Concord, CA (June 25, 2021) — “We are excited to have Friday night lights back next school year,” De La Salle High School Vice President for Athletics Leo Lopoz said in announcing the Spartans 2021 fall football schedule.
“We have an extremely competitive schedule that consists of quality local, state and nationally-ranked programs. Our coaches and student-athletes will be challenged each week and we all look forward to continuing the Spartan tradition.” The schedule includes one scrimmage, six non-league games and four East Bay Athletic League contests.
De La Salle has finished in the top 25 nationally nine times since 2010, the only school in America to do so. The Spartans have played in every California State Bowl championship game since the CIF bowl series started in 2006.
The Spartans are scheduled to open their season on the road at St. Mary’s of Stockton on Aug. 27. The following week, the De La Salle home schedule begins with a non-league game against Monterey Trail on Friday, Sept. 3. The next two weeks, the Spartans travel to Mountain View to take on St. Francis Sept. 10, followed by a home game against Cathedral Catholic of San Diego Sept. 17.
After a bye week, the marquee game of the season will have St. Frances Academy of Baltimore playing at Owen Owens Field Oct. 1 with the game scheduled to be televised nationally on ESPN. The Maryland school is featured in a four-part documentary from HBO Sports by Emmy®-winning executive producer Michael Strahan. St. Frances is 10th and De La Salle 17th in the pre-season national rankings released this week by MaxPreps.
St. Frances had its season canceled last year due to the pandemic. In 2017, 2018 and 2019 they were top five nationally in the final polls. They are three-time Maryland Class A state champions.
Senior quarterback John Griffith is committed to Bowling Green and leads the Panthers for co-head coaches Biff Poggi and Messay Hailemariam.
The final non-league game of the season will have De La Salle hosting Sacramento area powerhouse Folsom Oct. 8.
The EBAL season gets underway with a home game on Oct. 15 against California. De La Salle will play a road game against San Ramon Valley Oct. 22, before closing out the regular season with home games against Amador Valley (Oct. 29) and crosstown Concord rivals and 2019 State 2-AA champions Clayton Valley Charter (Nov. 5).
The North Coast Section playoffs are scheduled to begin Nov. 12-13 with the championship round scheduled for Nov. 26-27. CIF NorCal Regionals are slated Dec. 3-4 and the CIF State Bowl games are Dec. 10-11.
De La Salle was 6-0 in an abbreviated spring season, its first undefeated season since 2014, coach Justin Alumbaugh’s second in charge.
The Spartans have won 28 consecutive Section titles although no playoffs were held in the 2020-21 school year. The team has not lost a game to a California team from north of Fresno since 1991, a total of 316 games.
The team will be replacing four-year quarterback Dorian Hale and Bay Area Player of the Year Lu Hearns who will be playing for the Cal Bears. Among the top rated players are senior wide receiver/defensive back Zeke Berry and lineman Beau Tagaloa.
Friday, August 20
Friday, August 27
Friday, September 3
Friday, September 10
Friday, September 17
Friday, October 1
Friday, October 8
Friday, October 15
Friday, October 29
Friday, November 5
at Pittsburg Scrimmage
at St. Mary’s (Stockton)
Monterey Trail (Elk Grove)
at St. Francis (Mountain View)
St. Frances Academy (Maryland)
Clayton Valley Charter
Jay Bedecarré is a long-time resident and writer in Concord and Clayton. He began his newspaper writing career while still a senior at Mt. Diablo High School and he has been part of The Pioneer since its inception in 2003. Jay also operates Bay Area Festivals, presenting events around the San Francisco Bay Area including Bay Area KidFest annually in Downtown Concord.