By Aram Tolegian, SGVN
The Sierra League ended with a boom last season.
Charter Oak High School’s football team went on the road and put a 38-7 whipping on three-time defending champion Chino Hills in Week 10 to win the league title in
This year, the league figures to begin with yet another boom when the Huskies visit the Chargers in Friday’sleague opener for both teams.
Chino Hills enters the game at 3-1-1 after playing a challenging nonleague schedule that featured a rout of West Covina, a tie with Bishop Amat and a loss to highly rated Tesoro.
Charter Oak is 4-1, with the setback coming to Amat. The Chargers got standout linebacker Andrew Hauser eligible two weeks ago and produced two blowout wins over Glendora and Los Osos.
“The challenge for us is for 10 weeks, not just for a couple of marquee games here and there,” Charter Oak coach Lou Farrar said. “Preseason is over. We break our season up into three parts and now we’re in the second part. How we do in the second part determines how we get seeded or where we get sent out to in the third part. Right now, it’s Week 1 of the second season.”
The league doesn’t figure to be an open and shut case for the winner of Friday’s showdown. Ayala, Damien and South Hills still lay ahead for both teams and all three teams have given indications in nonleague play that they’re worthy title contenders as well.
Chino Hills and Charter Oak do battle to become the early favorite to win the league on Friday, across town at Ayala the Bulldogs host Damien in a game that could spell doom for the loser.
“I think that’s a no-brainer, isn’t it?” Damien coach Greg Gano said when asked if Friday was a must-win for his Spartans. “I think they’re all big.
“Just because you beat Ayala doesn’t mean it’s a shoe-in. You’ve got to beat the other three or four teams, too. You’d be a fool if you don’t think this is a huge game.”
Damien enters the game off a 42-7 loss against Los Alamitos, but Ayala comes in off of a loss. The Bulldogs saw their chance for undefeated nonleague season come to a halt in a 14-7 loss to Kaiser. Ayala was without top performer Jordan Robinson.