Cherokee Trail opens league play with a clash against two-time defending Class 5A state champion Cherry Creek in Week 6 of the 2022 prep football season. (Photo by Courtney Oakes/Sentinel Colorado)

AURORA | A breakdown of the 2022 season schedule for the Cherokee Trail football team:

Courtney Oakes is Sentinel Colorado Sports Editor. Reach him at [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. IG: Sentinel Prep Sports

CHEROKEE TRAIL: The Cougars saw head coach Joe Johnson step down after a season that saw them win seven games and advance to the second round of the Class 5A state playoffs. The first time Cherokee Trail takes the field with Justin Jajczyk as its new head coach, it will face none other than Chatfield (last season’s 4A state champion) in a Week 1 game Aug. 26 at Jeffco Stadium. The Cougars have three other new non-league opponents in Rocky Mountain, Fort Collins and Castle View (which they face in a Week 5 Homecoming game), while they get a rematch with powerhouse Columbine (which dealt them a 52-21 loss last season) in Week 3 in another game at Jeffco Stadium. League play (5A League 4) begins in a big way with a Sept. 30 home game against two-time defending 5A state champion Cherry Creek. Cherokee Trail lost to the Bruins last season league play as well as Arapahoe and rival Grandview, which it faces back-to-back in weeks eight and nine. Eight of Cherokee Trail’s 2022 opponents qualified for the 5A or 4A playoffs last season and four of those (Cherry Creek, Columbine, Grandview and Arapahoe) made it to at least the quarterfinals. Last season: Cherokee Trail’s opponents had an impressive combined record of 76-44 in 2021.

Cherokee Trail schedule — Home games in all caps (played at Legacy Stadium unless otherwise noted): Friday, Aug. 26 — vs. Chatfield at Jeffco Stadium, 7:30 p.m.; Friday, Sept. 2 — ROCKY MOUNTAIN, 7 p.m.; Thursday, Sept. 8 — vs. Columbine at Jeffco Stadium, 4 p.m.; Friday, Sept. 16 — FORT COLLINS, 7 p.m.; Friday, Sept. 23 — CASTLE VIEW, 7 p.m.; Friday, Sept. 30 — CHERRY CREEK, 7 p.m.; Friday, Oct. 7 — vs. Eaglecrest at Legacy Stadium, 7 p.m.; Thursday, Oct. 13 — ARAPAHOE, 7 p.m.; Friday, Oct. 21 — vs. Grandview at Legacy Stadium, 7 p.m.; Thursday, Oct. 27 — vs. Smoky Hill at Stutler Bowl, 7 p.m.

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