57.7 F
Thousand Oaks

Home-Field Advantage: Friday Night Lights — Football Is Back!

Here we go … Conejo Valley coaches, you got what you wanted … The teams are now closely matched, and none of them has any business playing a D1 team anymore — maybe not even a D2 team … This year, not one of our local squads can compete with any top-10 team in the state. But within our pool, all the teams will be competitive with each other … So, if you didn’t know any better, it would be a fun year for football! But in reality, these are sad times on Conejo Valley gridirons. Before COVID, we had three teams — Oaks Christian, Calabasas and Westlake High School — who could play with the big boys. I enjoyed watching our home teams compete with the likes of St. John Bosco or Mater Dei. Now, sadly, that is all gone … For the Marmonte league game-openers, only St. Bonaventure and Oaks Christiaan scheduled good teams …

Last week, I was at the Westlake vs. Agoura scrimmage. A few years back, Agoura never would have agreed to participate in anything with Westlake … Four years ago, Moorpark canceled their contract to play Westlake because Westlake beat them like they beat Thousand Oaks that year … Moorpark coaches simply ran away. I call them cowards because they stole those games from the boys. Newbury Park got out of the Marmonte league three years ago, and their coaches didn’t even want to play Westlake, Calabasas or Oaks Christian anymore … Crazy, stealing those games from the boys. Even crazier, Newbury Park would be smashing Calabasas last year and this year — a bit of payback — and would be competitive with Westlake and Oaks Christian this year … The real losers are the boys who don’t get to play with their friends. Coaches’ egos and their submission to mediocrity wreck hometown rivalries …

Nabbing Yardage: Saugus wide receiver #21 AJ Goodman went for extra yards in a 17 -14 victory over Rio Mesa.

I was laughing when I saw the “power ranking” in the Acorn … What power? Like I said, if you didn’t know football, sure … They gave Simi Valley the #1 spot, the team that played nobody last year until the playoffs and got blown out in game one! They didn’t give St. Bonaventure a spot — why? Because the school is out of their coverage area? But the players are in it, and they are in the Marmonte league. Gave Rio Mesa #3 — Rio Mesa, who lost to Saugus in the opener. I watched Rio Mesa play in 7v7, and they are not a good team this year …

Then they were commenting on how Oaks Christian last year started 0-5 (against all D1 teams) and marveled at their D5 run … Put it in perspective: Oaks made a run in the playoffs in a division in which they had no business playing and went to the final game with multiple starters out with injuries. It shows how the competition drops off after D2 … I still call it wrong to have a team like Oaks Christian play in the D5 playoff bracket. I believe in competition, not just beating teams you have no business playing. I grew up where you earned a position, where hard work in the off-season accounted for something … If you don’t compete, you might as well not play. It is just wrong to play bad match-ups. Does competition even exist in a game where your team grabs an easy win and dominates the other team? It’s the same stupidity as the NCAA harming female sports by allowing a male swimmer pretending to be a girl to swim against girls and dominate them! That is just wrong. Shame on you, NCAA …

Great D: Westlake’s #5 Jordan Garrison goes high to pick off Pacifica’s QB again. Unfortunately for Westlake, Pacifica switched QBs in the second half and beat Westlake 41 to 21.

Last year, the Conejo Valley had multiple undefeated teams lose in the first round of the playoffs and teams clearly placed in the wrong divisions in the playoffs. Last year was the first time coaches chose what divisions they were placed in — after the season was finished. Shenanigans ensued, of course. Why aren’t teams put into a division at the beginning of the season, and then let strength of schedule have a say in their seeding? Take away coaches’ influence! We see your ridiculous scheduling arrived at so you can have a winning season. Competition is about strength of schedule.

Now on to my picks for the season, plus Week One results …

Frank’s Picks for Hometown Team Rankings by Division

(*MaxPreps CA State Rankings)

Marmonte League Rankings

1.  St. Bonaventure *31

2.  Simi Valley *78

3.  Oaks Christian *98

4.  Bishop Diego *55

5.  Westlake *88

6.  Calabasas *352

Canyon League Rankings

1.  Camarillo *110

2.  Newbury Park *393

3.  Oak Park *354

4.  Agoura *158

5.  Thousand Oaks *467

6.  Moorpark *455

7.  Royal *397

Week 0 scores

Marmonte League

Pacifica Tritons 41 vs. Westlake Warriors 21

Simi Valley Pioneers 49 vs. Ventura Cougars 3

Inglewood Sentinels 41 vs. St. Bonaventure Seraphs 34

Calabasas Coyotes 41 vs. Santa Monica Vikings 14

Chaminade Eagles 24 vs. Oaks Christian Lions 17

Bishop Diego Cardinals 41 vs. Righetti Warriors 9

Canyon League Scores

Thousand Oaks Lancers 35 vs. Segerstrom Jaguars 7

Newbury Park Panthers 38 vs. Golden Valley Grizzlies 21

Camarillo Scorpions 35 vs. Hart Indians 17

Oak Park Eagles 33 vs. Buena Bulldogs 23

Moorpark Musketeers 37 vs. Hueneme Vikings 13

Royal Highlanders 21 vs. Birmingham Patriots 14

Lompoc Braves 53 vs. Agoura Chargers 12

Local professional Frank Enderle played two years of football at Notre Dame High School, one of the top programs with the best coaches; then played for two years at Calabasas High School. He has a lifetime of sports experience, including coaching his own sons in baseball, football, lacrosse and basketball and serving in their booster programs.


  1. What a terrible article. Total opinion and no facts. My first and last time reading this paper. I am shocked they let you write this.


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