SANGER – Temperatures still may be hitting triple digits during the day, but Friday nights will be warming the hearts of high school football fans starting this week.
Nearly all Central Section teams officially kick off their seasons this Friday, Aug. 18, including seven of eight schools in the Mid Valley Times region. One other team, the Orange Cove High Titans, get a jump on other schools with a 7:15 p.m. matchup in Hanford against Sierra Pacific High on Thursday, Aug. 17.
Two of the region teams will square off in Friday’s games. The Dinuba High Emperors head north to Tom Flores Stadium in Sanger to take on the Sanger High Apaches in a scheduled 7:30 p.m. kickoff. The squads are coming off respective scrimmages against El Diamante and Central last week.
It will be the 19th overall meeting between Dinuba and Sanger, with the Apaches leading the series 10-5-1. Coach Matt Logue’s SHS squad has a rugged pre-league schedule that also includes games with Clovis, Clovis East, Lemoore and Centennial-Bakersfield. The Emps have pre-league games with Golden West, Central Valley Christian, Kingsburg and Selma.
Other games Friday has both Reedley and Immanuel High at home; the Pirates hosting Firebaugh and the Eagles home to Justin Garza High in 7:30 p.m. starts. Orosi High travels to Madera South (7:30) while Parlier is at Farmersville (7 p.m. kickoff).
Also traveling is Sanger West, which begins its second full varsity season with its first senior class. The Hornets take on new school Del Oro High at 7 p.m. in Bakersfield. Sanger West hosted Orange Cove in a scrimmage on Aug. 11, and again will play all its home games at Tom Flores Stadium in Sanger.