All the big names of the past two years have graduated, and suddenly it’s a new day in the ACCAL. Nearly every coach agreed that the league has never seen more parity or been more up for grabs. So with that thought, here’s some additional commentary the predicted order of finish.
In the predicted order:
Pinole Valley: Depth and coaching. That’s what separates the Spartans from what most consider the other two frontrunners (De Anza and Richmond). When they want to be, Pinole is the most complete team in the league.
De Anza: With a core of four seniors built toward this year, this team shouldn’t be struggling with the type of inconsistency it’s experiencing. Some of that is likely due to Darius Foster missing a handful of games due to an ankle injury.
Richmond: Wendell McKines and Orlando Arnold are about as dominant as they come. But due to a lack of depth, injuries or foul trouble is going to make any game a serious uphill battle for the Oilers.
Berkeley: Young, inexperienced, and very, very talented. It’s the team of the ACCAL’s future, but it will likely only show flashes of it this year.
El Cerrito: Imagine what this team could do if it had a regular gym to practice in. The Gauchos’ lack of any regularity will unfairly cost them, but there is still enough talent there to keep team’s honest.
Alameda: The Hornets may be the most experienced team in the league. Unfortunately, they will struggle due to their lack of size and quickness.
Hercules: After a 1-9 start, the Titans might be the most underrated team in the league. Some of that poor start can be attributed to a strong schedule and a banged-up roster. Remember, this team played a very good Campolindo team to just six points early in the season. It may be too late for the Titans to build a playoff resume, but they could still surprise some people.
Encinal: The Jets are still a team trying to find an identity. If a true leader can emerge, the latter half of the season be kinder to Encinal.
Coach of the Year: Rob Collins, Richmond
Offensive Player of the Year: McKines, Richmond
MVP: Foster, De Anza
First team All-league: Duane Bagsby (Berkeley), Foster, Justin Newsome (Pinole Valley), Arnold (Richmond), McKines (Richmond).
Have any of your own predictions for the ACCAL, have at it with a comment.