High school football games I’m already excited about – Orange County Register

Mater Dei vs. St. John Bosco will be held on October 7 at Santa Ana Stadium.

You probably want to watch Trinity League football live or in person. If you go, the game might not be the only reason why this will be a great event. More on that later.

Mater Dei-St. John Bosco isn’t the only game on the 2022 high school schedule that’s being hyped.

We will see the renewal of famous rivalries. We will be able to check out future college players and professional players. We’ll see marching bands to add color and student sections to add spirit — and some comic relief.

Orange County high school football never disappoints.

Here are the games I’m already excited about…

Capistrano Valley at Tustin, Thursday, August 18: Capistrano Valley quarterback Trey Kukuk was a lot of fun to watch last season. He can sling it and he can run with speed and power. He will be better this season and it will be interesting to see how much better. As for Tustin’s outlook to open this season… “We’ll be able to control the ball,” Tustin coach Anthony Lopez said. “We must, we are Tustin.” On the right side of Tustin’s offensive line are brothers Adonijah (5-11, 305) and Benaya Faletoi (6-2, 304). The Tillers are going to run the ball behind them. You know it, I know it, and so does everyone else. Good luck stopping them.

Villa Park vs Orange at El Modena High, August 26: Villa Park is usually the best high school football team in the Orange-Villa Park area. El Modena and Orange get super-pumped for Villa Park. Villa Park residents are the only people in Northeast Orange County who like Villa Park. Last year, the Orange lost to Villa Park by a touchdown. Orange could be better than last year and Villa Park could be enjoying a rare bounce back year. Panthers people go crazy if their team wins a game, and that bus ride around Orange Plaza/Circle — or whatever the place is called — is going to be wild. As a bonus, the west bleachers at Fred Kelly Stadium offer great views of the sunsets and Disneyland fireworks.

Orange Lutheran cornerback Xan Whippy catches the ball as it is knocked out of the hands of Edison linebacker Tucker Tripp by Orange Lutheran safety Noah Rodriguez during a non-league football game at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa on Friday, 3 September 2021 (Sam Gangwer, Contributing Photographer)

Orange Lutheran vs. Edison at Huntington Beach High, Sept. 2: The veteran coach, when told Orange Lutheran would be No. 5 in Orange County’s preseason top 25, asked me in surprise, “Why do you think Orange Lutheran is so good?” Because Orange Lutheran is well-coached and has a lot of talent on its roster – unproven talent under the lights, yes, but talent nonetheless. This game will be a good test for the Lancers and we will learn a lot about them. #8 Edison likes to play against higher ranked teams, especially from the Trinity League. If you’re playing Edison, be prepared for 48 minutes of intense football.

The San Clemente dance team performs in a non-league football game against Corona del Mar at San Clemente High Friday, Sept. 10, 2021. (Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)
The San Clemente dance team performs in a non-league football game against Corona del Mar at San Clemente High Friday, Sept. 10, 2021. (Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

San Clemente vs. Corona del Mar at Newport Harbor, Sept. 9: San Clemente’s Cole Robertson is a great midfielder, and it will be interesting to see how coach Jaime Ortiz and his staff move Robertson around to find ways to go after Corona del Mar’s excellent defender David Rasor. A personal bummer for this game is that during the rebuilding of Davidson Field in Newport Harbor, one of the worst press boxes in the county was built. I think it was created by Arte Moreno.

Santa Margarita vs. Los Alamitos at Cerritos College, Sept. 16: Santa Margarita beat Los Alamitos 42-21 last season. Los Alamitos led 14-0 at halftime. Los Alamitos will want revenge, and the Gryphons have the team to get it. But Santa Margarita could be better this season than in 2021. Eagles quarterback Jackson Potter will have an extraordinary senior year. So is Los Alamitos defenseman Malachi Nelson, who could be the best defenseman in Los Alamitos. If you see me approaching the press box, please say hello and engage me in conversation. It’s a long way to Cerritos College and I’ll appreciate the chance to catch my breath. Did you know that every school stadium moves the press box away from the field every year? It’s true!

Mater Dei's Cooper Barkate (18), right, catches a pass from St. John Bosco's Tyvion Beasley (2) for a touchdown during a Trinity League game at St. John Bosco in Bellflower on Friday, Oct. 1, 2021. (Photo by Kyusung).  Gong/Photographer's Author)
Mater Dei’s Cooper Barkate (18), right, catches a pass from St. John Bosco’s Tyvion Beasley (2) for a touchdown during a Trinity League game at St. John Bosco in Bellflower on Friday, Oct. 1, 2021. (Photo by Kyusung). Gong/Photographer’s Author)

St. John Bosco vs. Mater Dei at Santa Ana Stadium, Oct. 7: Mater Dei ranks first, and St. Ioann Bosco is MaxPreps.com’s preseason No. 2 nationally. Players, coaches, ratings, etc. give it Game of the Year status. Santa Ana Stadium is a huge high school football field that I really like. This is where I first saw the Servite vs. Mater Dei high school football game in 1965 and it was the home field for my high school, Saddleback. The St. John Bosco Panish Family Stadium is the preferred venue for Mater Dei-Bosco because of its magnificent tailgate stage. The area around Santa Ana Stadium isn’t exactly conducive to braking, but the folks at Bosco will probably come up with something. Get out of the car, set your nostrils to carne asada, and explore.

Mother of God vs. Serve at Cerritos College, Oct. 27: This is the final regular season game for both. Mater Dei will be on the cusp of another Trinity League championship, whether it’s a joint or outright title. Servit can play for a place in the playoffs. Servite players get a boost for this game. For Mater Dei players, St. John Bosco is a bigger rival. However, the Mater Dei players know how important the Servite game is to coach Bruce Rollinson. And if this is Rollinson’s last season, which I suspect it is, it adds habanero salsa to the dish.

Orange running back Kobe Boykin, right, is tackled by Santa Ana safety Steven Hughes as he gains more yards in the Orange on Thursday, Oct. 28, 2021. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)
Orange running back Kobe Boykin, right, is tackled by Santa Ana safety Steven Hughes as he gains more yards in the Orange on Thursday, Oct. 28, 2021. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

Orange vs. Santa Ana at Santa Ana Stadium, Oct. 28: It’s the last night of the regular season. This game is usually reserved for the Orange Coast League Championship and should be replayed…unless league newcomers St Margarets come along and spoil it. Santa Ana has one of the best marching bands in Orange County, and it’s a real marching band. The marching band still marches from campus to Santa Ana Stadium for every home game. It’s one of Orange County’s great sports traditions. I would march with them, but I need to gather strength for the climb to the press box.

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