30 Questions to Kickoff: Preview

The bug has bitten us, and yes, we know that the high school football season is just over a month away. So we’re taking the bull by the horns, and starting tomorrow (Friday, Aug. 1), we’re debuting a new feature here on the East Bay Prep Sports Blog. It’s called 30 Questions to Kickoff and it will feature one question a day having to do with the upcoming high school football season. Either I or fellow football writer Chace Bryson will post a question and answer it with some short analysis. What we’d like is for people to weigh in and let us know whether you agree with what we have to say or whether you think we’re completely off base and should never be allowed to cover football again.

So, check back here tomorrow for the first question of the month. And, keep an eye on contracostatimes.com throughout August as we’ll be posting video league previews featuring The Geeks as we gear up for the East Bay Prep Football 2008.


Campo punter commits to Oregon

Campolindo punter Jackson Rice has orally committed to Oregon for the 2009 season, according to Rivals.com. Rice was also considering Washington according to Rivals. According to Scout.com, Rice attended a kicking camp at LSU and is considered one of the nation’s top prep punters. There is video of young Mr. Rice punting on Rivals.com if you’d like to see him in action.


Prep Football Almost Here!

We have just over a month to go until the 2008 prep football season kicks off.

This should be an exciting season as powerhouse De La Salle moves to the East Bay Athletic League and the North Coast Section has a new playoff alignment in place, which combines the East Bay with the Redwood Empire.

Also, there will now be five divisions, which means more teams will make the playoffs. Not sure if that is a good thing or bad thing? Making the playoffs use to mean something, not sure that will be the case anymore? I don’t know, I haven’t made up my mind on that one yet. I will let everyone else out there throw out their thoughts.

Anyway, I was out at Las Lomas High last week and got a chance to watch San Ramon Valley and the Knights play seven-on-seven (there were no linemen). Obviously, SRV quarterback Joe Southwick stood out. He showed off a very strong arm and great accuracy in the drills. Standing out for Las Lomas was senior receiver Diante Jackson. He was running some great patterns. At one point, he caught about five passes in a row on the SRV defense.

I wanted to get the football string going for the fans out there. I want to hear your thoughts on the upcoming season. Who should make our 25 players to watch list? What teams will shock? What are your predictions? Anything prep football related, we want to hear about it!

See ya out at the games soon!


Ex-DVC lineman switches from baby to navy blue

A few weeks ago we reported that ex-Pinole Valley and Diablo Valley College lineman Donovan Edwards committed to UCLA for the upcoming season. Well, Mr. Edwards appears to have changed his mind. It appears that the Bruins’ brothers to the north came calling and now Edwards has accepted an offer to play at Cal this season.

Edwards said he informed Cal coach Jeff Tedford of his decision on Sunday and that he has already begun voluntary workouts with the Golden Bears. Edwards also said that Tedford and offensive line coach Jim Michalczik have told him that he will be in the mix for playing time at left tackle this season. For more info on Edwards and the Golden Bears, keep an eye on Cal beat writer Jonathan Okanes’ blog, Bear Talk.


Sheridan, Rios succeed at Junior Nationals

The contingent of local wrestlers that made the trip to Fargo, N.D. for the Junior National wrestling tournament from July 20-26 is back and a couple of old pals each made their way to the medal stand. De La Salle’s Tyler Sheridan placed third in the 145-pound junior Greco-Roman competition. He won the third place match, defeating Joseph Cozart of Florida 1-4, 5-0, 2-1. By placing, Sheridan earned All-American honors.

Liberty’s David Rios also brought home a medal and All-American honors, placing sixth at 145 pounds in the junior Freestyle competiton.  He dropped the fifth-place match to a fellow Californian, El Diamante-Visalia’s David Watts. Watts was the state runner-up this season at 140 pounds.


Free youth football camp

I got forwarded an email yesterday about a free youth football camp being held in San Leandro from July 28-31. I wouldn’t normally think that’s a big deal but when I saw the roster of coaches that are planning to attend, I figured I’d share it with everyone.

Tony Sanchez, Head Coach Cal High
Darren Brimele, Defensive Coordinator Cal High
Doug Longero, Head Coach Las Lomas
Ron Thompson, Defensive Coordinater Granada High
Mike Nelson, Defensive Coordinator San Ramon High
Alonzo Carter, Head Coach Berkeley High
Brad Bowers, Head Coach San Leandro High
George Zuber, Head Coach James Logan High

That’s a pretty solid list of local coaches. The camp is being sponsored by 24-Hour Fitness and is being held at San Leandro High School. For more info, call (925) 543-3120 or email football@24hourfit.com.


From Winton Dr. to the big screen

My colleague Jonathan Okanes sent me a rather funny notebook from yesterday’s L.A. Times written by Jerry Crowe. It seems that Nick Montana, the recently transferred quarterback from De La Salle, is being targeted by a filmmaker to star in a movie.

Nick Montana, a recent transfer from Concord De La Salle High to Westlake Village Oaks Christian, has caught the eye of filmmaker Waide Riddle, who e-mails to note that he would like the junior quarterback and son of Joe Montana to read for the lead role in his new movie, “Red River County.”

Notes Riddle: “Nick looks exactly like my character Josh, what I had envisioned when I wrote the short story and screenplay. This is a star-making role.” . . .

Welcome to Hollywood, Nick.

I have to admit, I had a good laugh when I read that.



Welch named CalHiSports.com Division II AOY

CalHiSports.com released its male athletes of the year today and 2008 Times Athlete of the Year Jason Welch of Las Lomas was named the Division II Athlete of the Year.

Welch, who is training in anticipation of his move eastward to Northwestern University, excelled in football, wrestling and soccer this season. He finished the season as the top-ranked 160-pound high school wrestler in the country according to almost every amateur wrestling publication.

Also receiving mention was Monte Vista’s Drew McAllister, who was named a Division I Athlete of Distinction. McAllister was a three-sport star (football, basketball and track and field) and he’ll play safety at USC next season.