Del Oro plays host to football showcase

The best set to clash, honor military at Battle at the Capital
By: Mike Ray Gold Country News Service
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After a year of planning, the fruits of hard work and efforts to stage a football showcase will become reality this weekend at Del Oro High School. A total of 10 football games over a three-day period will be held at Eagle Stadium as Del Oro hosts the 2011 Battle at the Capital grid showcase. Games are scheduled Friday through Sunday at Del Oro with the majority of the proceeds going to assist wounded veterans and their families. “This is a family friendly event to show respect to our brave men and women in the military who fought and continue to fight for our freedom,” said Mark Soto, Battle at the Capital director. “We not only want to say thank you, but raise much needed funds to help wounded veterans and their families with medical, mental and life skill needs.” The feature game of the showcase will be played at 8 p.m., Saturday when Del Oro (1-0) hosts perennial CIF Southern Section power Westlake, of Westlake Village. Action will begin Friday with Del Oro’s freshman playing Westlake at 3:30 p.m., followed at 5:30 p.m., by the Del Oro JVs and Westlake. Friday’s 8 p.m. feature contest will pit Highlands against Leland, of San Jose, in a special Armed Forces memorial game. Leland is the alma mater of former NFL star Pat Tillman, who lost his life in the Army while serving in Afghanistan. On Saturday, action will begin at 11 a.m. with Sacramento’s Capital Christian taking on Scotts Valley, of the Santa Cruz area. That game will be followed at 2 p.m., by Bear River meeting Proctor Hug, of Reno. At 5 p.m., an intriguing match-up of CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Div. I powers will take place when Pleasant Grove, of Elk Grove, tackles Lincoln, of Stockton. Pleasant Grove is led by Top 100 national recruit and USC commit Arik Armstead and standout running back Mark Jenkins. The Del Oro - Westlake game will match two teams that began the season ranked in the CalHi Sports-ESPN Rise California Top 50 as the Warriors from Ventura County are 28th and the Golden Eagles 34th. Del Oro coach Casey Taylor said he is looking forward to the chance to play Westlake because tougher match-ups at the start of the season will prepare the team to get down to business in the Sierra Foothill League. Play will continue on Sunday with Del Campo’s midgets meeting Granite Bay at 11 a.m., followed by Roseville and Woodland’s midgets squaring off at 1 p.m. Sunday’s 3 p.m. feature game will pair a law enforcement team from Placer County against their counterparts from Nevada County in the Battle of the Badges Memorial football game. “They have been talking smack,” Soto said. “They both want to win that game. They got uniforms donated to them. A lot of fans will come out to see that game.” (Sara Seyydin contributed to this article).