De La Salle 2019 football highlights
Watch the Spartans in 2019 state title game vs. national champion St. John Bosco.
Actually, he's pleased with the entire 10-game slate, which was officially released Friday.
On top of the big tilt with North Shore which was announced on Feb. 3
two more quality California opponents should really help us in our
quest to make another run at what we think is the toughest challenge in
the country, winning a California Open Division championship," Lopoz
After opening Aug. 29 versus North Shore at Galena Park ISD Stadium in Harris County near Houston, the Spartans will take on Sac-Joaquin Section power Elk Grove
(Sept. 4) and San Diego Section juggernaut Cathedral Catholic
Both of those games will be played at home.
Elk Grove (10-5) reached the Northern California Division 2-AA finals last season, losing in the final minute to eventual champion Clayton Valley Charter (Concord).
Cathedral Catholic (8-3) was ranked among the Top 10 California teams all season before being upset in the SDS playoffs by Carlsbad.
The Spartans have lost the last four CIF Open Division title games in a row — they've won seven state crowns overall since the inception of the new California championships in 2006 — to either Mater Dei (Santa Ana) or St. John Bosco (Bellflower), two teams that have both won national titles. De La Salle has lost to each Southern California program twice the last four seasons.
North Shore will no doubt help prepare for another possible run after winning its second straight state Texas 6A-1 championship in December. The Mustangs return quarterback Dematrius Davis Jr.
, the 2018 MaxPreps National Sophomore of the Year, and 2019 first team MaxPreps All-American. They've gone a combined 31-1 the last two seasons playing in Texas' highest classification.
De La Salle finished 12-2 last season and was ranked 13th nationally. They are one of the nation's most renowned programs and once won a still national record 151 straight games from 1992-2004. The Spartans have played a Texas team only once, a 26-21 loss at Trinity (Euless) in 2015.
De La Salle returns most of its skill players, including two-year starting quarterback Dorian Hale
and receiver/defensive backs Zeke Berry
and Lu Hearns
De La Salle coach Justin Alumbaugh wasn't allowed to comment on the North Shore game Feb. 3 because all the paperwork wasn't completed. He had plenty to say on Friday about the great opportunity to travel to Texas and face a such a national powerhouse.
"It's largely why you play and why you coach," he said. "Playing and coaching high school football isn't easy. It's hard. This is fun. Having a chance to go back to Texas and play a superior team like North Shore is a great way to start a high school football season.
"To fly out, have some barbecue, work out, practice and play an unbelievable team in front of a ton of fans is just awesome. We're so honored to go out there."
Alumbaugh said he's watched North Shore and Davis numerous times on film so far. "If you're winning a state championship — two of them — in Texas then you're obviously doing something right. They are extremely well coached and have a lot of great athletes. They are very impressive."
The Spartans also renewed contracts with two more SJS squads, St. Mary's (Stockton) and Folsom, as well as Central Coast Section power Saint Francis (Mountain View).
Here is De La Salle's 2020 schedule:
Aug. 29: vs. North Shore (Houston) at Gellna Park
Sept. 4: vs. Elk Grove
Sept. 11: at Saint Francis (Mountain View)
Sept. 18: vs. Cathedral Catholic (San Diego)
Sept. 25: vs. St. Mary's (Stockton)
Oct. 9: vs. Folsom
Oct. 16: at California (San Ramon)
Oct. 23: vs. San Ramon Valley (Danville)
Oct. 30: vs. Amador Valley (Pleasanton)
Nov. 6: at Clayton Valley Charter (Concord)