Video: Early Contenders presented by Shock DoctorWe set the tone for 2018 by looking at high school football's elite.
Last season: 16-0, No. 18 national ranking, beat Helix 49-42 to win CIF Division 1-AA state championship.
Last decade: 131-13, three state titles
Famous alumni/players: Jordan Richards, Miami Dolphins safety; Jake Browning, University of Washington QB and 2017 Heisman finalist; Virgil Carter, former NFL quarterback.
Star power (According to 247Sports):
5-star recruits — 0; 4-star recruits — 2; 3-star recruits — 4
WR Joe Ngata (6-3, 210, Sr.)
— The 4-star wide receiver is one of the best playmakers, period. QB Kaiden Bennett (6-0, 170, Sr.)
— A 2017 MaxPreps Junior All-American after putting up video game-type numbers during his junior season (4,431 yards passing, 1,218 yards rushing, and 73 total touchdowns). ATH Daniyel Ngata (5-9, 180, Jr.)
— The younger Ngata, one of the most explosive players in the Golden State, checks in as a Top 100 recruit overall from the Class of 2020. WR Elijhah Badger (6-1, 185, Jr.)
— The talented wide receiver from the Class of 2020 was the second leading receiver for Folsom in 2017 and expect another big season for the 3-star playmaker. DT Tyler Hardeman (6-2, 260, Sr.)
— Hardeman will be the leader on defense for Richardson this season.
KEY GAMESAug. 17
— at No. 18 De La Salle (Concord)Aug. 24
vs. Jesuit (Carmichael)Sept. 7
at Chaminade (West Hills)Sept. 14
vs. Oak Ridge (El Dorado Hills)Oct. 12
vs. Granite Bay
• Folsom returns loads of key players from last year's state championship team. Bennett and Joe Ngata both put up monster numbers in 2017 and expect the same again during their senior campaigns.
• The Bulldogs have a statement game in their season opener against De La Salle, a team that hasn't lost to a Northern California opponent since 1991. This is the third meeting between the two since 2012 and the Spartans have won those last two meetings by a combined score of 94-32. The last time they played was in the 2013 CIF Open Division Northern California final. However, if any team has a chance to snap De La Salle's Northern California dominance it's this Folsom squad.