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Two Geeks and a Pigskin go retro!

Hey prep football fans,
We realize it’s been awhile since we posted any of our videos on the blog. So forgive us. Hopefully you’ve been able to keep up on the main website, or at least the prep football page. But this week, we thought we’d get back up on the blog. Primarily because we needed to break up this volleyball love-fest (no offense, Ricardo), and we’re quite proud of this episode. We tip our caps to the film noir style of the past while we search for a team in the DFAL that can contend with Las Lomas. So make yourself some popcorn, slather on the butter, and check out Geek Noir: Search for a Contender. Once you do, let us know what you think with a comment or an email to cctgeeks@comcast.net.

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Rain again?

It looks like the rain will be coming for the second straight week for football games in the East Bay. That brings me to ask the question: Who does the rain favor?

Obviously, the rain is going to help a team that loves to run the ball. Any team with no ground game is going to be hurting in an old-fashioned mud football game. I also think the rain favors a team that is less talented. It slows the game down and evens out the playing field when it comes to a chance at getting a turnover. Any team with horrible pass defense has to be doing the rain dance Friday morning. The rain usually keeps teams from attempting to throw the ball too often.

What are your thoughts on games in the rain and who they favor?

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NCS 3-A breakdown update

Looks like Heritage was moved back to the 2-A class, which should open up another spot in the 3-A class. Let’s update this. 

Let’s just breakdown the North Coast Section 3-A class, which is all of a sudden a stacked division. Alphabetically for now, let’s look at who has a chance at getting to the playoffs: Alameda (5-1, 2-1 ACCAL), American (3-3, 1-2 MVAL), Arroyo (3-3, 1-2 HAAL), College Park (5-1, 4-1 DFAL), Freedom (3-3, 2-3 BVAL), Newark Memorial (6-0, 2-0 MVAL), Pinole Valley (5-0-1, 2-0-1 ACCAL), San Ramon Valley (5-0-1, 3-0 EBAL), Tennyson (3-3, 2-1 HAAL), Washington (4-1-1, 2-1 MVAL). 

 Wow, that is six teams with no losses or just one loss. Remember, the bracket fills up with just eight spots. Let’s go ahead and mark in our locks to get into the playoffs: San Ramon Valley, Newark Memorial, Pinole Valley and Alameda. These squads are my 99.9-percent lock teams. That leaves four spots.

Here is a list of probable teams: College Park and Washington. The only reason Washington isn’t a lock right now is because they probably are going to be forced by NCS to forfeit the first two games of the season _ both wins _ against Tennyson and Arroyo for using an ineligible player. But Washington should still finish with just one more loss max this season _ that coming to James Logan on Oct. 20.

My teams that will crack the bubble: Heritage is now out which means Arroyo, American and Freedom are in a fight for the last spots. I give the edge to Arroyo and then the other spot is a toss up.

Updated seeds

1. San Ramon Valley- Should be EBAL champs.

2. Newark Memorial- Only way they get No. 1 is by beating James Logan.

3. Pinole Valley – ACCAL champs again. Tie to Berkeley costs them a higher seed.

4.  Alameda – 3-point loss to Pinole Valley puts them just behind the Spartans.

5. College Park – This squad could be No. 4 and Alameda No. 5. 

6. Washington- A tie to SRV should make them higher, but forfeit losses drop them way down. You never know, NCS could be weird about these forfeits and drop them out all together or put them right behind Newark at No. 3. Washington lost to Newark 6-3.

7. Arroyo—The Dons have two solid losses to San Leandro and Washington. Its third loss was to Mt. Eden (also a decent loss), but the team was without its starting QB that game.

8. American/Freedom – Either way, playing SRV in the first round won’t be fun.

—Michael Bower 

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Friday night football

What exactly do we do on Friday nights to get everything in the newspaper the next day? Well, I am going to take you through a typical Friday night for me.

I work out of the Daily Review office in Hayward. I will usually get into the office in the early afternoon to setup files on the computer for all of the game stories that will be coming in that night. I then get my clipboard and rosters for the game I will be going out to cover. Pretty easy going afternoon.

 But once game time hits, things begin to get crazy. First thing I am thinking before kickoff is: `I hope this game starts on time.’

A lot of the time us prep sports writers will be rooting for the clock. When a team is up more than a touchdown in the fourth quarter, we aren’t happy campers when coaches call a passing play. Don’t get me wrong, we love watching the games and of course coaches have the right to call anything they want, but it doesn’t help us meet our deadline any when the clock is stopped.

As the game moves along, we phone in our scores at the end of each quarter to someone on the copy desk. That person then updates the score on our website. That is how we have the live scoreboard updates Friday night.

That is pretty much it throughout game time. Once the game is over, I take a quick glance at my watch to see how much time I have to grab some quotes from players and coaches.  Usually a game ends around 9:30 p.m. if we are lucky. Depending how far I am from the office, that usually gives me about 10 minutes to make my way around to the players. That, of course, only if the speech the coach gives to his team doesn’t run too long.

