EBAL notes

Alright everyone, we’ve all finished out league previews, so you’ll have to wait for the special section to come out to see all that information, but I thought I’d go ahead and throw out some notes and some of my impressions of the EBAL teams based on what I got from talking with the coaches in the league.

Amador – Biggest news coming out of AV is that the fly offense is going to have a little tweaking this year. In the past, the QB has always lined up under center, but this year coach Rick Sira said they will have the QB in the shotgun most of the time. He said it should help with their play-action game and give them more flexibility with play calling. They’ll still be sending their flybacks in motion, but it will be interesting to take a look at this major change in the offense that was installed in 1990. Also, the Dons are not settled on a particular QB and will be using as many as 4 according to Sira.

Cal- Coach Tony Sanchez is fired up for this year. This is his fifth year at the school, so its his second group of players that he has had go through his program their entire HS career. Everyone saw the results last year with the first class he had all the way through and the success is only going to continue. The team lives in the weight room all year and you can tell — lots of big strong kids out there. Taking DLS out of the equation with Kylan Butler, Cal probably has the best backfield in the league and possibly the East Bay with senior Leroy Green and junior Reggie Davis. Kind of a thunder and lightning package. Bo Stompro filled in with a lot of success for N.Spalliero last year at QB and Sanchez is high on him.

DLS- I asked every coach how they felt about DLS coming into the league and how/if it changes anything. The consensus was that yes, DLS’s arrival changes the league landscape because it is that much harder to win a league title now. But everyone also agreed that they won’t change the way they do things because if there is too much focus on DLS, any one of the 6 other teams they play in league can beat them.

Foothill- Obviously the main story out of Foothill right now is the return of coaching legend Matt Sweeney. Sweeney and John Mannion will serve as “co head coaches” this year, which should only help Foothill return to the upper half of the league standings. The Falcons are kind of a unknown for me right now because I know how much they relied on Rob Andrews last year and he’s now at SDSU. INTERVIEW WITH ANDREWS He will probably be redshirting there, but there is a chance they may burn his RS so he can be a special teams guy this year.

Granada – Those who followed track and field in the spring know all about George and Jose Atkinson. As freshmen last year, they were the fastest kids in the 100 and 200 in the EBAL (once McAllister was hurt) and George went to the state meet in both events. Their father, George Sr., played for the Raiders. The only reason they ran track in the spring was to get faster for football and I’m expecting them to make an immediate impact for the Mats.

Livermore – It’s Mike Profumo’s first year as the head coach for the Cowboys and I have a feeling it’s going to be a long year for the ‘Boys. I was there to see them run sideline ladders and there was a lot of kids struggling to make the times. Profumo is encouraged by the enthusiasm, but knows its going to be tough finding replacements for RBs Brandon Williams and Rodney Neale.

Monte Vista- This is a team to watch no doubt about it. Yes, they lose McAllister to USC, but they’ve got a lot coming back off an NCS semi-finalist team from a year ago that beat SRV in the final regular season game. Most importantly, the entire offensive line. That’s going to be the key and they give time to JR star to be QB Brett Nottingham. He backed up McAllister as a sophomore and is primed for a big year. He’s got one of the nation’s best TEs in Zach Ertz (Stanford commit) to throw to and a 6-2, 230-pound RB in Dave Wilkerson to hand the ball off to. Wilkerson is just a junior but has already committed to Cal as a linebacker. He was first team all-ebal as a sophomore and will anchor the D.

San Ramon Valley- Expectations are high coming off an NCS title. Joe Southwick is the headliners at QB, but the Wolves don’t return any other starters on offense. Which has to be a reason to worry considering the talent returning at Cal/MV. Cole Huntley, a rugby player, who is getting some D-I football love as well, will serve as a good fullback and should be good for a couple pancake blocks a game, but the Wolves really need to find some receivers early on — Southwick is only as good as the guys he’s throwing to, so I think we’ll have to wait and see early on with SRV.

