Ready to roll. That's the mode the Laguna Beach High football team is in this week.
After weeks of surviving two-a-days and working their way through preseason camp, the Breakers finally kick off their season Friday. They'll travel to Garden Grove to challenge the Bolsa Grande Matadors at 7 p.m.
"I think we've come a long way this summer," Laguna Coach Corey Brown said. "I think we're a really young team in terms of playing experience along the offensive and defensive lines, but we have some guys on those lines who had success last year on frosh/soph and who are back with us after not playing last year.
"I really feel we are finally getting to where we want to be. There's still plenty of room for improvement and to grow, but I think going into Week 1 the foundation is there for building success. We're healthy and pretty much dialed in for our season opener."
A week before their opener, the Breakers scrimmaged at Laguna Hills Aug. 29.
The Breakers previously had gone up against the Hawks during a 7-on-7 passing game earlier in the summer.
"That was a good benchmark for us," Brown said of last week's scrimmage. "Going up against Laguna Hills, which has several playmakers and is a good team, always gives us a good look as to where we are. By the end of the scrimmage, I was happy with what we did. We executed well and played hard. The effort was great and we had a ton of energy."
Friday also marks the season opener for Bolsa Grande. Last year, the Matadors turned in a 3-7 season in Matt Brinkerhoff's first year as head coach. They return six starters on offense, including veteran quarterback Anthony Porras, who threw for 1,100 yards and 11 touchdowns last year as a junior.
"They are improving," Brown said of Bolsa Grande.
"This is their second year under their coach (Brinkerhoff), and he's doing a good job trying to build his product.
"It's going to take our best effort to go out and beat Bolsa. Honestly, we don't know what we have until we step onto that field and line up against them. I'm confident, though, in our preparation. I think this game will be the start of something pretty neat for our guys."
Laguna has opened the past two seasons against Bolsa Grande and is 2-0 in those games.
Friday: at Bolsa Grande
Sept. 12: University
Sept. 19: at Westminster
Sept. 26: St. Margaret's
Oct. 2: at Northwood
Oct. 10: *at Costa Mesa (at Estancia High)
Oct. 17: *Saddleback (homecoming)
Oct. 24: *at Estancia
Oct. 31: *Calvary Chapel
Nov. 7: *Godinez
(*denotes league game)
Laguna in preseason rankings
The CIF Southern Section has released preseason rankings for football, girls' volleyball, boys' water polo, and boys' and girls' cross-country. The 2014 fall season gets underway this week for all Laguna teams.
Football, Southern Division preseason rankings: 1. Garden Grove; 2. Santa Ana Valley; 3. Westminster; 4. Katella; 5. Canyon/Anaheim; 6. El Dorado; 7. Brea Olinda; 8. Los Amigos; 9. El Modena; 10. Laguna Beach.
Boys' water polo, Division 3 preseason rankings: 1. Laguna Beach; 2. Murrieta Valley; 3. Capistrano Valley; 4. La Canada; 5. Montebello; 6. Royal; 7. Aliso Niguel; 8. South Pasadena; 9. Trabuco Hills; 10. Vista Murrieta.
Boys' cross-country, Division 4 preseason rankings: 1. Bishop Amat; 2. Orange Lutheran; 3. Cathedral; 4. Salesian; 5. Laguna Beach; 6. Harvard-Westlake; 7. JSerra; 8. Morro Bay; 9. Crean Lutheran; 10. Covina.
Girls' cross-country, Division 4 preseason rankings: 1. Bishop Amat; 2. Laguna Beach; 3. JSerra; 4. Big Bear; 5. Harvard-Westlake; 6. Templeton; 7. La Reina; 8. Oaks Christian; 9. Crean Lutheran; 10T. San Marino, Orange Lutheran.