Kenny Sanchez made no secret of his desire to put together the most demanding nonleague schedule in prep football history.
After weeks of trying, Bishop Gorman’s second-year coach finally might have succeeded.
The Gaels, who this fall are expected to field one of their most talented teams in school history, will face top programs from California, Florida, Hawaii and Texas as they search for a third consecutive mythical national championship.
“Here’s the deal: I don’t care about going undefeated. Yeah, that’s great and all, but that’s not the primary goal,” Sanchez said. “The primary goal is to go out and challenge ourselves to our maximum ability and not run from anybody, not hide from our opponents, but to go out there and put a schedule together that can help us win state again.”
Gorman, the seven-time defending large-school state champion, will open the season on the road Aug. 27 against Cedar Hill (Texas). Sanchez said the game will be televised on the ESPN family of networks, though the site is still to be determined.
Cedar Hill finished 9-2 in 2015 after winning back-to-back Class 6A Division II state titles in 2013 and 2014 and is expected to be one of the top teams in Texas next season.
The Gaels return home Sept. 2 to take on Cocoa (Florida), which has advanced to the Florida Class 4A state semifinals five straight seasons, before a road game Sept. 9 or 10 against St. John Bosco (California).
Gorman defeated St. John Bosco 34-31 in 2014 in a matchup of the top two teams in the USA Today Super 25 poll.
Kahuku (Hawaii), the defending Division I state champion, heads to the mainland for a Sept. 17 game, and after a bye, the Gaels host powerhouse St. Thomas Aquinas (Florida) on Sept. 30. The latter also will be televised on the ESPN family of networks, Sanchez said.
St. Thomas Aquinas won its second straight Florida 7A state title in 2015 and finished No. 9 in USA Today’s rankings. The Raiders are led by quarterback Jake Allen, a Florida commit, and five-star wide receiver Trevon Grimes.
Gorman had agreed to play nationally ranked Allen (Texas), but Sanchez said the school’s new coach backed out of the game last week.
Gorman is riding a 39-game winning streak and is expected to return a loaded senior class that includes quarterback Tate Martell, running back Biaggio Ali Walsh, defensive lineman Haskell Garrett, a recent Ohio State commit, and defensive backs Damuzhea Bolden and Alex Perry.
“In all honesty, I’d be trying to do the same thing if I thought that our team was maybe a little down as far as talent or numbers,” Sanchez said. “All these teams that we’re playing are really good programs and they’re going to do really well next year, so let’s see how we can compete against them. It helps you become battle-tested for your in-state games, it really does.”
KORNIECK ADDS AWARD — Coronado senior Taylor Kornieck was named the Gatorade Nevada Girls Soccer Player of the Year.
The senior midfielder, who has signed with Colorado, scored an area-best 54 goals to go with 12 assists and was named first-team all-state.
Kornieck now is eligible for the Gatorade national player of the year award that will be announced in May.
Contact reporter David Schoen at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-5203. Follow him on Twitter: @DavidSchoenLVRJ