Del Norte

FOOTBALL POLL — Who will win this year’s Big 4 in football?


By Ray Hamill — Get ready for what should be a fun and hectic three weeks of league play in the Big 4.

This year’s league could be one of the most open in several years with three legitimate contenders and not a whole lot separating them through the pre-league schedule.

Del Norte is the three-time defending champion and carries an impressive 13-game league winning streak into Saturday’s opener against Eureka.

That run includes undefeated league championships in 2019, 2021 and 2022 (there was no league held in the COVID shortened season of spring 2021).

For the record, the Warriors have beaten St. Bernard’s five straight times in league, while also getting the better of Fortuna and Eureka four times each in league play.

Can they keep it going this year? The next three weeks will answer that.

But the Warriors, who are 4-2, will carry some momentum into this year’s Big 4 and they are the hottest of the four teams with three straight wins, including a 21-0 victory at Eureka in a non-league showdown two weeks ago.

Fortuna and St. Bernard’s, meanwhile, are both 5-2 after a mostly impressive pre-league schedule for both programs.

The Huskies got off to a flying start with four straight wins, before dropping two straight games and then rebounding with a big win at Healdsburg two weeks ago.

The Crusaders also won their opening four games, but have dropped two of their last three games against Ukiah and St. Vincent de Paul in matchups that got away from them late.

Eureka, on the other hand, has struggled and remains winless on the season.

The Loggers have played a much tougher schedule than any of their league opponents, but they are coming off back-to-back shutouts.

So which team will take home the pennant?

Let us know in our poll and we’ll publish the results on Friday evening before league play kicks off on Saturday.

Readers can vote once every 24 hours.

2 replies »

  1. Shreya Agrawal, CALmatters / Today @ 7 a.m. / Sacramento

    [Once Hailed as a Drought Fix, California Moves to Restrict Synthetic Turf Over Health Concerns]

    Gov. Gavin Newsom last week passed on a chance to limit the use of the so-called “forever chemicals” in legions of plastic products when he vetoed a bill that would have banned them in synthetic lawns.

    His veto of an environmental bill that overwhelmingly passed the Legislature underscores California’s convoluted guidance on the plastic turf that some homeowners, schools and businesses use in place of grass in a state accustomed to drought.

    Less than a decade ago then-Gov. Jerry Brown signed a law prohibiting cities and counties from banning synthetic grass. At the time, the state was in the middle of a crippling drought and fake lawns were thought to be helpful in saving water.

    But this year Democrats in the Legislature went in a different direction, proposing bills that would discourage synthetic turf. They’re worried about health risks created by the chemicals present in these lawns, including perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, also known as PFAS chemicals. Some chemicals in the crumb rubber base of synthetic turf, such as bisphenol A, commonly known as BPA, can leach out during extreme heat. These chemicals have been linked to various chronic diseases including cancers, diabetes and neurological impairments.

    Dianne Woelke, a retired nurse in San Diego, is among the Californians who’ve grown concerned about their neighbors’ synthetic lawns. She joined a group called Safe Healthy Playing Fields to advocate against their use.

    “It’s staggering the depth of minutia involved in this product. It’s just a lot of plastic with a lot of chemicals leaching from it,” Woelke said.

    One of the bills Newsom signed, for instance, undoes the Brown-era law and allows cities and counties to again ban artificial turf. Some California cities have already begun moving to prohibit fake lawns, including Millbrae in San Mateo County and San Marino in Los Angeles County.

    “Emerging research is making it clear that artificial turf poses an environmental threat due to its lack of recyclability and presence of toxins such as lead and PFAS,” said state Sen. Ben Allen, the Redondo Beach Democrat who authored the bill. With the new law “local governments will again be able to regulate artificial turf in a way to both protect our environment in the face of drought and climate change but also by preventing further contribution to our recycling challenges and toxic runoff,” he said.

    Manufacturers of synthetic turf say they are working to address concerns about the materials they use, although for the most part they have been unable to entirely remove PFAS. Some have switched to sand and other safer products in an attempt to replace rubber crumb.

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