Eight CIF North Coast Section schools, led by No. 1 De La Salle-Concord, and seven Sac-Joaquin Section schools, led by No. 2 St. Mary’s-Stockton, highlight the Preseason Football Top 20, announced on Monday.

The rest of the top-10 has No. 3 Folsom, No. 4 Pittsburg. No. 5 St. Francis-Mountain View, No. 6 Freedom-Oakley, No. 7 Oak Ridge-El Dorado Hills, No. 8 Valley Christian-San Jose, No. 9 Serra-San Mateo, and No. 10 Elk Grove.

The rest of the poll has No. 11 Milpitas, No. 12 Bishop O’Dowd-Oakland, No. 13 Menlo-Atherton,

No. 14 Clayton Valley Charter-Concord, No. 15 Oakdale, No. 16 Campolindo-Moraga, No. 17 Marin Catholic-Kentfield, No. 18 Granite Bay, No. 19 Foothill-Pleasanton, and No. 20 Jesuit-Carmichael.

NCS schools, besides De La Salle, are Pittsburg, Freedom, Bishop O’Dowd, Clayton Valley Charter, Campolindo, Marin Catholic and Foothill.

SJS schools, besides St. Mary’s, are Folsom, Oak Ridge, Elk Grove, Oakdale, Granite Bay and Jesuit.

SJS games to watch

Ten of the top games to watch in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section during the 2017 season, according to, include Oak Ridge-El Dorado Hills at Vacaville on Sept. 1.

The other games:

* Inderkum-Sacramento at Elk Grove, Aug. 25.

* Oakdale at Sonora, Aug. 25.

* Jesuit-Carmichael at Granite Bay, Aug. 25.

* Christian Brothers-Sacramento vs. Manteca, Sept. 1.

* Central Catholic-Modesto at St. Mary’s-Stockton, Sept. 8.

* Folsom at Oakdale, Sept. 8.

* Rocklin at Whitney-Rocklin, Sept. 8.

* Grant at Capital Christian-Sacramento, Sept. 8.

* Folsom vs. Sacramento, Sept. 15.

NorCal Games to Watch

Ten of the top intersectional games to watch between Northern California schools, according to, include the Sept. 1 matchup between St. Mary’s-Stockton at Cardinal Newman-Santa Rosa.

The other games:

* Valley Christian-San Jose at Manteca, Aug. 25.

* Sacramento vs Mitty-San Jose, Aug. 25.

* Menlo at East Nicolaus, Aug. 25.

* Serra-San Mateo at St. Mary’s-Stockton, Aug. 26.

* Central Catholic-Modesto at Marin Catholic-Kentfield, Sept. 2

* Serra at Elk Grove, Sept. 2.

* St. Francis-Mountain View at De La Salle-Concord, Sept. 8.

* Pleasant Valley-Chico at Valley Christian-San Jose, Sept. 8.

* Pittsburg at Serra-San Mateo, Sept. 9.

Novato hits practice field

There was a question earlier this month as to whether Novato High would have a football team this year. The school petitioned the Marin County Athletic League to drop Hornets varsity football for at least one season due to low participation for summer practices. Jason Searle also resigned as coach on July 25.

Needing 20 to 25 players to have a team, Novato began official practices on Monday with 23 players who had been cleared for practice, according to a story in the Marin Independent Journal Tuesday. The season will take place as scheduled, the newspaper reported.

“The goal today is getting caught up,” new head coach Kevin Keenan told the Marin IJ. “They are behind, a lot of them, with all the changes that happened.

“We’re teaching offense and defense and just the structure of how our practice works. There’s probably going to be some growing pains because it’s very different from what they’ve been doing the past couple of years.”

The team has received support from parents and alumni, the Marin IJ reported.

“Our parents did a great job with social media, promoting how important Novato football is to the community and their kids and making contacts with student athletes who were alumni,” Novato assistant principal Greg Fister said. “Our parents did a great job promoting and just sharing how important football is to our community.”


Executive Sports Editor Marty James has been with the Napa Valley Register since 1979. He is a member of the Associated Press Sports Editors, California Prep Sportswriters Association, and the California Golf Writers Association. He was inducted into the