River Valley High will kick off prep football in the Yuba-Sutter-Colusa area beginning tonight (Friday) at home against River City out of West Sacramento.
Game time is set for approximately 7:15 p.m. or immediately following the junior varsity contest.
It’s the first home game for River Valley since Oct. 25, 2019 – a span of nearly 17 months without competitive football at Falcon Stadium.
Like other schools in the area, it will be a condensed five-game season with no playoffs. After more than a year of off-and-on pod workouts and multiple pauses due to COVID-19, the opening of football is a welcome sight for many.
“The last 17 months have been pretty rough,” said River Valley co-head coach Brennan McFadden. “It was a difficult time but you try to make it work day by day because that’s all you can do.”
With the team back together for about three weeks, McFadden said practice centered on being as efficient as possible.
“(Normally) we get three and a half months with the boys before we play a game,” he said. “Now it is 15 practices.”
He said administration lengthened practices about 30 minutes in order to shuffle in an entire preseason into three weeks.
With tonight’s season-opener, McFadden told the team members to do their best and have fun.
“For the seniors it’s their last run,” he said. “It’s their team.”
Senior fullback and outside linebacker Alejandro Sandoval said he’s in the best shape of his life due to a busy offseason where he held down multiple jobs and worked out at home to prepare for what he hoped was an eventual season.
Sandoval said that he was depressed in the summer without football, so he decided to put his mind to better use with work and conditioning.
“It was tough on me,” he said.
Sandoval said he is approaching Friday night as the beginning of a last hurrah where he can play the game he loves with his teammates.
“For me, as a senior, I am going to be a lot more aggressive because I only have five games and those aren’t set in stone as you can see from (Yuba City’s cancelation),” he said. “I am going to ball out with my brothers and I’m sure other (athletes) are thinking the same thing.”
Sutter on the road Saturday
The defending Northern Section Division III champion Sutter Huskies will travel to Placer County on Saturday for a scheduled 7 p.m. kickoff against Truckee at Placer High School (Auburn).
Sutter will also have a five-game season that includes three home games, including March 26 against Pleasant Valley of Chico.
Sutter will have a livestream operating on Saturday against Truckee. To watch the game visit https://bit.ly/38VtYPQ.