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Lincoln to open PVL play against visiting Whitney on Friday

By: Russ Edmondson The News Messenger
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Lincoln High’s varsity football team, 3-0 on the season, will open the Pioneer Valley League season against visiting Whitney on Friday. Kickoff between the Zebras and the Wildcats (2-1) is set for 7:30 p.m. Whitney went 13-0 last season and beat Lincoln 49-13 but Whitney coach Mike Gimenez says Lincoln is much improved. The Zebras went 1-9 a year ago. “The senior and junior class at Lincoln has won at the lower levels and we knew they were going to have success when they were a varsity team,” Gimenez said. “They are big and physical. They have a real good team.” Whitney lost 24-7 at Oakdale on Friday night, the first loss for the Wildcats since Oakdale beat them in the Sac-Joaquin Section, Division IV title game in 2007. Whitney opened the season with victories over Fernley of Nevada (28-14) and visiting Woodland (29-7). Lincoln opened the season with road victories over Woodland (19-7) and Wheatland (28-21). The Zebras beat visiting Brookside Christian 55-20 on Friday night. Lincoln quarterback Alex Stewart is fired up for the game. “We’re going to need to play perfect to beat Whitney,” Stewart said. “There is always something to improve on, and I think we have a good shot at winning.” Lincoln coach Ken Lowe hopes the Zebras are focused on Friday night. “It’s obviously fun to win a game like (Friday’s win over Brookside Christian), but it can get you a little bit too excited and make your focus go away,” Lowe said. Galen Kusic contributed to this report