New QB for DLS

Sophomore quarterback Mike MacGillivray didn’t think he would get much playing time with the De La Salle High School football team this season, much less get the chance to start. The plan was to back up senior Garrett Jandegian this year then compete for the starting job in 2006.

Those plans have officially gone up in smoke. This week, MacGillivray’s been preparing to start on Friday night for the Spartans against Archbishop Mitty-San Jose. He’s getting the chance as Jandegian continues to heal a groin injury that he suffered in De La Salle’s opener on Sept. 10, a 7-0 loss to Clovis West. Spartans coach Bob Ladouceur wasn’t sure when Jandegian would return.

MacGillivray will become the first sophomore to start at QB for the Spartans since Matt Gutierrez opened the 1999 season with a blowout win over Richmond. Whether MacGillivray can go on to have the same type of prep career Gutierrez enjoyed remains to be seen. But the 10th grader certainly believes he can get the job done.

"A lot of (responsibility) is going to be put on my shoulders," MacGillivray said. "But I’ve got to trust everyone else, and I do."

Spartans coach Bob Ladouceur said he wouldn’t drastically alter the offensive game plan for the Mitty game to fit MacGillivray, who is more of a drop-back passer than Jandegian. In last Friday’s 61-13 win over Serra-San Mateo, MacGillivray completed 4 of 6 passes for 81 yards.

Regardless, De La Salle is going against a Monarchs defense that has only allowed 20 points in three games. “(MacGillivray) may give us another option as far as throwing goes. He throws better than Jandegian now, so it may give us more of a balanced look,” Ladouceur said. “He’s not as good running the option, but he’s a better thrower.”

How do you think DLS will do against Mitty with a sophomore at QB? Feel free to post your reply.


Friday’s Forecast

Before we get to this week’s Forecast, I’d like to offer this disclaimer:
After agreeing upon which games we will be making our predictions, Chace and I make blind picks and assign point values independently. We do not, I repeat, DO NOT, conspire on our picks.
We are most decidedly in competion with one another on this Forecast thing. We certainly don’t want to help each other out.
Why mention this? You’ll see when Chace posts his picks tomorrow.

Without further ado, here are my picks for the week:

(5) Monte Vista over Berkeley
The ‘Stangs are at home, and they are tough to beat at home. Plus, they’re averaging over 37 points and 470 yards per game. Conversely, the Yellow Jackets are averaging 189 yards and just 15.5 points per game. Unless those trends reverse themselves quickly, this one could get ugly.

(4) Foothill over Skyline
The Falcons are 2-0. The Titans are 0-2-1. Those are two big reasons for picking Foothill. However, the Falcons have won the past two by the same tight score — 28-21 — and they tied 32-32 in 2002. Plus, Foothill coach Matt Sweeney says he “loves this game” because of the intensity and athleticism Skyline always brings to the field. Plus, it’s in Oakland at 3:30 p.m. Not a comfortable 4-point pick.

(3) Ygnacio Valley over Deer Valley
The Warriors should rebound with a vengence from last week’s sloppy, turnover-filled loss to Clayton Valley. They’re gonna want to take out their aggressions on the Wolverines. Course, super RB Chris Allen is hard to get a hat on. Slippery, if you will. Another tricky pick.

(2) Las Lomas over Alhambra
The Knights and the Bulldogs both got up off the mat in a biiiiig way with their Week 2 Diablo Foothill Athletic League openers. Las Lomas handled Mt. Diablo 39-0 a week after losing 9-0 to Mitty. Alhambra topped Dublin 34-27 behind a 273-yard, three touchdown day from Brandon Rutley after falling 42-16 to YV. Really tough to call this one, too.

(1) Livermore over Alameda
Why not? The Cowboys have a chance to match their season-high win total (3) since 2000 in the third week. This is clearly a different Livermore team than the one that we’ve watched go 10-40 over the past five seasons. And the Hornets defense just got done giving up 49 points and 335 yards to California.

Think you can out-forecast the Forecasters? Bring it on. Post your picks in a comment, and I’ll keep season-long standings.


Highly anticipated girls tennis match

In one of the most highly-anticipated local girls tennis matches of the season, Miramonte hosts Campolindo today at 3:30 p.m.

For the past three years, the Matadors and Cougars have ruled the Diablo Foothill Athletic League, combining on a 100-8 record. While Miramonte has had the upper hand over Campolindo in the past, the Cougars got revenge last year and ended up winning the DFAL.

