Want that Texas Friday Night Lights experience in Southern California? We have several fine venues, beginning with Norco, a small town stuck in the most urban of urbane southern California places, right on the edge of Orange Country and Riverside County, and neither because this is really 1950s small town Texas-- where all the people are nice, the main event of the week is the football game, almost everything in the food stand costs about a dollar, and everyone there really would rather eat a hot dog instead of sushi or poke anyway. In an "only in Norco" moment, someone pushed a municipal law requiring the main street to have hitching posts for the horses. (and residents do own horses). Last night their season opener had the stands on both sides of the field almost full for a game against the Arizona football powerhouse Williams Field. The latter run straight up and down the field twice to open the game with a 14-6 lead, Reminded of the MaxPreps #263 national ranking for Norco, we were thinking early on that this could well be a long tedious evening in the otherwise perfect setting: 70 degrees, vibe in the air, lots of energy on both sides of the field. But right before the first half, the Norco boys showed up, starting with a tallish 6'4" looking quarterback who can throw superbly and run reasonably well. This kid at QB is prime material for Chip Kelley up the freeway at UCLA. Then there were these smallish but super fast running backs that began breaking for 30 and 40 yard runs as Norco started going up at down the field just in the same manner that the Arizona kids had at the beginning. Just how fast are these really fast Norco running backs? We have yet to study the tapes but one thing for sure: at least three of them are faster than anyone at all on the roster of Arizona's Williams Field High School. Final score: Norco 48-Williams Field 21. The morning after this game, these kids are now ranked #16 in SoCal and we promise to provide some names of these budding USC, UCLA and NFL players if they keep winning and we find ourselves buying more of those one dollar hot dogs in this "only in Norco" (and Texas) setting. Meanwhile, here are some key high school results in settings with the $5 hotdogs and rankings above 16: the Mater Dei celebrities started tuning up for USC next season with a lopsided win over Biship Amat, and the Alemany studs primed for their work next year at Ohio State and SEC winning handily over San Fernando, and Long Beach Poly started out the season affirmatively too. Now if the Chargers and Rams don't start looking better, we are buying our season tickets for the Norco Cougars, very promising for 2018.
5+ [Raymond L. Williams]