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Under the Lights

Every Friday night in fall, a thrilling scene plays out under bright white lights: the competitive rush of high school football.


Photos by Jose Carlos Fajardo

The state of Texas does not have a patent on Friday Night Lights. The East Bay’s tradition of high school football is longstanding and nationally renowned, thank you very much.

During each new school year, in every town in Alameda and Contra Costa counties, 14-to 18-year-olds, who were school-kids that Friday afternoon, become gridiron warriors under electric lights by night.

High school games capture the fascination of football fans of every age—as well as scouts from colleges across the country. There are thrilling victories, agonizing defeats, cheers, jeers, and endless fun in the bleachers. Check out these moments from the high school stadiums in our backyard.


Pregame Rituals

Santa Clarita’s Canyon players do push-ups before playing De La Salle in the 2006 state championship game.


View From the Sideline

De La Salle heads upfield against San Ramon Valley


Pittsburg High’s marching band


Miramonte varsity psychs up to play Campolindo.


High-Impact Hit

A California High player runs against Pittsburg in fall 2013.


Sights and Sounds

Miramonte and Northgate players scramble for a loose ball


St. John Bosco’s coach and players celebrate in the fourth quarter of the 2013 state championship game vs. De La Salle.


Game Night

San Ramon Valley cheerleaders


A Clayton Valley player stretches


De La Salle players weep after their loss in the 2013 state championship game.


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