The three area football teams will have to get used to life on the road for the 2011 season.
Because of the ongoing renovation of Memorial Field, Burroughs, Burbank and Bellarmine-Jefferson highs — which all use the venue as their home field — will have to play all of their games on the road this season.
For the Indians and Bulldogs, that means they will have no home games. Even the annual Big Game cross-town rivalry contest will be played on the road Nov. 11 at Arcadia High.
However, for the Guards, they will actually have five “home” games.
“We will be playing our home games at North Hollywood High,” Bell-Jeff Coach Rolando Aguirre said. “That was the closest field that we could find. We might not be playing our home games at our own field, but at least we have a place for our home games.
“It’s a good stadium and we’re happy to be playing there.”
The three teams will get an early start to their seasons this year. For only the second time, all three squads will partake in Zero Week games. That means competition will begin in just 12 days.
Burroughs will open on Sept. 1 in a nonleague game against Saugus at Canyon High; Burbank opens with a nonleague game Sept. 2 at Warren and Bell-Jeff has a Sept. 2 nonleague opener against Flintridge Prep at North Hollywood High.
The majority of teams in the Southern Section will begin their seasons with games the following week.
The locals will be participating in a handful of so-called early games played in the Southern Section. They’re called Zero Week games, and the contests came about after changes in Southern Section rules in 2003.
Although teams that play in Zero Week games have to often accelerate their practices to get ready for the season a week early, there is an advantage. Playing early provides the squads with a much-needed bye week during the season, giving them a break during the 10-game campaign.
Last season, Burroughs went 7-4 and tied for the league title with Arcadia. Following their opener against Saugus (5-6 in 2010), the Indians will continue their gauntlet through the Foothill League with a game Sept. 9 at Canyon (10-2 and league runner-up to Valencia) and a game Sept. 15 against Hart (5-5) at Valencia High.
In 2010, Burroughs lost all three of its nonleague games to the same three squads.
The Indians kick off Pacific League competition Sept. 30 at Pasadena (4-6).
Following its opener against Warren (4-6), Burbank (7-4) has nonleague contests against West Ranch (6-5) at Valencia High on Sept. 9 and at South Torrance (12-2 and the Pioneer League champion) on Sept. 16.
Last season, South advanced to the CIF Southern Section Northwest Division championship, losing to Lompoc, 20-14.
The Bulldogs will begin Pacific League play Sept. 29 at Glendale (1-9).
Bell-Jeff (2-8) finished last in the five-team Santa Fe League during the 2010 campaign. In nonleague games, following their opener against the Rebels (2-6-1), the Guards take on Fairmont Prep (4-7) on Sept. 10 at North Hollywood High, face host Rosamond (2-8) on Sept. 16, take on Malibu (1-8-1) on Sept. 24 at North Hollywood High, travel to Viewpoint (2-6-1) on Sept. 30 and take on host Mountain View (5-5) on Oct. 7.
The Guards start Santa Fe League play Oct. 14 at Salesian (2-8).