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Who is overrated?

It is time to address this overrated talk that is going around. I am getting comments and e-mails about teams that some of you feel are overrated. So far I have heard a majority of you say Newark and James Logan are overrated. Hmmm, these two teams have something in common and I can’t figure it out.

Oh, I got it. They are both Mission Valley Athletic League schools.

Everybody is quick to downgrade MVAL teams. Let me give you my opinion on all of this.

James Logan is the real deal this year. I have seen California play and the Grizzlies could not take down the Colts. San Ramon Valley is a North Coast Section 3-A school so we don’t have to even think about James Logan (NCS 4-A) playing them this year.

The Colts already took down Monte Vista, which will end up the EBAL champs or in second place. Who does that leave to beat James Logan? Oh, and De La Salle doesn’t count.

My take: Not overrated.

Newark Memorial is getting a ton of credit for basically one game: Washington coming back from 14 points in the final four minutes to tie San Ramon Valley. And then Newark beating Washington 6-3 has kept the Cougars at No. 4 in the East Bay Super Poll. Newark is undefeated.

The Cougars, until last week’s trouncing of Irvington, has shown they play down to their opponents’ level at times. That does set off an alarm in my head that Newark still needs to prove itself.

However, I do agree with the Cougars being No. 4 in our poll because of all the parity this year. I think every team, No. 3 – No. 10 in the poll, is so close in talent that they could all beat eachother on any given Friday.

 Maybe in the end we will find out that Newark is too high in the poll, but for now Newark is undefeated and knocked off a team that tied our No. 3 team in the poll. They are No. 4 until somebody below steps up and does something convincing. Nobody has done that yet. And I don’t think anyone will until the playoffs.

So is Newark overrated?

My take: The red flag is up in my head, but even if they are overrated, it isn’t by much. 

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Former SL football coach feature

Take a look at this excellent feature on former San Leandro High football coach Joe Martin.

For those that don’t remember, Martin was forced to resign from San Leandro High in 1991 because of complaints by students that included degrading remarks about the cheerleaders, racist and sexist comments and remarks that promoted drinking.

Martin would eventually file a lawsuit and be awarded more than $645,000 in compensation, attorney fees and costs. Go checkout why at the link below.

http://recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071021/A_NEWS/710210318

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MSJ tops Wilson Prep

Some were wondering if Mission San Jose forfeited against Wilson Prep last week. The answer is no. The game was moved from Friday to Saturday because Mission thought the game was originally scheduled for Saturday and did not showup on Friday.

The two teams battled it out on Saturday. Mission got its first win of the season 10-6 against Wilson Prep.

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De La Salle, James Logan and then the rest

The top two teams in the East Bay this year are pretty obvious. No. 1 De La Salle and No. 2 James Logan. The two teams are so far ahead of the rest of the pack.

The Spartans are of course in a world of their own at No. 1. But the Colts are light years ahead of any other team in the East Bay besides the Spartans. The rest of the football world seems to be on a lower level this season.

San Ramon Valley, California and Newark Memorial seem to be the next best teams in the area. But these squads are no where close to matching the talent that James Logan has. Seems like we are going to go old school this year. DLS-James Logan in the NCS 4-A East Bay title game. 

Do the Colts stand a chance? Probably not. But one interesting thing to look at is Colts coach George Zuber. The guy was the defensive coordinator for the 2005 San Leandro team, which held De La Salle to just 14 points in the title game. Not the same defense at Logan this year, but just a thought.

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Washington to forfeit … for now

The North Coast Section ruled that Washington must forfeit its first two games of the year for using receiver Tommy Ross, who was deemed ineligible for a transfer mishap, according to Huskies coach Ken Wittmer. Ross transferred from Kennedy-Fremont and was ruled ineligible for the rest of the season by NCS, according to Wittmer.

The Huskies beat Arroyo and Tennyson in the first two weeks of the season.  Wittmer said he will appeal both of the rulings. Well, one thing is for sure: that makes Washington the best 2-4-1 team in the East Bay!

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Rashad Evans on another level

James Logan High senior do-it-all quarterback Rashad Evans is on another planet when comparing his skill to other football players in the East Bay. 

The kid just straight went off tonight against Washington. He finished with 12 carries for 258 yards. Flat out, Evans is the most dangerous weapon in the East Bay. Oh, and Evans is a shutdown corner, too. He is actually being recruited to play DB.

