The article below originally appeared in the San Mateo Daily Journal and is being reprinted with permission.
College of San Mateo (12-1 in 2019) in the north and Riverside City College (13-0) in the south are the “picks” of California Community College football coaches in the annual preseason poll conducted by the JC Athletic Bureau. There was only very limited competition and no championships in 2020-21. So the picture is anything but clear entering the 2021 season, which gets underway Sept. 3-4.
San Mateo, which lost to Riverside, 31-21, in the 2019 California Community College Athletic Association championship game at Bakersfield College Memorial Stadium, slightly outpolled the Tigers by three points, 217-214, in the preseason state poll. Ventura followed with 183 points, followed by Modesto with 174, City College of San Francisco 173, Fullerton 165, American River 161, Mt. San Antonio 157, Canyons 152, and Butte 147.
Riverside had the National Division’s best community college football record in 2019 and brings that 13-game win streak into the 2021 campaign. Chaffey has the longest overall streak, 20 games in American Division play (since losing its 2018 opener) and moves up to the National Division this season, along with Allan Hancock and Reedley — each bringing seven-game skeins into National play.
The CCCAA, which has the vast majority USA’s 2-year college football teams (65), crowns a “National” division champion and two regional “American” division champs. Latter winners in 2019 were Chaffey, 33-20, over San Bernardino Valley (south) and Reedley, 23-14, over Foothill (north).
The 2021 season kicks off Friday, Sept. 3, No. 4 Modesto at No. 11 Laney at 7 p.m. in a game regionally televised on KOFY-TV 20.
Saturday’s top openers: #1 San Mateo at #16 Santa Rosa; #2 Riverside at Mt. San Jacinto; #3 Ventura at Moorpark; #5 San Francisco at #15 Sierra; Santa Ana at #6 Fullerton; #7 American River at Sacramento; #8 Mt. San Antonio at LA Valley; Antelope Valley at #9 Canyons; #10 Butte at Sequoias; #12 Fresno at #25 Chabot; #13 Long Beach at LA Harbor; Glendale at #14 Saddleback; Pasadena at #17 Cerritos; #18 El Camino at Santa Monia; West LA at #19 San Diego Mesa; #20 Golden West at Orange Coast; #21 Bakersfield at LA Pierce; #22 Shasta at West Hills; Citrus at #23 Chaffey; #24 Southwestern at Grossmont; co-#25 Diablo Valley at Siskiyous.