There’s no guarantee the Berkeley High School football team will win any more games in 2007 than it did in past seasons. There’s no guarantee the Yellow Jackets will compete for the Alameda Contra Costa Athletic League title next season, or whatever league they wind up in for 2008 and beyond.
But things are about to get a lot more interesting at 1980 Allston Way, now that Alonzo Carter has been hired as Berkeley’s head football coach.
Carter brings with him an impressive record (57-34-2) compiled during eight seasons as McClymonds’ head coach. During that time the Warriors also won four Oakland Athletic League titles and three Silver Bowl championships, including ones in 2005 and 2006.
But perhaps Carter’s most impressive accomplishment is getting over 60 student-athletes to sign NCAA Division I letters of intent since becoming involved in high school sports in 1993. That, above everything else, is what likely got him the job at Berkeley.
Still, Carter wants to win. And one gets the feeling that the Yellow Jackets have been a sleeping giant for some time.
After going 10-0 in 2002, Berkeley has been a combined 24-15 with one North Coast Section playoff appearance. Not bad. But perhaps not as good as you might expect considering the school has about 1,500 boys to draw from for a varsity football team.
We saw what happened in 2006 when a large school gets its act together. Deer Valley had just one winning season between 2001 and 2005, but in coach Rich Woods’ second season, the Wolverines went 10-0 in the regular season and captured the Bay Valley Athletic League title for the first time.
Now it looks like Deer Valley will be a league title contender, and perhaps an NCS playoff team, for some time. After a transition period, Berkeley could become the same kind of program.
And, if Carter has anything to say about it, a program that sends a healthy number of kids to Division I schools every year.
Look out everyone. Things are about to get a lot more interesting at 1980 Allston Way.