Locally, Crescenta Valley, Glendale and Hoover hope to be a part of the postseason. To get there, they must get through the seven consecutive weeks of league competition that should feature plenty of touchdowns, interceptions and sacks.
Let the border battles begin.
The league will kick off at 7 p.m. Thursday with Hoover hosting Burroughs at Glendale High's Moyse Field. Crescenta Valley will face Glendale at 7 p.m. Friday at Moyse, while Burbank, the second-ranked team in the division, will travel to Muir and Arcadia will face host Pasadena.
Crescenta Valley Coach Paul Schilling, Glendale Coach Alan Eberhart and Chris Long of Hoover agree that all must get through Burbank and Burroughs, who had their peaks and valleys during their nonleague games.
"It's going to be a real tough league because everybody has gotten better," said Schilling, whose team is 2-1. "The teams from Burbank have to be considered the favorites.
"There are just so many variables. We have got to beat teams like Hoover, Glendale and Pasadena and one of the other teams to have a shot at making the playoffs."
Burbank and Burroughs went 2-1 and 0-3, respectively, in their nonleague contests. The Bulldogs and Indians played all of their games on the road because of a proposed renovation of Memorial Field — the home field for both squads — that has been postponed until after the season. Both teams are coming off bye weeks as they had zero-week contests.
Long, who is in his third season with the Tornadoes, agreed with Schilling about the Burbank-area squads still being the teams to beat.
"You know that they are always going to be tough," said Long, whose team is 1-2. "I hope that the league will be wide open and I hope that we have a shot at the playoffs.