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2022 football schedule

Xs and Arrows

The Tehachapi Warriors athletics program has released the 2022 football schedule, and for the second straight season, we are hoping for a sense of normalcy on the gridiron. Hopefully, that is the case and the disruptions of last season are behind us and our team can focus on two things, school and football.

This season's schedule looks a little different, much of that reason is tied to the new league for the Warriors who leave the South Yosemite League for what is being dubbed the "Mountain League" consisting of North High, South High, East High, West High and Tehachapi. Whew, at least the lack of creativity in naming this league is offset by that fact that one of those teams in fact hails from the mountains. Although East High technically sits on a bluff, but "Bluff League" was not a great choice either.

It is the Warriors' first league change since 2014 when they moved to the South Yosemite League from the Southeast Yosemite League. Their tenure in the SYL included two league championships, two second place finishes, two fifth place finishes, one pandemic cancellation and a third-place finish last season. This new Mountain League still pits Tehachapi against all metro-Bakersfield schools, but minus the parochial Bakersfield Christian, it appears for all sports to be a little more balanced.

Football will no doubt set the tone, and this league will have some talent and should produce some good football games in the future.

Here is how the Warriors total schedule plays out, the second under head coach Kris Krempien, who despite the challenging COVID protocols last season that decimated his team, still managed a 5-6 season and the first playoff win for Tehachapi since 2017. Tehachapi will open the season on Aug. 18 at Burroughs in Ridgecrest, a team Tehachapi managed 48-6 last season. The Warriors' home opener will be against Highland on Aug. 26, a tough-fought 28-18 loss last season should make for a nice rematch this coming year. The Warriors will then play three straight weeks against former South Sequoia League foes beginning with a home game against Taft on Sept. 2, once again at Wasco on Sept. 9 and at Arvin on Sept. 16. It marks the first time since 2015 the Warriors and Bears have met with Tehachapi holding a 21-4 all-time series lead against their neighbors just over the mountains.

Tehachapi plays one final non-league tune up on Sept. 23 as they will host Golden West out of Visalia for the second straight season. Tehachapi defeated the Trailblazers 12-3 last season. Absent this year from the schedule is Garces, the Warriors and Rams will no longer compete in non-league play, however the possibility of the teams meeting in the postseason based on the CIF seedings could be a reality.

The "Mountain League" opens fittingly on the mountain hosting South High School on Sept. 30. This will be the Warriors first time being partnered up in the league with the Spartans, although these two teams have historically used one another as preseason scrimmage mates and have played competitively only three times, the last in 2017 when Tehachapi stunned the then-Rebels 34-8 in a playoff game. Prior to that you have to go back to the 1959 and 1960 season when Tehachapi defeated the South JV squad on two occasions.

The Warriors will spend the next two weeks on the road in Mountain League play both at East on Oct. 7 and at North on Oct. 14. They conclude their league season on Oct. 20 hosting West at Coy Burnett Stadium. The Warriors bye week will be at the end of the season on Oct. 27 which could prove to be an extra week of rest going into postseason play.

It is a good schedule in a new league and there are lots of possibilities for new rivalries, new championships and a fitting partnership with Tehachapi's new era of Warrior football, which showed renewed vigor last season and is poised for something special in the years to come.

Corey Costelloe has covered NCAA, professional and local sports for more than 20 years as a reporter and broadcaster. He advocates for the value of athletic competition and serves as the Vice President of the Tehachapi Warriors Booster Club. He can be reached at [email protected].