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St. Francis High football faces uncertainty, tough slate in 2013

Football: Golden Knights coach feels confident about this year's team coming off a 4-7, 1-4 in Mission League season.

August 14, 2013|By Grant Gordon, grant.gordon@latimes.com
  • File Photo: The St. Francis High football team faces a tough, uncertain schedule in 2013, as the Golden Knights look to rebound from a 4-7 season.
File Photo: The St. Francis High football team faces a… (Libby Cline )

A year from now, if all goes as many are predicting, the St. Francis High football team will be preparing for a schedule featuring a new-look, four-team Mission League.

With heavyweights Gardena Serra and Chaminade thought to be moving on, plenty of questions will arise and the Golden Knights’ schedule would be mighty different.

For now, though, St. Francis is preparing for a 2013 slate that hasn’t changed much from the 2012 schedule and will once again be easily the area’s most arduous campaign.

“Our league hasn’t changed yet,” said veteran St. Francis Coach Jim Bonds, whose team is coming off a 4-7 season with a 1-4 mark in the Mission League and a first-round CIF Southern Section Western Division playoff exit. “It’s by far the toughest schedule we’ve had in my tenure as coach — without question.”

One of St. Francis’ two changes to the schedule comes right off the bat, as it opens up on the road at Chino on Sept. 6 at 7 p.m.

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The glaring change from the St. Francis slate is the departure of Arcadia as the Golden Knights’ first-week foe.

“This will be the first year since I came back in 2000 that we haven’t played Arcadia in the opener,” Bonds said. “So that’ll be a big change.”

And with the departure of the Apaches also comes the end of any Pacific League opposition. Happy to oblige opponents that were but a short bus ride away, Bonds’ nonleague schedule had teams such as Burroughs, Foothill Blvd. rival Crescenta Valley, Pasadena and Arcadia every season, with as many as three during some campaigns.

But that’s not the case now, likely due to St. Francis’ dominance, as it has won 11 straight games against Pacific League opponents and is 24-1 against the Pacific League dating back to 2004.

Chino went 8-3 last year and begins a St. Francis nonleague slate in which it follows with Righetti (4-7 last year), La Mirada (9-2), Damien (3-6) and Monrovia (12-3).

“It’s an all-business, no-joke preseason,” Bonds said. “We’re gonna be ready right out of the gate.”

The second-week tilt against Righetti will begin a three-game homestand for the Knights. Sandwiched in between the Righetti and Damien games will be St. Francis’ lone Thursday game, when it hosts La Mirada.

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