He is the front runner to win the BANG-East Bay Offensive Player of the Year award and in the running for the Defensive Player of the Year. If you haven’t seen the guy play, make sure to check him out. 

Top colleges have taken notice. According to Evans, here are his top five college choices in no particular order.

Cal, Oregon, Utah, Georgia Tech and USC. All of the previous have offered a scholarship to Evans. And according to inside sources, Stanford has thrown its name into the mix. Although, it is unknown at the moment if Stanford has made an offer.

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Get your high school athletic teams on the web

Now your high school sports teams can have a web page of their own. You can put your own video, articles and pictures on the page. Go check it out at the link below. Get on board!

If you see that your school doesn’t have a web site with us, then add them to our list. The great thing about this is that YOU get to upload everything on to the page. Anybody can do it.  Call the school about getting a site going or do it yourself!

Here is the link:  http://www.insidebayarea.com/communitysports

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East Bay Area All-Star game?

How awesome would it be to have each league create an all-star team and play eachother for bragging rights when the season is over? It could be like making the Pro Bowl for the kids in each area.

I know what you’re thinking: Duh, the BVAL would win because they have De La Salle. Well, I don’t know about that. The EBAL could put together quite a squad and so could the ACCAL. The HAAL and MVAL are no slouches, either.

I think it would bring out a huge crowd and be nothing but a success for football in the East Bay. Maybe somebody out there can make this a reality. I know the football season is already long enough and a lot of players have to hustle to the basketball court once NCS is over, but it is fun to think about which league would win.

Basketball has a tournament at the end of the season, where each league grabs seniors and puts on a showcase at Chabot College. Each league plays the other and a champion is decided with a championship game. It is exciting stuff.

The only problem with football is you can’t play games on consecutive days. That would be a big hurdle to jump. Still, I think this is something somebody should look into organizing.

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Looking ahead to girls golf league tourneys

Girls golf teams across the East Bay wrapped up their regular seasons yesterday, and while a few still have some makeup matches to play, it’s time to look ahead to the postseason, which begins Monday with the league tournaments.

As far as team titles go, at least three leagues are essentially two-horse races: the EBAL (Monte Vista and Amador Valley), the BVAL (Deer Valley and Carondelet) and the DFAL (Acalanes and Miramonte). There stands to be plenty of competition for the individual prizes as well. Here’s a league-by-league breakdown of Monday’s tournaments.

EBAL

Location: Roddy Ranch GC, Antioch

Time: 10 a.m. (shotgun start)

Team to beat: Monte Vista

Top challenger: Amador Valley

Individual to beat: Joi Pentin (Amador Valley)

Challenger: Jane Lee (Monte Vista)

Dark horses: Kortnie Maxoutopoulis (Foothill), Camille Armas (Dougherty Valley), Emily Chiu (Amador Valley), Jordan Ontiveros (Monte Vista)

Skinny: The team title is Monte Vista’s to lose. Amador Valley can compete with the Mustangs, but they’re really a step below (and everyone else is at least two steps below). Pentin has the best scoring average this season, but Lee is not far behind. And in the EBAL, there are always plenty of golfers who could go low and surprise everyone.

BVAL

Location: Tilden Park GC, Berkeley

Time: 10 a.m.

Team to beat: Deer Valley

Top challenger: Carondelet

Individual to beat: Ashley Edwards (Deer Valley)

Challenger: Ellese Dias (Carondelet)

Dark horses: Victora Leon (Deer Valley), Kellyann Masterson (Freedom), Lauren Conder (Heritage), Taylor Vigil (Carondelet)

Skinny: It appears this year will finally mark the end of Carondelet’s incredible run of dominance in the BVAL. The Wolverines, led by the senior Edwards, beat the Cougars twice in league play (snapping a string of seven straight unbeaten seasons for Carondelet) and finished the regular season undefeated. Edwards is the clear favorite to be the medalist at Monday’s tournament, but if she struggles at all she could be challenged by the sophomore Dias.

DFAL

Location: Diablo Creek GC, Concord

Time: 8:30 a.m. (shotgun start)

Team to beat: Acalanes

Top challenger: Miramonte

Individual to beat: Melissa Woo (Las Lomas)

Challenger: Kristi Nacino (Dublin)

Dark horses: Jillian Lee (Northgate), Audra Kepler (College Park)

Skinny: This tournament features two strong teams and four strong inviduals. Oddly enough, none of the top individuals are members of the top two teams. Acalanes and Miramonte will battle it out for the team title, while Woo appears to be a step above the rest among the individuals. There’s not much separating the top four golfers, though.

