There is one league game this weekend.  

It is in the NCL II/Bay Counties League when Calistoga travels to Fremont to meet the defending co-champion California School for the Deaf.  Just one league game on the sixteen on the schedule, but it means we are close.  One more week and it is all about league play.

Frankly I am ready for league play.

Actually I am past ready.

The pre-league has slowly lost my interest and I have no problem saying good bye to it.   Games that you can really get excited about have been hard to find.

It appears fans agree to.

I have been to three games and one game had more fans than the other two combined.  That game was the Analy-Maria Carrillo game which packed the place.    The other two games were Montgomery-Dublin and Cardinal Newman-El Cerrito.

The difference between the three games is obvious, the local connection and the travel time.

For the Analy-Maria Carrillo game, it  is a semi quick trip down Highway 12 from Sebastopol.  In the other two games it is not such a quick trip across the Richmond Bridge. 

The turnout was surprising for all three games, the one because of the playoff atmosphere, the other two because how small the crowd was.

I didn’t expect that big of a crowd for the Montgomery-Dublin game, but more than what it got. The Dublin side of things was basically empty.

What really surprised me was the turnout for the Cardinal Newman-El Cerrito game.  This game had the hype of two of the best teams in the state.   The warnings were out to get there early, or don’t get a seat. That wasn’t an issue as the stands on the El Cerrito side were half full, if that, although Cardinal Newman had a decent turnout. 

That is pre-league football now.  The reason that is given for playing these type of games is teams are trying to make their schedule harder so they will look better come playoff seeding time.  It also helps a team when it comes to state playoff consideration.  That is strange because only a few teams are even considered for that and they are considered before the season starts.   Most of the others are eliminated after Week One, if not before.

So what we get now is longer trips and smaller crowds, which is a hit in the money belt for both schools.  One school pays more for the longer trip, the other takes a hit at the gate.

Not to long ago this weekend schedule could include games like Montgomery-Sonoma Valley, which was always a game to look forward to.  

Since realignment these games went away as a league game.  How about having a Piner-Santa Rosa game, Healdsburg-Windsor or Casa-Petaluma?

I know why we can’t, that would hurt the state playoff rankings for the bigger schools.

Aw the good old days.

Bring on league play.

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