Miramonte returns DFAL singles champ and All-Times selection Shawdee Rouhafza. Campolindo counters with its No. 1 player, Kim Kennedy.

Campolindo also won the tough Mission San Jose Invitational Sept. 9-10 in Fremont. The No. 2-seeded Cougars beat No. 1 Arroyo 5-2 in the championship match. Campolindo also defeated No. 3 Carondelet (another local power) earlier in the tournament.

So what do you girls tennis fans think of tomorrow’s matchup and which team do you think will win the DFAL? Is there another team out there to challenge Campolindo and Miramonte? It’s still early in the season and the Cougars and Matadors play each other twice in league play, but this match could go a long way in determining the league champ.

At the very least, it will set the tone. Campolindo and Miramonte enter the match each 3-0 in the DFAL.



Girls Volleyball

I love long rallies. Especially the ones that start with a defensive specialist digging the best hitter on the opposing team. Throw in a diving touch on a would-be block, a pancake (hand flat on the floor) and a chicken wing (keep the ball in play with your elbow) and that’s entertainment. Of course, the rally must end with a monstrous kill that bounces inside the 10-foot line.

Right now, girls volleyball is gaining steam entering league play and rallies like the one described above should be abound. So here are some things to think about…

Campolindo could very well be the most talented team in the East Bay. Can Northgate knock off the talented Cougars in the DFAL, the same Campolindo team which returns Kristen Kathan and Britt Erickson and made it to the Division III NorCal championship game last season?

The BVAL is Liberty’s for the taking with co-MVP Allison Cecchini back. Carondelet has struggled so far and it’s seven year strangle-hold on the league could come to end. Can the Cougars make it eight straight?  Carondelet already showed it’s more than possible with a win over the Lions at the Wolverine Invitational.

Is Amador Valley the team to beat in the East Bay Athletic League? The Dons won the thing last year, and they have junior Sophia Dunworth who will only get better.

Can sophomore Tarah Murrey, who one coach said was "the best player in Northern California" and Natalie Bogan carry St. Mary’s-Berkeley this year in the BSAL, or will Jana Poole help Albany regain the crown in lost to the Panthers’ a season ago.

Is this the year Encinal takes out Berkeley in the ACCAL?

Besides all that, how is this libero business going to affect matches?
Hey, it might just lead to more rallies, one of the most exciting sequences in sports.
I’m ready for the volleyball season. Are you?


Forecast results

For those of you scoring along at home, Chace and I were dead even on correct picks in our first week of The Forecast, ver. 2.0 at 4-1.

However, I was right on my 5-point game (Foothill over Berkeley 26-3), my 4-point game (Cal over Alameda, 49-8), my 3-point game (De La Salle over Serra-San Mateo 61-13) and my 1-point game (Acalanes over Miramonte 21-7). I missed running the table when Clayton Valley rallied from a 3-point deficit late in the fourth quarter to top Ygnacio Valley 27-23 in my 2-point game. So I scored 13 points.

Chace, on the other hand, valued his lone blemish, the Acalanes-Miramonte game, at 4 points, meaning he only scored 11.

Yeah, me!

I know, I know, it’s a marathon, not a sprint. But if you knew how badly my fantasy teams were doing right now, you’d understand my enthusiasm…

Also, sometimes staff writer Ben Enos emailed me his picks late on Friday. Poor Ben went 3-2 and only mustered 8 points in the first go-round. That Serra over DLS 4-point pick ain’t looking so hot now, eh Ben?

It’s not to late to get in on the action. Check the blog on Thursday for the five games we plan to forecast for the coming week, and play along with the Times staffers. Just post a comment, and I’ll keep track of the standings.


Funny night lights

One of the best things about covering high school sports is the level of access you get as a reporter.

When we cover a football game, we’re right down there on the sidelines, milling around with the coaches and the kids. It gives you a different level of appreciation for the hitting that’s going on. It also occasionally gives you some insights that are downright hilarious.

Look, it’s high school football. It’s supposed to be fun, remember?

I was out at the McClymonds at Granada game on Friday night, and by the time all was said and done, I couldn’t feel my fingers. Why didn’t somebody tell me about the wind in Livermore? Seriously. That’s just mean.

Anyway, before the game even started, I got a nice little chuckle from McClymonds coach Alonzo Carter. Carter was strutting around during pregame warmups wearing a black polo shirt with the words, "The real coach Carter," stiched on the breast in orange.


Also, when I asked him about preseason All American tight end NaDeris Ward, who wasn’t dressed for the second straight week with a slight shoulder ailment, and whether the team was going to miss Ward, Carter seemed unconcerned.

