It’s that time of year again. Time for the new school year to start and the beginning of the fall sports season.

For the local high schools, the list of fall sports consists of football, cross-country, volleyball, girls golf and girls tennis.

Bakersfield College’s fall sports lineup includes football, volleyball, wrestling, cross-country, women’s golf, and men’s and women’s soccer.

Cal State Bakersfield’s fall sports schedule features volleyball, cross-country (women’s only), and men’s and women’s soccer.

With so many local athletes and teams in action, it’s a great opportunity for local sports fans to get out and enjoy some great competition while the weather is still nice.

Football

Six of the 18 schools that constitute the South Yosemite League, Southeast Yosemite League and Southwest Yosemite League have new head football coaches this year. That includes perennial powers Bakersfield High, Garces and Ridgeview.

Paul Golla, who posted a 134-44 record while leading BHS to five Central Section Division I championships and a 2013 state championship during 14 years at the helm of the Drillers has moved on to Garces.

Former West High and Frontier High coach Rich Cornford takes over for the highly successful Dennis Manning as the head coach at Ridgeview. Cornford led the Vikings, powered by former NFL star Ryan Mathews, to a D-II section championship in 2005. Manning guided the Wolf Pack to three section titles and one state playoff berth during his 10 years at Ridgeview. He’ll remain with the team as an assistant coach.

BHS replaced Golla with former Fresno State, Los Angeles Rams and Miami Dolphins safety Michael Stewart, a standout player for the Drillers in the early 1980s.

There are several local high school football players that possess next-level talent. Chief among them is Bakersfield Christian tight end/defensive end Ben Yurosek. The 6-foot-5 senior has already accepted a scholarship offer to play for Stanford next year.

The Bakersfield College football team is coming off a 6-5 season. The Renegades went 5-0 at home last year, outscoring their opponents 206-39 in games played at Memorial Stadium. BC’s longtime home venue received major upgrades during the summer. The stadium’s grass field was removed and replaced with an easier-to-maintain artificial turf. The track surrounding the football field was also removed and replaced with a new running surface.

BC’s football team opens its 2019 schedule with a home game against Mount San Antonio College on Sept. 17. Memorial Stadium, which is scheduled for additional upgrades next year, will host the football state championship game in 2019 and 2020.

Local football fans should also keep an eye on former Liberty High standout and current Utah State quarterback Jordan Love. The 6-foot-4, 220-pound junior is one of the top college signal callers in the country. Love, regarded as a potential future NFL first-round draft pick, is on the 2019 Preseason Davey O’Brien Award Watch List and 2019 Preseason Maxwell Award Watch List.

Volleyball

The Bakersfield College volleyball team hopes to continue the path it was on last year, when the Renegades ended the regular season ranked No. 2 in the state before qualifying for the CCCAA State Championships. BC, led by 2018 CCCWVCA Coach of the Year Carl Ferreira, returns several of its top players, including middle blocker Lanie Camarillo, outside hitter Penelope Zepeda and libero Jessica Merante.

The CSUB volleyball team finished last season with a record of 14-16 overall and 7-9 in the WAC. The Roadrunners return All-WAC Freshman Team selection Brooke Boiseau (middle blocker/right side), plus key contributors Leisa Elisaia, Emily Hansen and Milica Vukobrat.

Soccer

Both BC soccer teams posted winning records last year (men 9-6-5, women 11-5-4) and should once again be highly competitive.

The CSUB men’s soccer team hopes to improve on a 5-12-1 record in 2018, while the Roadrunners women’s soccer team (6-10-2) wants to do the same. 

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