By Michael Baribault

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The Analy Tigers will once again be one of the top teams in the Redwood Empire this year. Isaac kangas (11) is one the graduated seniors they will have to replace this season.

Monday, August 10th:
In most places, the school year starts in about two weeks.  For local prep football players, it is the date for
the first official practice of the new season
The first game of the season for most teams is less than three weeks away, starting the weekend of August 19th.
For other teams it begins the following weekend.
The top  5 in the final rankings from the 2015 season were:
1. Cardinal Newman
2. Analy
3. Fort Bragg
4. Petaluma
5. Rancho Cotate
Sonoma County League:
Last year, two teams really dominated the league, Analy and Petaluma. These two met on the
final night of the season and played probably the best high school football game I’ve seen in my
young life. This year should be more of the same.
Analy will have many of the same players. All State QB Jack Newman and RB Osiris Zamora will lead Analy’s formidable offense that averaged over 40 points a game last season.
Petaluma Head Coach Rick Krist has yet to decide who will run the Trojan’s veer attack as the QB this year.

Petaluma lost many all leaguers, including their
SCL MVP Brendan White, but a fresh wave of juniors are coming up to replace those guys who
have succeeded in the lower levels. One question they have is who is their next QB? Coach Rick Krist
has said no decision will be made until they battle in pads.
Piner will look to build off of last year’s playoff appearance under a new Head Coach in Tom Harris.  Nobel Amani and Jacob Shipman should lead them on the offensive
North Bay League:
Cardinal Newman didn’t have an easy time winning the NBL title. They had to withstand
Windsor and Rancho Cotate, one of their toughest games of the year.  They have more returning starters than ay team in the Empire including QB Jordan Brookshire who figures to have another amazing season running and passing for the Cardinals.  They are hoping his favorite target Damien Wallace recovers from his knee injury and can once again be a dynamic force on offense and defense
Windsor this year will be a formidable to challenger to Newman for the league crown.
Casa Grande looks to build off their late surge last year to be a factor in the NBL. They will have all league running back Spencer Torkelson back for his Senior year and it should be his best year for the Gauchos.
Rancho  Cotate could be rebuilding, but at the same time be a very good team and a team to challenge
for a playoff spot.
BYE: #5 Rancho Cotate
Here is the first week schedule.
August 19, 7:30
Sonoma Valley at Santa Rosa
August 28, FRIDAY, all games 7:30, unless noted
#4 Petaluma at #8 Windsor
#7 Maria Carrillo at #2 Analy
#1 Cardinal Newman at Fortuna
Napa at Casa Grande
McKinnleyville at Ukiah
#10 Piner at Montgomery
Willits at El Molino, 4:30
Drake at Healdsburg
Elsie Allen at St Vincent, 2pm