By Aaron Valdez
After a long and grueling offseason, those Friday Night Lights will finally return as the Arcadia football team embarks on its 2018 campaign starting with its first game against La Salle on Friday.
This is arguably one of the most highly anticipated seasons in recent memory, as the Apaches have progressively improved with each passing year under the guidance of Andrew Policky. The team’s recent success and impressive outings in passing tournaments this summer have garnered a No. 4 ranking in the Preseason CIF-SS Division 8 Football Rankings.
This makes them the highest ranked team in the San Gabriel Valley with the next best being Arroyo at No. 7. Only Rancho Mirage (No. 1), Santa Ana (No. 2) and Woodbridge (No. 3) are ahead of Arcadia.
Despite boasting an already talented roster, the Apaches have reloaded themselves with senior transfers Jabari Kindle, Ahmad Lipscome and Dyllan Wright. The trio came from Cathedral High School and is poised to make Arcadia all the more lethal.
Rolandiss Whitener will return for his junior year looking to lead the Apaches offense. Last season, the 5-foot-9 slot receiver was an All-CIF First Team selection, recording 766 receiving yards and four interceptions.
Though Arcadia went 8-4 overall and 6-1 in league last season, the team was ousted by eventual champions Katella 41-35 in the second round of CIF. This season, Polciky and the rest of Apaches will have their hands full week in and week out.
“We don’t have a ton of bodies out there but we do work hard and we are talented and I think if we stay healthy, the sky is the limit,” Policky said. “The last couple of years we have been pretty good, not great, but pretty good and we have a chance to finally break through the glass this year and get over the hump, win the league title and make some noise in the playoffs.”
After shaking off the opening-game jitters against La Salle on Friday, Arcadia will round out preseason action with games against Cathedral and Hart. The Apaches will then begin league action on Oct. 5 with a game against Glendale.