By Ron Cooper

With a mild summer season continuing to cool, the midway lights of our State Fair in the rear-view mirror, and school buses begin to roll through our neighborhoods, Access Sacramento gears up for another exciting year of high school, college, and amateur sporting events – “Game-of-the-Week” is back for a twelfth season.

Will James and Jim Dimino joined me for the annual football season “Kick-off” breakfast at the Dante Club. An annual coaches and media gathering with more than fifty high school football programs represented, every coach anticipated an undefeated season ahead. The Sacramento region is particularly strong this year with four teams rated in the top ten in Northern California. ESPN recognizes two of the strongest teams with a “live” national broadcast of the opening Grant vs. Folsom match-up.

Access Sacramento and Play-by-Play Sports co-produce the season. Will James recalled the late nineties when the GOTW first started. “Then as now, Access Sacramento was the only local television station to record weekly high school football games in their entirety and play them back on local cable. Now each game is also “streamed” on the Internet to a world-wide audience and weekly highlights are available on SacBee.com and MaxPreps.com. All the local commercial stations now make a big deal out of Friday night football coverage but Game-of-the-Week was there first”, he proclaimed proudly.

This season we expand our local sports coverage with the “Pig Bowl of boxing” – “Battle of the Badges VII” recorded in Memorial Auditorium on August 28. Organizer Israel Montes is planning for 15, three-round battles between local fire fighters and law enforcement officers. Proceeds will benefit several local nonprofit organizations including: the Firefighters Burn Institute, Sacramento SPCA, Sacramento Sheriff’s Toy Project, and the California Association of Highway Patrolmen. “We want to return amateur boxing to Memorial Auditorium,” said Montes. “It is a great venue and the funds raised will go to help local organizations. We invite everyone to turn out, support our local public safety firefighters and police, and see themselves on Access Sacramento channel 17”. For details of the event, go to: www.BattleoftheBadgesSac.com

The first football match-up televised will be the Vista del Lago Eagles vs. the Antelope Titans on Tuesday September 7 at 7:00 PM on channel 17. Be there for the kick-off another great season.