BSAL

Location: Blue Rock Springs GC, Vallejo

Time: noon (shotgun start)

Team to beat: Albany

Top challengers: St. Mary’s, Piedmont, Hercules

Individual to beat: Joy Kim (Albany)

Challenger: none

Dark horses: Alex Killingsworth (St. Mary’s), Jennifer Yim (Hercules), Vivian Kwok (Piedmont), NaRa Pak (Albany)

Skinny: The team competition could be very close, as all four teams are capable of coming out on top. The individual competition should not be close. There’s Joy Kim, and then there’s everybody else. Kim likely won’t be challenged until the following Monday at the North Coast Section tournament, but keep an eye on the freshman Yim if you’re looking for a surprise challenger.

This would be a much more interesting tournament if Alameda was involved — correction, it would be a much more interesting individual competition, since the Hornets would have run away with the team title. But Grace Na, Emily Childs and company have already been invited to NCS, so they won’t compete in the BSAL tournament.

— James Leonard

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East Bay Coaches Volleyball Poll (6)

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Apparently, it’s cool for the football writers to take shots at me and at girls volleyball. But it’s OK. I’ll keep this love fest going with another post.

So I thought I tell you about the first time I saw Tarah Murrey play. She was side-by-side with older sister Brittney at the Albany Tournament back in 2004. My initial thought was, “Wow, these girls are mad good.” It didn’t take a volleyball expert – or a rocket scientist — to figure that one out. I approached her for an interview afterward and it seemed Tarah, at 6-foot-3, towered over me (I’m 6-feet tall, mind you). I seriously thought she was a senior. It turns out she was just a freshman. Jeff Barnes, Albany’s coach at the time, and then-Panthers’ Jon Segall told me everyone knew of Tarah since she was a seventh grader. I had no clue. (Of course this was way before the Albany incident.)

20071017__murrey~01_Gallery.jpg

On Monday, Tarah orally committed to Cal. She was sick with a cold and still took time to talk to me about it. I had been pestering her for the last two years about calling me the minute she decided. She apologized (she didn’t have to) for not telling me sooner, not knowing her mother had left me a message on my work phone. That’s the type of person she is. Everyone she meets likes her. John Tawa of PrepVolleyball.com made it a point to say on his site how Tarah is such a nice person. She also knows when to lead and when to follow. She’s usually the best player in the gym but you couldn’t tell because she has no ego. She didn’t have to play high school volleyball this season but did because the team needed her and she loves playing with her friends.

Tarah could’ve gone almost anywhere she wanted. She said last month that her top three choices were Nebraska, UCLA and Cal. Those are currently the No. 1, No. 5 and No. 9 teams in the country respectively.
Like most athletes, she said she was glad the recruiting process was finally over. It helped that sister Brittney, a setter at UC Riverside, gave her blessing.
Said Tarah: “She was like ‘Tarah you should go to Cal. I want you to go to UCLA, but I can totally see you at Cal.’”
Bears coach Rich Feller should send Brittney a Thank You card.
WELL SPOKEN: Foothill’s Betsy Sedlak is such a graceful interview. She’s smart, articulate and humble and those are great qualities.
When asked about the MVP race in the EBAL, after the Falcons had lost to Sophia Dunworth and Amador Valley, she had this to say about the split crowd at Foothill chanting MVP for each player:
“I think there are so many people in this league that deserve the MVP spot,” Sedlak said. “There are great players on every team. I mean, Sophie is amazing. She’s a wonderful player.”
That’s class.

– Ricardo Sanchez Jr.

EAST BAY COACHES GIRLS VOLLEYBALL POLL (6)

1) Amador Valley (Sophomore MB Grace Vickers puts up 7 blocks in win over Foothill)
2) Carondelet (will cruise until they face Liberty and DV)
3) Deer Valley (needs to beat Liberty on Tuesday)
4) Bishop O’Dowd (Keeps on winning, what else is new?)
5) Foothill (couldn’t get it together against Amador Valley)
6) Albany (waiting for the BSAL playoffs to start)
7) Monte Vista (a nightmare stretch: 3-straight losses to AV, Foot, SRV)
8) San Ramon Valley (big win over Monte Vista to take 3rd place in EBAL)
9) Las Lomas (face Acalanes on Oct. 25, the Dons took Campo to five)
10) Castro Valley (hasn’t dropped one since losing to BOD)

Other receiving votes — Campolindo