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Football: No hype necessary

Sierra Scoop
By: Todd Mordhorst Journal Sports Editor
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As a fairly new father, I have a heightened appreciation for the start of high school football season on Friday. The atmosphere on a Friday night under the lights as cleats hit the turf is thrilling. Trying to imagine my son decked out in pads and helmet, doing battle against some of the high school hulks I’ve seen the last few weeks is ghastly. The buildup for football season — weeks of grueling workouts in blazing temperatures — is a practice in patience. Scrimmages offer a welcome relief, but players aren’t able to truly push themselves — and whack opponents — until opening night. It’s what makes football special. Teams work hundreds of hours in the offseason and coaches study film and scout opposition relentlessly in preparation for 48 minutes of action each Friday. No other sport can touch that kind of preparation to game-time ratio. There are a lot of other sports that I enjoy, but when it comes to high school sports drama, pageantry and excitement, football is where it’s at. If you still need reasons to get out and support your team at Placer, Del Oro, Bear River, Colfax, Foresthill or Golden Sierra, here are four factors of extra intrigue heading into the fall: Placer’s junior rejuvenation The Hillmen senior class is one of the most talent-packed in recent years, but a trio of juniors could be X-factors for a team that is hungry to make the playoffs for the first time since 2000. Asher Gotzmer, Dalton Dyer and Josh Klem all bring scintillating skills to the field. Gotzmer showed what he could do at the end of the 2007 season. Then a sophomore, he joined his older brother Bruno on the varsity team and made an immediate impact with his speed and vision at running back. Bruno is now a receiver at American River College. Asher is in the mix at running back and will be a key at safety on defense for Placer. Dyer joins Placer after starting at defensive back for Bethel of Vallejo last year as a sophomore. Dyer may see time at running back for the Hillmen and showed some nice moves on a kick return in one of Placer’s scrimmages last week. Dyer will also bring some big-game experience to Placer. He helped the Jaguars go 11-2 last season as they tied for the Solano County League title. Anyone who watched Placer’s JV team last season should know Klem’s name. He’s lanky, but strong. Klem will be a prime target for quarterback Matt Ross and on defense, he’ll join a group of linebackers that could be the best in the Pioneer Valley League. Logue’s farewell tour at Bear River Coach Terry Logue plans to step down following this season after building the Bruins into a perennial power. Bear River will surely miss Logue’s fiery persona on the sideline and his unending pursuit of perfection in practice. Logue took over the Bear River program in its second year of existence. His first team went 0-10. The Bruins haven’t had a losing season since that 1987 season. Logue led the Bruins to their one and only Sac-Joaquin Section championship in 1994, when they were also the small-school state champion. Bear River’s 2008 team features a junior class that did not lose a game as freshmen or sophomores. Look for the Bruins to make Logue proud in his finale. Wildfires get lit Foresthill High football players have toiled away in the late summer sun the past two Septembers. On Friday, the Wildfires will get the thrill of a Friday night home game. Lights were installed at Sebastian Stadium last month and they will make their debut this week. The Wildfires should have some talent under the lights too, as quarterback Shawn Pyle and tailback Kyle Potter lead the way. Foresthill will break in its lights against Brookside Christian on Friday beginning at 6 p.m. Journal sports highlight videos Check Auburnjournal.com this week for sneak peaks at several local football squads as well as interviews with coaches and players. Throughout the season, visit Auburnjournal.com for highlight videos of games and audio interviews. Todd Mordhorst’s column runs Sundays in the Auburn Journal.