Video: Preseason Top 25 Rankings
North Shore aims for three-peat in Texas.
A Monday evening tweet sent out by North Shore
read: "Due to unforeseen circumstances and ‘out of an abundance of caution,' we will not be hosting De La Salle from Concord (Calif.) to open the 2020 season. We would like to wish coach (Justin) Alumbaugh and everyone at @dlsfootball17
good luck this coming season! More info to come!"
De La Salle coach Justin Alumbaugh confirmed the report and told his team earlier in the day.
they were disappointed, but we had warned them earlier this was a
strong possibility," Alumbaugh said. "There's just too many other things
going on in the world. Based on all the unknowns in California and in
Texas, ultimately ESPN and Paragon saw the writing on the wall. Both
schools were in agreement. Maybe we can meet up another day."
Citing concerns over COVID-19 and possible travel
restrictions, the tweet also attached a letter from the game's marketing
group, Paragon Marketing Group. "This decision was reached after much consideration and consultation with all parties involved," part of the release read. "Paragon would like to thank the coaches and administrators from all four schools for their patience and willingness to cooperate. We look forward to working with these schools in the near future."
Preliminary plans Monday called for North Shore and Shadow Creek to meet in place of the Spartans-Mustangs contest, but no date or time was fixed. Media reports said athletic directors of the two schools were to meet and finalize the matchup in a day or so. The Sharks, entering their third year of varsity football, have been to the 5A D1 title game in each of the past two seasons, quickly establishing themselves as a Lone Star State power.
North Shore, 15-1 a year ago, is the two-time defending Texas 6A-1 champion. The Mustangs feature three-year starting quarterback
Dematrius Davis Jr.
, the 2018 MaxPreps National Sophomore of the Year and first-team All-American in 2019. His team finished No. 4 in last year's final MaxPreps national rankings and opened 2020 as No. 5.
The MaxPreps preseason rankings were released Monday
and De La Salle opened at No. 17 after finishing 12-2 last season and No. 13 in the final 2019 rankings.
The Spartans lost their top player, all-around, two-way back Shamar Garrett
, but return most of their skill players, including two-year starting quarterback Dorian Hale
De La Salle opened its 2015 season with a 26-21 loss to Trinity (Euless) in Texas, its only meeting with a team from the Lone Star State. The Spartans opened last season with a 24-14 loss to the No. 1 team in Florida and No. 3 in the nation, St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale).
A list of guidelines released Friday by the California Interscholastic Federation, the state's governing body, recommended all teams from the fall season avoid traveling out of the area.