coach on the low side is looking for competition. The teams on the high side want to play an easy game — to win without much competition … If a team is playing a higher-ranked team from the area, it’s a rivalry, and they don’t care about the win/loss; they care about the game. … It’s sad in sports when the coaches from Moorpark (ranked 459) and Newbury Park (ranked 316) don’t want to play Westlake (ranked 387) … It is stealing local competition from the athletes who want to play their friends. Shame on you, coaches!

CIF Southern Section has 81 leagues and more than 400 teams. Here are our local leagues and teams … I list them according to strength of league … But next year, it is rumored that Simi and Royal will move to Marmonte. I put the teams in the order I think they will wind up … Attrition plays a factor. If a good player can’t play, it changes things … But you can see by the state ranking, it is close but not exact.
(*CA state rank)

On the run: Simi Valley moved up and down the field at will vs. Burbank, capturing the win easily, 63-19, in their first game of the year.

Marmonte: *14 Oaks Christian, *46 St. Bonaventure, *387 Westlake, *223 Calabasas.

Camino: *61 Bishop Diego, *158 Camarillo, *459 Moorpark, *316 Newbury Park.

Pacific View: *153 Buena, *203 Ventura, *259 Santa Ynez, *711 San Marcos, *800 Channel Islands, *904 Cabrillo Canyon: *67 Simi Valley, *281 Thousand Oaks, *310 Agoura, *499 Oak Park, *656 Royal.

Scores and recap
Thousand Oaks (Canyon League) 10, Westlake (Marmonte League) 7
Cal Preps picked Thousand Oaks to beat Westlake by 10 points on Friday. T.O. won by 3. A last-second field goal set up by two back-to-back penalties with less than a minute in the game put Thousand Oaks on the 10-yard line … To say the least, both teams had no offensive threat. I must have counted eight dropped balls in the first half, and on Westlake’s opening drive, they fumbled the ball to set up the only touchdown by Thousand Oaks … The score was tied going into the half … Westlake opted to go for a touchdown
with seconds on the clock going into the half … well within their kicker’s range. The ball was thrown out of the end zone, with no hope of completing the pass … Sitting at the game was equal to watching paint dry on the side of the house. Both teams were not even close to being prepared to play football. It is going to be a long season if these teams don’t figure things out.

Oaks Christian (Marmonte League) 17, Chaminade (Mission League) 48
Cal Preps’ projected outcome was Oaks Christian 31, Chaminade 13
How could they be off by so much? Chaminade blew out the Lions by 31! That is not even a
game. Ranking Oaks Christian 14th in the state? Wow, someone pulled that from what Oaks has done in the past, with past coaches … Maybe didn’t realize Coach Jim B. is not at Oaks anymore? That loss should drop them out of the top 100 … COVID killed the Marmonte League.

Agoura (Canyon League) 43, Channel Islands (Pacific View League) 0
The game that should have never been played … Agoura is not a powerhouse, so maybe picking a team ranked in the 800’s gets you a blowout win, but nothing more. Even Cal Preps knew it was going to be a bad game, projecting the score to be Agoura 42 Channel Islands 10. Not far off the mark.

Moorpark (Camino League) 3, Royal (Canyon League) 7
Cal Preps’ projected matchup was Moorpark 35, Royal 21. They must have thought these teams would have their offenses together in week one. Nope! Moorpark went after a lower-ranked team and found out Royal may deserve a shot in the Marmonte League next year … Good job, Royal!

Moorpark is ranked 459 in the state, while Royal is ranked 656. They should jump up 100 points in the rankings.

Shot heard ‘round the Conejo: The game-sealing field goal in T.O.’s historic win over the Westlake Warriors.

Oak Park (Canyon League) 22, Buena (Pacific League) 21
Buena was picked to blow out Oak Park, 38-7… Again not an exact science. Buena (MaxPreps state rank, 153) may have been given too high of a ranking. Saw them in a passing league game (although not real football); they didn’t stand out … Oak Park (MaxPreps state rank, 499) may have something this year. Not saying they will beat Simi, but they should have a good season.

Simi Valley (Canyon League) vs. Ventura (Pacific League)
Canceled due to Ventura’s crazy COVID rules.
No game! What does Coach Benkert do? He boldly schedules Burbank (ranked 518). Good job pulling a game together for the boys. Simi beat Burbank 63-19.

Calabasas (Marmonte League) 20, Birmingham (West Valley League) 13
This Cal Preps matchup didn’t disappoint … the Coyotes beat the Patriots by 7 in a close game … By picking a team close in your state ranking, you wind up getting a more competitive game. Again, it is not exact, but if you play a team 100 or more below your ranking, it basically guarantees a win.
On to next week! Good job, boys.

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