SOUTH COUNTY — Three local high school football teams will be in action on Friday at the start of the non-league schedule and one high school will be off to observe a bye week.
King City begins non-league on the road at Watsonville against the Monte Vista Christian Mustangs in a 7:30 game; Soledad will host Seaside Spartans at 7:30; and Gonzales will host Fremont of Oakland at 7:30. The Greenfield Bruins have a bye and start the non-league schedule on Sept. 1 against the Pajaro Valley Grizzlies at Cabrillo College in Aptos.
King City finished with a 5-5 overall mark and were 4-3 in the Mission Trail Athletic League. The Mustangs will be playing this season in the revamped MTAL Mountain Division along with Soledad. Monte Vista Christian as always will be a tough opening game for the visiting Mustangs.
“They (MVC), will be very athletic on both sides of the ball,” said King City head coach Mac Villanueva. “It will be a tough challenge to open up our season.”
The defending CCS Division IV champion Soledad Aztecs will host a Seaside team that won finished at 10-3 last season, including a 26-10 victory over the Soledad.
Seaside won the Monterey Bay Gabilan League, beat Robert Louis Stevenson in the first-round of the CCS playoffs, and lost to Menlo in the quarterfinals.
Soledad was 6-1 in the MTAL last season, losing only to league champion Carmel. The Aztes caught fire in the CCS playoffs beating Silver Creek in the home opener, Gilroy High in the semi-finals by a 27-26 score, and winning the CCS crown with a 17-13 victory over Westmont of Campbell.
“We expect Seaside to be who they normally are: athletic and aggressive,” said Soledad head coach Frankie Berlanga. “I don’t know too much about their personnel yet.”
The Gonzales High Spartans finished 1-9 overall last year and were 1-6 in league play. Although Gonzales has not been to the playoffs since 2003, they are the only team from South County to win the MTAL outright in the 2002 season. This year’s Spartans are hoping to improve their play in the MTAL’s Coastal Division under head coach Arthur Berlanga.
Gonzales will host Fremont of East Oakland of the Oakland Football League at Dick Force Stadium. The Tigers finished 3-3-0 in league and 6-5 overall last season. McClymonds High School won the league with a 13-1 record.