Plenty of local players to vie ini this fantasy tour

By: Mike Ray, Gold Country News Service
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When the thermometer reads 85 degrees in the eighth month of the year around these parts, it’s hard to call August the Dog Days of Summer. But if the Obama Stimulus Plan and state budget are ancient history, the 49ers are ready to have a quarterback controversy and the San Francisco Giants are actually in a wild card chase, it must be time for the Loomis News Sports Department to start making plans for its 2009 Fantasy College Football Road Trip. While air fares for certain destinations are sky-high, fuel is still under $3 a gallon and, what the heck, we can always take the train. So without further adieu, and tongue always in cheek, away we go: Sept. 3 Oregon at Boise State — Believe it or not, this Thursday night “ESPN Special” in Week 1 may have more BCS Bowl implications so early in the season than most fans realize. In fact, if the Broncos can get past the Ducks here, it may be smooth sailing to another BCS game. Watch for former Sierra College standout Bryson Littlejohn to make an impact at linebacker for the Ducks. Sept. 5 Nevada at Notre Dame — This is an arranged TV game from a few years back when Nevada allowed Oregon to opt out of a contract to play Oklahoma in what turned out to be the famed onside-kick comeback win by the Ducks. Check out former Bear River star Kevin Grimes at safety and on special teams. Former Del Oro High products Jack Reynoso and Mason Magleby are freshmen gridders for the Wolf Pack. Sacramento State at UNLV — The Hornets head to Sin City in a money-game for the Green and Gold. Check out the brother versus brother battle between Del Oro graduates Brian Heath, a 6-3, 285-pound senior tight end for Sacramento State and UNLV’s Jason Heath, a 6-3, 280-pound red-shirt freshman offensive lineman. Maryland at Cal — The Bears are hawking Javir Best for Heisman honors. UC Davis at Fresno State — Former Placer High quarterback Greg Denham, who threw for 3,478 yards and 27 touchdowns for the Aggies last season as a sophomore, leads UC Davis into what should be a sweltering Bulldog Stadium for the first meeting between the two schools since 1952. If the red-hot valley heat doesn’t fold the Aggies, the Dawgs’ 1-2-3 running punch of Lonyell Miller, Anthony Harding and Ryan Matthews will. Sept. 12 Sacramento State at Cal Poly — After opening at UNLV in Week One, the Hornets resume an old rivalry with a trip to the Central Coast. Coach Marshall Sperbeck, now in his third season at Sacramento State, will have Bill Sherman (Del Oro) to anchor the defensive line. Colfax linebacker Chris Briasco, who starred at Sierra College the last two seasons, will take a medical red shirt because of a knee injury. Fresno State at Wisconsin — The Bulldogs are 1-3 against the Badgers and last year lost by a field goal in Fresno. Texas at Wyoming — When’s the last time the Longhorns ventured to Laramie? How about never. Former Colfax High star Marcus Arroyo is now the Cowboys’ offensive coordinator. Montana at UC Davis — If the Aggies want to contend in Div. I-AA this season, this would be a big one to win. Sept. 18 Boise State at Fresno State — The Broncos may have too much firepower for a young QB-led Fresno team this early in the season. Watch for a big season out of former Granite Bay standout Devon Wylie who was timed this summer at 4.27 and a whopping 4.25 in a pair of 40-yard dashes during Bulldog workouts. Eastern Washington at Sacramento State — The Big Sky opener could be pivotal for the Hornets. Sept. 19 San Jose State at Stanford — This one always has the possibility of the upset being pulled. Ryan Otten, Del Oro 2008, is in the playing mix at tight end for the Spartans. Sept. 25 Missouri at Nevada — The Tigers, making a rare visit to Reno, hung 69 on the Wolf Pack last season. Sept. 26 American River at Sierra — After three straight road games to open the season, Jeff Tisdel unveils Big Sky Freshman of the Year transfer Deante Williams back from Northern Arizona for the home crowd. Washington at Stanford — New Huskies coach Steve Sarkisan can’t wait for Nick Montana to graduate from Oaks Christian in Westlake Village next June. Oct. 3 USC at Cal — This one could be for all the Pac-10 marbles. UCLA at Stanford — The Bruins beat the Cardinal, 23-20, in the last 10 seconds a year ago. UC Davis at Boise State — Broncos head coach Chris Petersen used to play QB for the Aggies and was tutored by current UC Davis coach Bob Biggs. No matter: Boise St. 30, UC Davis 10. Sacramento State at Portland State — Former Colfax High star linebacker Colton Russi is itching to play for the Vikings after red-shirting in 2008. Oct. 10 Idaho State at Sacramento State — Another type of Big Sky foe the Hornets need to take care of to contend for title honors. Oct. 17 Sierra at San Joaquin Delta — The Wolverines open their Valley Conference schedule on the road in Stockton. Oct. 24 Montana at Sacramento State — Hornets try and keep up with perennial Big Sky power. Arizona State at Stanford — Former 49ers coach Dennis Erickson brings his 'Cats to Palo Alto. Oct. 31 Hawaii at Nevada — Can Chris Ault’s Pistol stymie the Warriors who have ex-Sierra and Granite Bay kicker Scott Enos? Nov. 7 Reedley at Sierra — This one is always a high scoring affair. Nov. 8 Nevada at San Jose State — A Sunday Night College Special. Nov. 14 Fresno State at Nevada — Because of new budget constraints, the Bulldogs will bus to Nevada for the first time in Pat Hill’s tenure. Nov. 21 UC Davis at Sacramento State — Can the Hornets defeat the Aggies two times in a row since probably the 1960s? Nov. 27 Nevada at Boise State — For the WAC crown?