Ready or not the West County High School (WCHS) varsity football team will open the North Bay League Oak Division season this Friday, Oct. 8 when it plays host to perennial power Rancho Cotate.

The much-anticipated NBL opener will kick off at Karlson Field, with the JV game at 4:30, followed by the varsity at 7 p.m.

West County enters the game fresh off a bye this week after compiling a 3-2 pre-league record, recording wins over Santa Rosa (35-34), Vallejo (50-0) and Terra Linda (34-0). Losses have come to San Marin (50-20) and Montgomery (38-20).

Sammy Long

West County High School football quarterback Sammy Long has established himself as one of the top signal-callers in the North Bay. 

Rancho Cotate enters the game with a mark of 4-1, having defeated Las Lomas (38-35), Montgomery (37-22), Vanden (38-31, OT) and Pleasant Valley (46-33). The Cougars’ lone loss came at the hands of Acalanes (42-41, OT).

Veteran WCHS coach Dan Bourdon is preparing his team for a full-on battle against Rancho, and hopeful of getting the best out of his charges.

Rancho is a very good football team,” he said. “We will need to play better than we have so far this season to compete. We have a couple guys returning from injury so I'm excited to see how we execute this week.”

West County has shown flashes of brilliance offensively in the first five games, with junior quarterback Sammy Long directing a high-octane attack that features leading rusher Jaden Brady and big-play receivers Gio Visintin, Ian Hocheder and Joshua Kidd.

The game may be won on the defensive side of the ball, where turnovers could prove the difference in the outcome.          

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