Saddle Up For The Foothill Football Dark Horses
A League Full of Parody Has Crown Up In the Air
Paper, though seemingly harmless, can be deceptive. For example the Super Bowl XL champions the Pittsburgh Steelers ended that regular season 11-5 and clinched a playoff spot as the sixth seeded wild card. To get to the Super Bowl that year they beat the heavy favorites the Indianapolis Colts who were 14-2 in the regular season but were premature one season for the ultimate glory.
A month ago, September 15th the Colorado Rockies were 6 ½ games out of first place but after going 21-1 they’re waiting to see who they’ll face in the World Series this year. The lesson to be learned is that the phrase “on paper” has little meaning. If the best teams on paper always won we’d have no reason to play the games. Sports would become at best a hobby of the fantasy league stat mongers. But the Steelers and the Rockies remind us that being the best team on paper doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be the best team on the field.
So here we are, outside the window of the Foothill League Championship looking in at the most important stretch of the season. The favorites in the league at the beginning of the season were the Canyon Cowboys (2-4) and the senior-heavy Hart Indians (6-0) led by Delano Howell at Running Back. But three dark horses have shown up to the races and are ready to play.
The West Ranch Wildcats (4-2) might be a year early but with a talented Junior Class the Wildcats have shown that they are a force on the rise. But if that coaching staff and the senior class can muster up the troops to play above their heads any given night the Wildcats will be in it.
The Valencia Vikings (4-2) might be the hottest team going into the gauntlet part of this schedule. Although they lost their starting Running Back Nick hale recently, their defense has only allowed 27 points in the last three games while their offense has been averaging 51.3 points.
The Saugus Centurions have blossomed a year early with the emergence of their two junior phenoms Desi Rodriguez and Ryan Zirbel. Zirbel after the first 6 six games has 17 TD and 1,101 yards already.
Whichever team you want to make an argument for I’d listen and probably agree with most of what you’re saying, but I’d say that this year’s foothill league will be great to watch. To the teams that are viewed as underdogs I’ll say to them that truly great stories wouldn’t be great if the heroes were favorites to win. When the dust settles everyone has excuses except the champs. To the teams that are favorites I’ll warn that “on paper”, we can write whatever we want but it doesn’t make it true.