 Once the notebook is filled, I hit the road. On the drive back to the office, I am running a ton of different ideas through my head on how to write the game story. Hopefully, I have one by the time I am back inside the office.

Once I am in the office, it becomes game time for me. I usually have about 20-25 minutes (If I am lucky) to write the story and get the boxscore done. It is a huge adrenaline rush and I love every second of it.

After my story, I edit other stories written from the night games and send everything to the copy desk. That’s where the magic happens. The copy desk edits over the stories again and smacks a headline on them (Many people think us writers write the headline. Not true. A copy editor writes headlines and captions).

And there it is, another Friday night in the books. That’s when I go home and turn on the 1 a.m. High School Sports Focus show. For those that seen it last week, yours truly previewed three games to watch this week.

–Michael Bower

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No place for ties in football

There have been a couple situations this season where coaches have needed to decide to go for the win or settle for the tie. The last one coming on Friday night in the California-San Ramon Valley football game.

 Cal trailed 10-3 before scoring a touchdown with under 30 seconds to go. Grizzlies coach Tony Sanchez knew he had the tie-breaker wild card in the East Bay Athletic League, which meant a tie was as good as a win in this situation. But in the end, Cal missed the extra-point and lost the game.

But should there even be a chance for a team to tie another? I don’t think so. The game should just go to overtime like it would in the North Coast Section playoffs. Can anyone give a legitimate reason why the game would end in a tie?

 High school basketball has overtime and baseball has extra innings. But football, the biggest prep sport of all, doesn’t play extra to decide a winner? It really doesn’t make sense, and the leagues in the East Bay need to change this. 

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NCS 3-A East Bay breakdown

I know, I know. We are barely through Week 6 of the football season and I am already talking about the playoffs. But that’s what we do as prep sports writers, try to bring you an insight on what is going to happen before it actually does. And come on, are we ever wrong? OK, don’t answer that question.

Let’s just breakdown the North Coast Section 3-A class, which is all of a sudden a stacked division. Alphabetically for now, let’s look at who has a chance at getting to the playoffs: Alameda (5-1, 2-1 ACCAL), American (3-3, 1-2 MVAL), Arroyo (3-3, 1-2 HAAL), College Park (5-1, 4-1 DFAL), Freedom (3-3, 2-3 BVAL), Heritage (4-2, 3-1 BVAL), Newark Memorial (6-0, 2-0 MVAL), Pinole Valley (5-0-1, 2-0-1 ACCAL), San Ramon Valley (5-0-1, 3-0 EBAL), Tennyson (3-3, 2-1 HAAL), Washington (3-1-1, 1-1 MVAL). 

 Wow, that is six teams with no losses or just one loss. Remember, the bracket fills up with just eight spots. Let’s go ahead and mark in our locks to get into the playoffs: San Ramon Valley, Newark Memorial, Pinole Valley and Alameda. These squads are my 99.9-percent lock teams. That leaves four spots.

Here is a list of probable teams: College Park and Washington. The only reason Washington isn’t a lock right now is because they probably are going to be forced by NCS to forfeit the first two games of the season _ both wins _ against Tennyson and Arroyo for using an ineligible player. But Washington should still finish with just one more loss max this season _ that coming to James Logan on Oct. 20.

My teams that will crack the bubble: Heritage is in its first season of varsity football and have some huge wins already. I think they sneak into the playoffs. In my eyes, it comes down to Arroyo and Freedom for the last spot. Arroyo is likely to turn a bad loss to Washington into a win because the Huskies used an ineligible player. And now that the Dons are finally healthy, I think they should be the last team to sneak into the playoffs. Freedom has a great chance, but it is on a sinking ship right now.

OK, let’s do the seeds now.

1. San Ramon Valley- Should be EBAL champs.

2. Newark Memorial- Only way they get No. 1 is by beating James Logan.

3. Pinole Valley – ACCAL champs again. Tie to Berkeley costs them a higher seed.

4.  Alameda – 3-point loss to Pinole Valley puts them just behind the Spartans.

5. College Park – This squad could be No. 4 and Alameda No. 5. 

6. Washington- A tie to SRV should make them higher, but forfeit losses drop them way down. You never know, NCS could be weird about these forfeits and drop them out all together or put them right behind Newark at No. 3. Washington lost to Newark 6-3.

7. Heritage-Owns win over Mt. Eden and Arroyo lost to the Monarchs (Arroyo’s QB was out that game)

8. Arroyo/Freedom – Either way, playing SRV in the first round won’t be fun.

OK, as of Week 6 this is the way the playoff picture is shaping up. Let me know what you think.

