Yosemite hosts Roosevelt Friday night

Assuming smoke from the Rough Fire subsides, Yosemite High will host the Roosevelt Friday at Badger Stadium.

Yosemite High, along with most high schools in Fresno and Madera Counties, canceled their Sept. 11 games due to the bad air quality caused by the Rough Fire. Overall, nine Central Section games were canceled.

“We were looking forward to getting on the field again and executing the adjustments that we need to make in order to improve,” Badger Coach JD Burnett said. “Corcoran would have given us a gauge as to where we are as a program in comparison to the defending Valley champions, but the safety of all players has to be first priority.”

The Badgers were to host the Corcoran Panthers, a team that would have been a formidable challenge for YHS. Last season, the Panthers were 11-3, and captured the CIF Central Section D-V title winning their last seven games.

The Roosevelt Rough Riders lost their first two games of the season - to Delano’s Cesar Chavez High 34-0, and Madera 58-6.

The Rough Riders, coached by Derrick Chachere, were 7-6 overall and 4-2 in the North Yosemite League play last season. This included a 51-0 drubbing of the Badgers in week four at Sunnyside. Roosevelt went on to the Central Section D-IV playoffs where they lost in the second round to Cesar Chavez 13-7. Roosevelt has beaten Yosemite four straight seasons.

“Roosevelt has been a playoff team the last few years,” Burnett said. “They are a large city school with a lot of athleticism. Our discipline and execution will give us our best chance to be competitive.”

Yosemite is 0-1, coming off a 47-7 loss at home against Selma, and have now lost 19 in a row dating back to 2013. The biggest highlight for the Badgers was the performance of sophomore running back Jesse De La Cruz who rushed for 104 yards.

For Burnett, 2015 will be a re-building year. The coaching staff is looking for improvement from each player every game. YHS is young and thin with only 20 players. Playing playoff caliber competition will better prepare the Badgers when North Sequoia League play begins.

The smoky conditions didn’t allow Yosemite to practice outside all week. From an injury standpoint, YHS is healthy.

Roosevelt’s offense will look to get un-tracked against the Badger defense. Roosevelt always brings a lot of speed in the skill positions. The Rough Riders are mostly run-oriented but run out of a spread to isolate their skill players.

Game times: JV 5 p.m. - varsity 7 p.m.