by Will James
Hometown Sports
The CIF Sac-Joaquin Section high school football season kicks-off this week.  Not coincidentally, Access Sacramento‘s Hometown Sports “Game of the Week” opens its 22nd year of television coverage throughout the Sacramento County region with a spicy match-up of perennial playoff caliber teams.  
The Monterey Trail Mustangs and the Sheldon Huskies compete in different leagues now, but that distinction will hardly diminish the intense competition previously established when the Mustangs and Huskies waged fierce battles in the rugged Delta League.  Monterey Trail was moved last year into the Metro League.
The two teams resume their rivalry Friday when the Mustangs invade Sheldon-Pleasant Grove Community Stadium for a head-on collision with the Huskies on Access Sacramento’s Hometown Sports “Game of the Week.”
The live telecast begins at 7:00 pm and may be seen in Sacramento County on Comcast or  Consolidated Communications Cable channel 17 and AT&T U-Verse channel 14.  The game will also be streamed live from and on the NFHS Network.
Monterey Trail Head Coach T.J. Ewing is coming off his finest season as he enters his 15th year as the Mustangs’ founding head coach.  After moving into the Metro League last season, the Mustangs rattled off 12-straight wins before falling 63-25 to eventual state champion Folsom in the CIF-SJS D-1 Championship Game.
Massive graduation numbers included the departure of 18 starters, leaving Coach Ewing with many questions in a time-will-tell scenario of who’ll become the new leaders.
Senior QB Viktor Timonin occupies the driver’s seat as the new engineer of the Mustangs’ vaunted Veer ground attack.  Running backs Caleb Ramseur (265 yds., 4 TD), Otha Williams, Umi Wilson, Christopher Chambers, and Marcus Jones Jr. form another deep squad of running backs.
All-League returnees Defensive End Mario Keanon, Linebacker Kevin Adams, and deluxe run-stopper Linebacker Marcus Jones (147 Tackles, 2.5 Sacks) will lead the Mustangs’ defense.
With the departure of highly successful, Joe Cattolico (27 wins in 3 years), the Sheldon Huskies have a new leader in first-year Head Coach, Dave Filan.  Like Ewing, Filan faces the same daunting chore of replacing 17 starters.
A bright spot in the Huskies’ offense is the return of running back LaDon Johnson (543 yds, 6.9 Ave., 7 TD) who’ll be the featured ball carrier in the Sheldon attack.  Hard working offensive line standouts Adrian Lopez and Barrett Staley are vital to the Huskies’ running game.

Sheldon’s #13 Gabriel Brown takes a 12 yard interception return for a touchdown last season vs. Franklin.

On the other side of the football defensive lineman Michael Sullivan will anchor the front, while linebacker Malcolm McGlothlin is the chief tackler, and defensive back Gabriel Brown leads the secondary coverage and run support.

So, get ready, because here it comes… another exciting high school football season in and around Sacramento County, and another full season of Fall football telecasts on Access Sacramento’s Hometown Sports Game of the Week.