—Michael Bower 

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East Bay Coaches Volleyball Poll (5)

SAY WHAT?? 34 KILLS!: Remember the classic “Fresh Prince of Bel Air” episode when Will was on his high school’s basketball team and the coach only called one play the whole game. It was simple: “Pass the ball to Will.”
(If you don’t know what I’m talking about, check your local listings for Nick at Nite and you might catch it.)
Well, Sophia Dunworth was “Will” on Thursday night on the volleyball court.
The Dons fed the 6-1 outside hitter the ball and she put away 34 kills to bring the Dons back from a 2-0 hole against California to win the match in five games.
Wow!
Dons coach Rich Cortez’s game plan: Set Sophia and get out the way!
COUGARS ARE BACK: Cougars coach Jerry Mix is smiling right about now.
It seems Mix has finally put the pieces together to showcase Kyle Lamet, who has carried the Cougars the last few seasons and has matured into the go-to hitter Carondelet has always had in the past.
She showed that in the big win over Deer Valley when she put away 19 kills.
Last season, Deer Valley had the defense and the big gun in Kendra Rowland. The roles seem to have been reversed.
SO CLOSE: Behind Betsy Sedlak’s 21 kills, Foothill outlasted Monte Vista. The Mustangs were so close this week. Despite putting up a fight, Monte Vista lost both matches against the Dons and Falcons in five games. Ouch!

– Ricardo Sanchez Jr.

EAST BAY COACHES GIRLS VOLLEYBALL POLL (5)

1. Amador Valley (pull out two close five game thrillers)
2. Carondelet (takes sole possesion of first place in BVAL)
3t. Deer Valley (circling rematch with Carondelet on calender)
3t. Monte Vista (can the Schedule Gods give these guys a break?)
5. Bishop O’Dowd (team to beat in Division III?)
6. Albany (should be called the CSAL: Cougars Shore Athletic League)
7. Las Lomas (look headed to at least a share of the DFAL title)
8. Foothill (big match against AV looming)
9. Castro Valley (too bad BOD is in their league)
10. Campolindo (can’t wait for Las Lomas rematch)

Others receiving votes: California, San Ramon

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Comparing East Bay schools

Ever wonder where your high school ranks compared to the rest of the East Bay?   

Well, now you can find out. BANG-East Bay began a 25-part series on Tuesday, which will rank area high schools that  historically have produced the best athletic talent. No. 1 was Oakland’s McClymonds High. No. 2 will appear on Wednesday.   

The Warriors were the easy No. 1 choice, dominating the area in basketball in the 1950s and early 1960s.    

Names like Paul Silas, a former NBA coach and 1960 grad of Mack, Bill Russell and Frank Robinson make Mack an  athlete-producing machine.    

Russell of course dominated on the court, winning 11 NBA crowns with the Boston Celtics. Frank Robinson was a basketball  and baseball star at Mack. He was a Hall of Fame outfielder and became major league baseball’s first black manager.   

Make sure to check out the series every Wednesday in any BANG-East Bay newspaper or online at insidebayarea.com. You will  be sure to see some old names that bring up some old memories.    

Oh, and you can gain bragging rights over your friends from rival schools. Have a player or school that you would like to  bring to our attention? Think we completely blew it with Mack at No. 1? Let us know by e-mailing us at  turn2@angnewspapers.com.

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Pumped up prep coverage

If you haven’t noticed, insidebayarea.com has pumped up its online prep coverage this season. We have streaming video,  slideshows, live updates of scores from Friday night football games and now an East Bay prep sports blog called “Prep  Corner.” 

If you have any questions regarding high school sports in the East Bay, then insidebayarea.com is the place to find the  answer. And if you have an opinion, which everyone does, then our new prep blog is the place to express it by submitting  a comment.  

Welcome to the first of many entries on insidebayarea.com’s Prep Corner. Before we get into any of the high school  action, let me explain what this blog is all about. 

BANG-East Bay staff writers Dennis Miller, Steve Herendeen, Steve R. Waterhouse and myself (Michael Bower) will bring you  insightful thoughts, comments, opinions and some up-to-the-minute blogging from selected athletic events. 

This is all about being interactive with our readers. We welcome you to submit comments and suggestions on our blog  entries. If you’re looking for behind-the-scenes coverage and the most up-to-minute blogging of selected events, then you  have come to the right place.

Let’s get it started!

 - Michael Bower

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Final: DLS 35, Mission Viejo 7

And so it is. De La Salle takes care of Mission Viejo by a final of 35-7. And who do you give the game ball to? Is it Mike Czyz? 3 catches for over 170 yards and a couple TDs sure sounds good. How about Brady Amack? The defensive leader helped the Spartans absolutely shut down the Diablos offense.

Well, I’m giving the game ball to defensive coordinator Terry Eidson and the coaching staff. De La Salle was reeling a little after Mission Viejo punched them in the mouth with that touchdown on the first drive. The Spartans immediately made some adjustments and the Diablos failed to score for the rest of the game. Yes, I know the players have to play and what not, but the coaching staff did a fantastic job of changing the game.

I can’t really say that Mission Viejo played all that poorly. I mean, DLS was clearly the better team and the Diablos hung with the Spartans for a while. This is the De La Salle of old and the entire state got to see that tonight.

No commentary from ace reporter Chace Bryson, though he did send me a text message affirming my claim that Mike Czyz is one fast dude. Now comes the fun part for Geek numero uno, as he has to now try to beat deadline to let everyone read about it tomorrow.
-Ben Enos