by Will James
Access Sacramento‘s Hometown Sports Game-of-the-Week enters its 21st year covering high school and college student-athletics in Sacramento County with an attractive season-opening football telecast Fri. Aug. 17 when the Capital Christian Cougars invade Elk Grove to tangle with the Cosumnes Oaks Wolf Pack.
Coverage begins at 7:00 pm, and may be seen on Comcast Cable channel 17, Consolidated Communications channel 17, and AT&T U-Verse channel 14. The game will also be streamed live from AccessSacramento.org and on the NFHS Network.
The Cougars — elevated to D-3 status with their realignment shift from the Golden Empire league to the Capital Athletic League — are led by highly heralded Head Coach Casey Taylor, who, after compiling hall-of-fame level success at Del Oro, guided the Cougars to a 7-4 mark and a playoff appearance in his inaugural season at Capital Christian.
The Cougars will rely heavily on the leadership and stellar play of four-year starter D’Marcus Ross, an imposing force at the RB and LB positions. Key OL/DL returnees Will Buck and Shane Semeit will anchor the lines for the Cougars. The starting QB position, where Trey Jones was the primary signal-caller last season, is yet to be unveiled. Inexperienced Damion Malott Jr., who saw little action last season returns, and the likelihood of a new face emerging as the starting QB remains a distinct possibility.
Taylor’s counterpart — Wolf Pack Head Coach, Derick Milgrim — embarks upon his 5th season at the helm, whose squad has elevated to a D-1 classification after vacating the Capital Valley Conference where he led the Pack to four consecutive playoff appearances, to compete this season in the ultra-rugged Delta League.
The Wolf Pack will also undergo a new leader at QB this season. Sophomore Anthony Grigsby Jr. is solidly entrenched as the starting signal-caller. Grigsby has some potent weapons at his beckoned call, led by dynamic RB Jacob Trach (1093 yds./8 TD in 2017), and WRs Elijah King and Corey Perkins who lead a deep receiving corps, and represent excellence in the secondary. Defensive linemen Nathaniel Giron, Isaiah Carranza, Myles Cannon, and LB Brandon Jennings are the primary run stoppers. Kicker Kevin Duarte will be a difference-maker for Special Teams.
Once again, the Access Sacramento Game of the Week broadcasts will be led by the veteran play-by-play announcer Will James with commentary by CIF Hall of Fame Coach Jim Dimino. The team has been analyzing high school football on Access Sacramento for two decades and more than 200 broadcasts.
Friday’s game represents a first time meeting for both teams, adding further intrigue to a match-up of two teams competing in different leagues, and operating at higher division levels. It’s a season opener that will be filled with plenty of excitement, and sure to answer early questions about how the respective fortunes of these teams will unfold in the 2018 season.