Tracy High football coach Matt Shrout often reminds his players that no team can be taken for granted.
The San Joaquin Athletic Association champion Bulldogs, the No. 4 seed in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I playoffs, go up against No. 13 Edison at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 15, at Tracy High’s Wayne Schneider Stadium in the first round of the playoffs.
“They’re still a good team,” Shrout said. “They make things happen.”
Tracy (9-1, 5-0 SJAA) is in the playoffs for the second year in a row, facing a Viking team (7-3, 2-3 Tri-City Athletic League) that hasn’t played a postseason game since 2003. The last time the two teams faced off was in 2004, the year before the SJAA was split in half and Tracy went to the SJAA and Edison to the TCAL.
Edison got into the playoffs as an at-large entry. The Vikings went 5-0 in the pre-league season and then lost to TCAL opponents Stagg, St. Mary’s and Tokay.
Shrout has a good idea of what to expect after watching video of Edison’s most recent game, a 28-27 loss to Tokay.
“They’re an attack-you type of offense, and their defense sits back and reacts to what you do,” Shrout said.
He added that Tracy’s linemen are prepared to face a bigger Edison line.
The Vikings average 236 yards rushing per game and 103 yards passing. When they lost to St. Mary’s, they gained only 30 yards on the ground and 163 yards passing.
Tracy averages 324 yards per game on the ground, with three players — senior Eric Hawkins and juniors Jason Nelson and Nate Jones — averaging 9 or more yards per carry. Tracy quarterback Damon Stroup passes for nearly 65 yards per game.
“Our offense, that option kills a lot of teams,” Shrout said.
With a win Friday, Tracy would host either Merced High or Jesuit High of Sacramento on Nov. 22 for a chance to move on to the semifinals. Tracy could host the semifinals, too, unless the opponent was No. 1 seed Folsom, the Delta River League champion and defending Division II champion. Folsom is playing at home against Lincoln High of Stockton in the first round.
Tickets for Friday’s game are $10, $7 for students, and are on sale at the Tracy High bookkeeper’s office until 1 p.m. After that, they will be available at Wayne Schneider Stadium. Tracy High athletic director Gary Henderson expects the game to sell out.
Contact Bob Brownne at 830-4227 or email@example.com.