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Home Field Advantage: Early Season Results

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CIF football is “following the science” to protect players from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a progressive brain condition thought to be caused by repeated blows to the head and repeated episodes of concussion. It’s particularly associated with the contact sport of football … They have limited helmet-to-helmet contact, but now it has gone too far … Coaches have zero hitting at practice while injuries are high! Newsflash, people: football is a contact sport. The men/boys who play are gladiators. That’s why they play the game, and that’s why we watch the game. If they didn’t want contact, they would be on the swim team …

I like the two days a week of contact. I am at a total loss for zero contact a week. How could anyone believe that training players to take hits in practice is not essential to the sport? I’m not saying to beat up the players, but they need to have contact in practice, a safe place to learn how to take a hit and give a hit … The pendulum has swung the wrong way. I sit in the stands watching in disbelief when a player makes a great block or a great hit, and the referee penalizes the player and can even kick him out. For what? Playing the game! Yes, referees should kick out a player for taking a blatant, cheap shot that could harm another player … But I see too many calls where a player flops to draw the call …

In 2019, CIF developed the following rules regarding full-contact football practices: “Allowable Activities During the Season of Sport: A team is allowed two days per week of full contact practice, with no more than 45 minutes of full contact on each of those days.” This includes live-action and thud (not full contact, don’t tackle). You don’t need to bang helmets, but pretending to protect players by having zero contact in practice with people they know, is not protecting anyone. It can harm the player. If you don’t prepare a player in practice, how can you expect him to protect himself in a game? No one is helped. Football injuries are still up …

Score for naught: N.P. scores in overtime in a losing effort against Thousand Oaks.

I have watched practices and seen teams that once were powerhouses decline in play because of no-hit practices. The proof is in the play … You can see the difference in teams that have zero contact in practice. They are awful … CIF takes its lead from the NCAA and the NFL. Did you know at the next level of play, most boys need to take performance-enhancing drugs to stay competitive? What if the real cause of CTE is steroid abuse? Doctors have been secretly providing and prescribing drugs to athletes for years. Everyone knows it and just looks the other way. What if taking performance-enhancing drugs – the drugs prescribed by team doctors – is the real cause of CTE? Steroids enlarge the brain as they do the body. Doesn’t enlarging the bones (including the skull) cause CTE? What if the owners who hire the doctors are responsible and not helmet-to-helmet contact? If my hypothesis is correct, team owners would be responsible and have to pay out big money to players … We need to get drugs out of the game and get integrity back into the game!

Open field: T.O.’s #16 Will Halub has his way with Newbury Park.

We are halfway through the season, and so far, no real surprises …

Frank’s Marmonte Power Ranking (after 5 played games)

  1. Oaks Christian
  2. St Bonaventure
  3. Simi Valley
  4. Bishop Diego
  5. Calabasas
  6. Westlake

Frank’s Canyon League Power Ranking (after 5 played games)

  1. Newbury Park
  2. Camarillo
  3. Thousand Oaks
  4. Moorpark
  5. Oak Park
  6. Agoura
  7. Royal

Marmonte League play starts next week. Oaks Christian looks like they are the team to beat.

Simi Valley vs. Westlake … There will be two homecomings as Westlake hosts Simi Valley for their homecoming game, and coach Jim Benkert has his first game against Westlake as a Simi Valley coach. Benkert, a highly-respected coach in the area, goes against newcomer coach Mark Serve, who can’t seem to get his team on the right track. Unfortunately for Westlake, they are going to be out-coached by Benkert, and it will be a big loss in their Marmonte league opener and homecoming … Sadly, with Westlake losing Ron Wilford, their D coordinator, last year to Newbury Park, Westlake’s coaching staff is just not the same. Last year, Westlake defense was legit. It kept them competitive. Now they are not competitive and are possibly the worst team in Marmonte … They are going to be hard-pressed to win a league game this year and will be fighting Calabasas in the basement …

Bishop Diego vs. St Bonaventure …I have not really followed Bishop Diego and their easy schedule, but I am guessing St. Bonaventure beats them in a close game, and the following week Oaks Christian blows out Bishop Diego. Welcome to the strength of Marmonte League. Only time will tell if Bishop Diego belongs in the Marmonte League …

Oaks Christian vs. Calabasas … Oaks is playing their league opener against Calabasas and will blow them out of the water. It will be a tune-up game for the following week’s game vs. Bishop Diego … Calabasas has no hope of coming close in this non-contest. Maybe it’s time Calabasas and Westlake leave the Marmonte League. What a difference coaching makes …

Canyon league started a couple of weeks ago … Even with a T.O. loss last week,  Newbury Park is still the top team …

Thousand Oaks vs. Royal …Thousand Oaks wins easily against Royal next week. Royal hopes to win a league game this year. T.O. is coming off a double-overtime win against Newbury Park in which N.P. spotted T.O. 20 points in the first quarter from three interceptions (one a pick-6) … A great comeback for N.P. T.O. won, but the better team lost. T.O. is a scrappy team, but they can surprise any team that doesn’t take them seriously …

Newbury Park vs. Moorpark …Sadly for Moorpark, they have to play N.P. after they gave the T.O. game away in the prior week. N.P. will be looking to smash Moorpark this week. If their freshman QB limits his mistakes, it will be a big win for them. Moorpark isn’t bad, just not too good! N.P. could give Camarillo a challenge and be the top team in the Canyon league … What a turnaround for coach Joe Smigiel …

Oak Park vs. Agoura … Both teams come off a loss last week, but I am guessing O.P. wins easily. Agoura’s only hope for a league win will be against Royal, and that is not a gimme …

T.O. vs. Camarillo …Camarillo plays a non-league game since they have seven teams in their league. After an easy game away, they get to play a scrappy T.O. team for Camarillo’s first challenge in league play … Not an easy win, but if they play on all cylinders, Camarillo will beat T.O. When N.P. plays Camarillo, and if they play an error-free game, that will be the game of the season …

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