"We still have two All Americans," he said, meaning linebacker Josh Tatum and lineman Derrick Hill. "I think we can get by with two."

Carter did a wardrobe change at the half, shucking the polo in favor of a raucously loud orange-and-yellow camoflage tee-shirt that matched his floppy hat. Very tasteful.

At one point during the game, as Granada, which lost 34-6, was struggling to block out Hill, Granada’s coach Wicks turned to one of his assistants, singled out a player, and said, "He’s getting killed. That’s his guy."

The assistant deadpanned, "He’s going up against an All American. It’s gonna happen."

You just don’t get that stuff in the NFL or college games.

Heard any funny stuff from the sidelines that you want to share? Post a comment…


Bill’s Forecast

Cloudy, with a chance of explosive offense.

I won’t claim to have a ‘lock’ this week, as Chace and I are trying to pick five of the most competitive games of the week for The Forecast. But in the interest of bragging rights, I’ve ranked my picks from most confident on down.
Sadly, Chace and I agree on the probable outcome of three of the five games this week, and for similar reasons. But those other two could be veeeeery interesting.

(5) Foothill over Berkeley
The Falcons just seem to have the Yellow Jackets number. They pulled out a gritty 21-7 win in Berkeley last year against a very physical Jackets defense. And the last time the Yellow Jackets played at Foothill, the Falcons clobbered ‘em 37-0 on Sept. 7, 2001. Sure, these teams are not those teams, but Foothill coach Matt Sweeney just seems to know how to get things done against the fast, physical Berkeley squads.

(4) California over Alameda
First, the Hornets must be lauded for their impressive 14-13 season-opening win over highly touted Bishop O’Dowd. However, the Grizzlies have a certain swagger about them after the way they romped over Vanden last week. Cal 2005 is reminiscent of San Ramon Valley 2004 — outstanding at skill positions and able to do everything well offensively. The Wolves went 11-2 and won a section title last year. The Griz could be on their way to a crown in the loaded EBAL for the same reasons.
BOD is a run first, run second offense. I’m not sure Alameda’s defense can handle the kind of versatility Cal is going to throw at it.

(3) De La Salle over Serra-San Mateo
Put it this way: There’s no way the Spartans open the season 0-2 for the second straight year. Like Chace said, there will be hounds, and they will be released.
I just don’t see the student (Patrick Walsh) eclipsing the master (Bob Ladouceur) at this point. Yes, Walsh has a good thing going in San Mateo, but Lad’s the genius — maybe the best high school football coach in the country. Rest assured, he’s already figured out a way to jump-start the offense. And those kids are going to be fired up to win at home. That 7-0 loss to Clovis West last week was probably the worst news Walsh got all month…

(2) Ygnacio Valley over Clayton Valley
Considering how much trouble the Eagles had with College Park’s veer last week, there’s a good chance the Warriors, too, could run hog-wild with their double-wing ground attack. Recent history favors YV in the matchup — the Warriors have won five of the past six meetings, including a 28-27 squeaker last year. YV’s defense looked tough vs. Alhambra, and that passing game is sneaky-effective.
On the other hand, the Eagles likely are still stinging from the error-filled 49-33 Week 1 loss, and could come into their home-opener with a load of emotion. Hence the reason for only valuing this pick at 2.

(1) Acalanes over Miramonte
What can I say? I love a punishing running attack. The Dons seem to have that in spades with Chris Bohannan, and coach Ron Thompson loves to pound the rock. If Acalanes manages to beat the Matadors for the third time in six meetings, it will be because Thompson, Bohannon and Co. win the time-of-possession battle with the ground game, just like they did in a 14-10 playoff win in 2002.
The young Matadors clearly started to figure things out as their tough 2004 season went along, and seem to have made the most of their experiences. WR Chucky Watts is the real deal — a speed burner who runs good routes and catches the ball. And when he does, he’s tough to track down. The question marks are QB Clark Feusier and the other receivers and backs. When Watts is getting triple teamed, will they rise to the occasion?

Maybe the most evenly matched game of the week. There’s a good chance this one turns on one or two plays.

Other compelling games: Campolindo vs. College Park at DVC, Alhambra at Dublin, Pittsburg at Freedom, Salesian at John Swett, McClymonds at Granada.

Think you can do better? Bring it with a comment. As an added bonus, if you make weekly picks along with Chace and me (and any other CCT prepsters, hint, hint), I promise to keep standings for all participants. If you you score more points than I do when all is said and done, I’ll let you taunt me publicly.
That’s some prize, eh?


