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St. John Bosco will play host to De La Salle on Jan. 8 in football season opener

St. John Bosco's Kris Hutson makes touchdown catch against De La Salle defender Shamar Garrett in a state bowl game in 2019.
St. John Bosco wide receiver Kris Hutson makes a touchdown catch against De La Salle defensive back Shamar Garrett during the Open Division state bowl game last December.
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

There’s still uncertainty whether California’s high school football season will launch as scheduled in three months, but there’s no uncertainty about which opening game will draw the most attention after Bellflower St. John Bosco and Concord De La Salle announced on Wednesday that they have agreed to play on Jan. 8 in a rematch of last year’s CIF Open Division state championship bowl game.

Both schools had out-of-state games canceled when the CIF delayed the start of fall sports because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The game is scheduled to be played at St. John Bosco at 7 p.m., although the time might change for television and the site could change depending on county health regulations.

De La Salle coach Justin Alumbaugh said the mode of transportation to get his players to Southern California is to be decided. With required social distancing measures, it could mean lots of buses being used as well as parents transporting their sons individually. Some are planning to arrive on game day and return home the same night.

Alumbaugh and St. John Bosco coach Jason Negro are committed to making the game happen.

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“They had an opening. We had an opening, and Justin and I are friends,” Negro said.

St. John Bosco completed a 13-1 season in 2019 by beating De La Salle 49-28. The Braves have eight quarterbacks in their program who will be competing in the coming months to replace DJ Uiagalelei, who is now at Clemson. St. John Bosco was scheduled to open its season in August with a trip to Ohio. De La Salle had originally been scheduled to travel to Texas for its season opener.

Teams are currently allowed to hold conditioning drills under state health guidelines. A big test will be in November when seven-on-seven passing competitions are scheduled, if health guidelines will allow them. Official practice in California is scheduled for Dec. 14.


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