Football kicks off 2017 this weekend

THE RAMS and Chargers held a joint practice last week. Each team opens pre-season action this weekend (Rams photo).

The long wait is over. Football finally returns to Southern California, although it will take a bit longer to arrive in Orange County, unless you count watching it on television at home or in your favorite sports pub. Starting this week, we will briefly preview gridiron games of interest, and other extra points about the game in and around the OC area. Here’s the kickoff ….

The Pros: Rams and Chargers

Both the Rams and the Chargers will begin pre-season action this weekend.

  • Los Angeles Rams will host the Dallas Cowboys at the Coliseum on Saturday at 6 p.m. The game will be televised on KCBS. The Rams stumbled in the second half of last season and finished 4-12. The Cowboys did much better, posting a 13-3 record, winning the NFC East Division and losing in the second round of the playoffs 34-31 to Green Bay.
  • Los Angeles Chargers will host the Seattle Seahawks at the Stubhub Center in Carson at 5 p.m. That game will be televised at KABC. In their final season in San Diego, the Bolts posted a 5-11 record. The Hawks were 10-5-1, winning the NFC West and advancing to the second round to be defeated 36-20 by Atlanta.

The Colleges: USC, UCLA and more

None of the major university or local college teams will be in action until September. If you want to mark your calendar for their arrival, here’s the list.

  • USC will host Western Michigan University on Sept. 2 at the Coliseum.
  • UCLA will host Texas A&M on Sept. 7 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.
  • Golden West College will open its season on Sept. 2, hosting Glendale College at its new on-campus stadium at 1 p.m.
  • Chapman University will start the 2017 campaign on Sept. 9 hosting Linfield College at 7 p.m.

High schools

We are more than a month away from the start of local prep football. The first games will be the week of Aug. 24-25. The most interesting first round matchup will feature powerhouses Edison and Tesoro meeting on Friday, Aug. 25.

Extra points

Golden West College’s football team has been playing its home games at LeBard Stadium on the campus of Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa since the school opened in 1966. But after a successful trial run using temporary bleachers for a 60th anniversary game last season, the Rustlers have made the switch back to their Huntington Beach field permanent. Five of their 10 games will be played at last on their home (artificial) turf.

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