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Orange Lutheran sets challenging football schedule to prepare for Trinity League, and beyond

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An early-season trip to a Northern California powerhouse. A home game against one of the top teams from Washington. A trek through the desert to play an Arizona juggernaut. And a home date with the reigning CIF-SS Division 2 champion.

That’s the daunting schedule ahead of Orange Lutheran’s football team this fall before it even begins the Trinity League.

In their most challenging nonleague schedule under third-year coach Rod Sherman, the Lancers will face De La Salle of Concord, Eastside Catholic of Washington, Chandler of Arizona and Sierra Canyon in four consecutive weeks starting August 25.

The four teams are ranked in the top 100 of MaxPreps’ national preseason poll, and went a combined 41-13 last season.

“We don’t have a single easy game on our schedule,” said Sherman, whose squad opens its season against Serra of Gardena on Aug. 18 at Orange Coast College. “It’s the natural evolution of growing our program.”

“It was time to challenge our guys,” the coach added.

The Lancers are aiming to take the proverbial “next step” after claiming the Division 2 title in 2021 and reaching the Division 1 quarterfinals last season.

Sherman believes his team, ranked 47th in the nation by MaxPreps, will be more battle-tested for the Trinity League this season and hopes the nonleague schedule sharpens his players outside of football, too.

He sees parallels between his players practicing this fall to be their “best every game” and their futures as adults where their “best” will be required on a daily basis.

“We want to use athletics to really develop character,” Sherman said. “That’s what it’s all about.”

Orange Lutheran opens the Trinity League at JSerra on Sept. 29.

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