Football season is still months away, but Wilcox already has its first victory of 2014.
The Santa Clara school got the green light Wednesday to open its season Aug. 29 at the 49ers' new Levi's Stadium against Manteca.
Needing a two-thirds majority from the Central Coast Section Board of Managers for a waiver to start play a week earlier than the section's other schools, Wilcox easily got the necessary votes.
"That was, I think, definitely the biggest hurdle," athletic director Woody Freitas said.
The game will not become official until contracts are signed. But before that could happen, Wilcox needed to know it had clearance to play. Because the CCS has only three rounds of football playoffs rather than four, its teams begin play a week later than teams from the North Coast and Sac-Joaquin sections. Manteca plays in the Sac-Joaquin Section.
The game is expected to be part of a doubleheader that reportedly could include De La Salle against Jesuit of Carmichael.
"If it is a doubleheader, which we believe it is, heck, if each group brought five thousand (fans) or more, you're talking a possible 25,000 game," Wilcox coach Dan Brown said.
The Open Division is designed to put the section's top eight teams in one bracket, regardless of enrollment, which generally means the top four teams from the West Catholic Athletic League and four "A" league champions.
Critics believe the Open wore out its welcome when the California Interscholastic Federation began inviting section champions to regional bowl games, the thought being that the CCS was eliminating all but one of its top teams from qualifying for those contests by placing them in one division. But the CCS is working to resolve that issue.
Its league commissioners are recommending that "any CIF section that has an 'Open Division' or power-based divisions be allowed to enter teams into the CIF NorCal championships, without restricting entries to only the champions and without exceeding the total number of entries allowed by the CIF."