Support our high school sports coverage by becoming a digital subscriber. Subscribe now
With league games set to take the spotlight in Orange County football starting next week, here are eight new nonleague matchups that would be intriguing in 2023:
Mission Viejo-Los Alamitos: Graduation is going to hit both programs hard after this season but these two still have the makings of a rivalry because of their public school bond and competitive vibe. The Diablos and Griffins have scrimmaged before and could generate a buzz similar to San Clemente-Edison.
Servite-San Clemente: The Friars should be improved in 2023 and an early-season clash against the Tritons would bring a north vs. south energy and plenty of intensity on the field. A Trinity League opponent also could help San Clemente prepare for its league showdown against Mission Viejo.
Mater Dei-Basha, Arizona: Basha impressed in its showdown this season against Los Alamitos and will return plenty of standouts next fall. Mater Dei also is set to return plenty of talent in 2023 and could be the preseason No. 1-ranked team in the nation.
Yorba Linda-Corona del Mar: Both programs appear on solid footing and could help each other with an early-season game next fall. Quarterback Kaleb Annett would test the Mustangs’ secondary while Corona del Mar will at the minimum face well-coached linemen.
El Dorado-La Habra: North Orange County can always use a new rivalry, and the Golden Hawks appear ready to be tested more in the nonleague season. Perhaps the Highlanders also will see the challenge rising at El Dorado.
Western-Orange: These two programs seem to be producing a similar-level of skill player and could deliver some serious points. Kobe Boykin vs. Joshua Faulkner? Oscar Rios/Hype Grand vs. Anthony Luna?
Sunny Hills-Canyon: The arrival of Coach Phil Hughes at Canyon makes this one seem possible. He’s a former Sunny Hills assistant and has the Comanches rising. Sunny Hills is looking to continue its winning tradition under Coach David Wilde.
Laguna Hills-Trabuco Hills: This old-school South County rivalry could be ready for a comeback. The Hawks are 4-0 this season and would draw some intensity from a district opponent. Trabuco Hills appears to be rolling so this would be a step-up game for the Hawks. Laguna Hills-El Toro or Laguna Hills-Aliso Niguel also could work.
Please send feedback to Dan Albano at email@example.com or @ocvarsityguy on Twitter