Yuba City High’s Erik Palmquist runs for a touchdown during a game against Pleasant Valley at Honker Stadium in fall, 2019 in Yuba City.

This week’s slate of games is broken up into three days, with the schedule continuing tonight (Friday) with three area football contests scheduled to be played. On Saturday, East Nicolaus is set to return out of COVID protocol to play at Pierce (Arbuckle) beginning at 1 p.m. 

The games tonight will be Yuba City hosting Pleasant Valley (Chico), River Valley at Roseville, and Live Oak at Durham. 


PV at Yuba City: 

Yuba City, under head coach Aaron Gingery, is 1-3 against PV. 

“Last year after a slugfest (in the) first half, both teams went scoreless in the second half,” Gingery said in an email. “I expect the same only at a higher level. With us playing in spring, both teams are fast and more physically mature than if we had played last spring. I expect a defensive driven show.” 

The Honkers’ defense was in midseason form last year after allowing just six points in its rout at River Valley in the annual Mayor’s Cup.

Gingery said the unit’s speed is what is most impressive. 

“Our defense flies around. They are a fun group to watch,” he said. “They work well together, and will need to have a tremendous showing on Friday for us to be successful.” 

PV begins its spring modified season on Friday after last week’s game against Sutter was canceled due to a positive test within the Huskies’ program. 

The Vikings, coached by Mark Cooley, haven’t played a game since its playoff loss to Escalon on Dec. 7, 2019. 

All COVID protocols remain in effect for Friday night at Honker Stadium, according to Yuba City Athletic Director Joel Seaman. 

Seaman noted that two adult family members who live in the same household as the athlete may attend in person. 

Each party must sit six feet apart from other groups of two and wear masks the entire game, Seaman said. 

Concession stands will not be open, he said. 

To watch the game from home a livestream is available at the NFHS Network for both the junior varsity and the varsity game. To access the stream Seaman said to visit https://www.nfhsnetwork.com and search Yuba City High School. 

A monthly pass costs $10.99, he said. 


River Valley at Roseville: 

The Falcons hit the road on Friday to take on Roseville. Per health and safety protocol, River Valley Athletic Director Phil McCaulley said parents will be driving each athlete to and from the site. 

There is no school transportation during the modified spring season, McCaulley said. 

Each athlete, he said, gets two tickets for household members only.

After this week, River Valley has one more road game on April 16 at Woodcreek where the same COVID protocols will remain in effect, McCaulley said. 

Roseville opened its season last week with a 21-14 loss to Antelope. RV comes in 1-1 on the year. 

To watch the game from home visit  https://bit.ly/3st2gSs (a subscription is required). 


Live Oak at  Durham: 

The Lions open their four-game season on the road Friday at Durham, beginning with the  JV game at 5:30 p.m.

Live Oak enters a new era with first-year head coach Robert Tilton, who takes over for the retiring Jim Arostegui. 

Tilton is in his 10th year at Live Oak and was a junior varsity coach for a number of years. 

He’s excited, but also nervous to dust off the varsity whistle. 

“It’s my first year as a varsity coach so it’s new territory,” Tilton said. “A lot of kinks are getting worked out and I know the kids are excited. We’ll see what happens.” 

In his final year, Arostegui led Live Oak to an 8-3 season in 2019 and league championship with a perfect 6-0 mark in the Sacramento Valley League.


East Nicolaus at Pierce: 

The Spartans had their game canceled last week due to positive COVID-19 tests within their program. The team resumed practice Thursday and is scheduled to open its season at Pierce on Saturday. 

East Nicolaus Athletic Director Neil Stinson said the school is allowed two people per athlete to watch in person. 

This year marks the debut of first-year head coach Kramer Hagan, who takes over for  Travis Barker fresh off the program’s fifth straight Northern Section Division IV championship ring. 

Under Barker, East Nicolaus was a regular in the NorCal state playoffs and won a state title in 2015. 

“Very happy our players, coaches and families are back on the field after last week’s cancellation,” Stinson said. “Looking forward to Spartan Football playing on Saturday in April.”

East Nicolaus junior varsity begins the day at 11 a.m.

East Nicolaus will play four games total this spring, one on the road and three at home. 

Pierce is coming off a 36-0 win last week in the Rice Bowl. 

Recommended for you