Congrats to Richmond

The players on the Oilers varsity football snapped a streak that had plagued the seniors for their entire career.

By beating Albany 12-6 last Friday, Richmond snapped the Bay Area’s longest current losing streak at 39 games.

The last time Richmond won was Sept. 7, 2001 with a 43-20 win over Fremont-Oakland.

And trust me fellas, I have an idea of what you went through.

As a freshman at Valley High, we went 0-13 in basketball that year. It got so bad that people stopped asking me if we won and started asking how many points we lost by.

But we persevered, and my sophomore year we finished 14-14. Junior year, we were 21-5 and made it to the Sac-Joaquin Section semifinals. And in my senior campaign, we had a bit of a letdown and went 15-10, I think, and lost in the first round of the playoffs.

But back to Richmond.

Thanks in large part to a new attitude by first-year coach Lee Fletcher and the play of Orlando Arnold, the Oilers threw — pardon the cliche — a huge monkey off their backs and into San Pablo Bay.

Arnold is an imposing force, if you have seen him play or been run over by him you know what I mean. The senior caught a pass from Chris Caluya between three defenders, broke two tackles and scampered 63 yards to give his team a MUCH needed victory.

And who knows if Arnold keeps it up, Richmond just might have another tight end playing on Sundays.

It was also a very good night for Fletcher.

A former coach for the Richmond Steelers for 20 years, Fletcher helped his alma mater (he is a former lineman and a 1972 grad), regain a little glory.

Some Steelers alumni, Kenneth Adams at Berkeley and Carlos Proctor at Hercules also had good nights. And Fletcher’s nephew Deaundre Butcher also rushed for 111 yards in Pinole Valley’s win.

And don’t be surprised if Fletcher leads the Oilers into Alameda Contra Costa Athletic League play with a 3-0 mark.



Welcome back to the Forecast, fans.

Last week’s Forecast, Turn On The Lights, was merely a prototype — Version 1.0, if you will. Over the course of the last few days, football writer Bill "Two-a-day" Kolb (Yeah, the crazy one) and myself have come up with what we feel is a bigger, faster and stronger version of the Forecast.

The Forecast will now come at you in two parts, one from Bill and one from myself. The first part will hit the blog no later than Thursday morning. The second segment will arrive around the same time Friday. We will both take a look back at the previous week and ponder the weekend ahead. As we do so, we will each make predictions on what we agree to be the highest profile games of the week.

We’re sports writers, and naturally, we’re competitive. Records will be kept, some trash talk may occur. For those of you who will undoubtedly point out that my record stands at 1-2 (Thank goodness for Liberty!), we’ve agreed that what happened in Version 1.0, stays in 1.0. The slate is clean. For potential tie-breaking purposes, we will weight our predictions from 5-to-1. We also don’t see why we should be the only ones making predictions. Think you can outguess us, writers and readers alike, post your picks in a comment. The more interactive the Forecast is, the better it will be.

Alright, with that said, it’s go time. The following are our games of the week, beginning with my five-point, most-confident prediction.

(5) California over Alameda: I was at Vanden-Travis AFB last Friday to watch the new-look Grizzlies go 1-0 for the first time in five seasons. They did it impressively, scoring on their first four possessions of the second half and fighting through an officiating crew which clearly thought it was at a Raiders game (28 penalties!!!). I see California riding that momentum and winning its first home game by defeating an upstart Hornets squad.

(4) Miramonte over Acalanes: Like California, the Matadors also looked awfully good in the second half of their season-opening win. It’s an early-season gut check for Miramonte, and though it’s playing at Acalanes, should be game for a gritty Dons team.

(3) Foothill over Berkeley: The Yellow Jackets were way sloppy (five turnovers!) in Saturday’s win over Rodriguez-Suisun City. The Falcons prey on sloppy teams.

(2) De La Salle over Serra:  After being shutout in Clovis for the time since 1979, I expect the Spartans to return home and unleash the hounds. 

(1) Clayton Valley over Ygnacio Valley: While Liberty and Freedom may have something to say about it, this game just might decide the BVAL championship. Both teams realize this, but the Eagles probably need this more than the Warriors. In order to win, however, Clayton Valley will have to shore up a run defense which was more polite than Ned Flanders last week (College Park rushed for 410 yards). 

That’s how I see it fans. Post your thoughts and check back tomorrow for Bill’s Forecast debut.

Until next week…