Tonight high school football would be kicking off around the country with what is called week zero, featuring nonleague battles sometimes pitting perennial powers against each other, or small schools getting an opportunity against a Goliath.
The one issue – and it’s a big one – is the ongoing public health crisis surrounding COVID-19, which has hampered many states' prep football plans for the fall. Yuba-Sutter-Colusa is delayed until at least December, but realistically more like the dawn of 2021 is when Marysville, Lindhurst, Yuba City, Sutter and many more can finally get their seasons underway.
For the time being, Yuba-Sutter Colusa can cozy up to the TV to watch other states kick off their seasons on ESPN and ESPN2 all weekend.
The schedule is set for the 11th annual event that starts on Friday and features seven games, four defending state champions and a pair of current MaxPreps Top 25 teams.
Here is the complete schedule:
Friday, Aug. 28
4 p.m. – St. Paul’s Episcopal (Mobile, Ala.) vs. Spanish Fort (Ala.), ESPN
7 p.m. – No. 14 Corner Canyon (Draper, Utah) vs. Bingham (South Jordan, Utah), ESPN
Saturday, Aug. 29
9 a.m. – Trinity Christian (Cedar Hill, Texas) vs. Knoxville Catholic (Knoxville, Tenn.), ESPN
Noon – Bentonville West (Centerton, Ark.) vs. Broken Arrow (Okla.), ESPN
3 p.m. – St. Xavier (Cincinnati, Ohio) vs. Brownsburg (Ind.), ESPN2
6 p.m. – Century (Bismarck, N.D.) vs. Legacy (Bismarck, N.D.), ESPN2
Sunday, Aug. 30
9 a.m. – Pickerington North (Ohio) vs. No. 23 Pickerington Central (Ohio), ESPN2
The nation’s cream of the crop
No. 14 Corner Canyon opened the season on Aug. 14 with a 49-20 victory over Farmington, followed on Friday with a 56-0 victory over Herriman.
No. 23 Pickerington Central hosts the last of the seven games Sunday when it takes on cross-town rival Pickerington North.
A pair of talented quarterbacks and sons of famous, football-playing dads square off Saturday when Trinity Christian takes on Knoxville Catholic. Trinity Christian, a three-time defending Texas private school state champion, features Florida Atlantic-bound Shedeur Sanders, the son of NFL Hall of Famer Deion Sanders. Knoxville Christian is led by 6-foot, 200-pound junior quarterback Kaden Martin, the son of the University of Tennessee assistant head coach Tee Martin.
California’s football plan
The California Interscholastic Federation moved back its fall and winter seasons to start in January. In an announcement on July 20, “The CIF has determined, in collaboration with our 10 Sections, that education-based athletics for the 2020-2021 season will begin with a modified season of sport schedule.” The CIF split all its sports into two “seasons,” instead of three, with varying start and playoff dates. The modified plan applies to the Sac-Joaquin and Northern Section.