It’s a crapshoot this early, but here are my early EBAL rankings

1. DLS 2. Cal 3. MV 4. SRV 5. Foothill 6. Amador 7. Granada 8. Livermore

Kyle Bonagura

Kyle Bonagura is a Pleasanton-based prep sports writer for the Bay Area Newsgroup-East Bay.



    I really see Cal as the best of another good group in the EBAL Public School race. Of course the Spartans will be the team to beat, but it’s going to be fun to have them in the league as well as help the gate for all the DLS road games.

    Cal should be dynamic, with the running game and with Stompro’s arm and athletic ability. Honestly, the Grizzlies are better in the backfield this year, than last season.

    MV — you know they offense will be good. Wilkinson carrying the ball???? Man, that’s not even the bus, that’s the 18-wheeler — it will be worth a ticket just to see that. That does make them No. 3, but just a hair better than Foothill. Don’t forgot Sean Mannion at QB — I have watched some early practices and the kid looks very, very sharp. Sweeney’s return takes additional pressure off of Mannion (both father and son), so I expect the junior to be the second best QB in the league behind Southwick.

    After Foothill, I will go with Granada. The Atkinson’s are a hell of a combo to build a team around and Tim Silva has that program moving up. At Dublin, his teams overacheived without much talent. Now he has something to work with, so expect big things.

    Amador as always is the enigma in the league. There’s size and athletic ability to be sure, but four QBs???? How in the name of Knute Rockne can a QB get any flow in the game when he’s splitting time or always looking over his shoulder. Going to the shotgun was a necessity, as every team in the EBAL has that Amador offense down to a science, another reason why the Dons have great offensive numbers in non-league and stuggle in EBAL play.

    SRV is going to have a tough time this year. Simply put, you can’t lose that many great players and expect much. Southwick should have left early!!! Huntley is a stud and they have the one linebacker returning this year (can’t remember his name), but he was really solid last year.

    Livermore — yep another a tough year, but watch them go 2-1 or 3-0 in non-league play. I swear, if Livermore was in another league, they would have a shot at the playoffs…

    Looking forward to a busy blog this year.. see you at some games, that is, if you’re not sent to the crap games of the week by the Wizard of Walnut Creek

  • Kyle Bonagura


    The feeling I get about Cal is that they are taking a big step forward on offense this year, but won’t be as good on D which is what stood out last a year ago with Rosato, A.Spalliero, and Ona-Enagbare. Some people I’ve talked with actually think Davis might end up being the better back between him and Green by season’s end, so it’ll be interesting to see how that plays out.

    I’m already looking forward to the first time I see a corner try and take down Wilkerson in the open field, should be a riot.

    From what I saw of Mannion in the 30 minutes I saw of him on Monday was that he’s very accurate — plus growing up in the program certainly doesn’t hurt! I gotta throw Nottingham and Stompro in with Mannion in that second tier behind Southwick.

    I don’t know if I can go that high with Granada … yet. And we both know I was on board last year after covering two-thirds of the Granada wins. I think they’ll really miss Scott Bueno and TO and until I see the Atkinson’s play I can’t jump them over AV or SRV.

    As for Amador, it will be an interesting non-league for them to break in the shotgun and try and find a QB that works. Soph. Chris Keck is going to get some reps and they have Freedom and Mt. Eden to start the season before playing Del Norte which was 11-1 last year.

  • Kyle Bonagura

    And the LB from SRV is Garrison Goodman.


    Yes, Garrison Goodman. Got overlooked last year with the trio of seniors… he and huntley should be a dynamic duo this year….

    As for Amador, give the ball 20 times per game to Dalton Turay and let the kid hammer the defense. Instead, we will see 4-5 carries between 7-8 running backs.

  • junior

    “public school race”???? what the heck is that? do they play with a different ball? a different field?

  • Kyle Bonagura

    Just a different set of rules.

    You know, like having to have all their players come from one city.

  • junior

    you mean public school athletes dont switch schools? to other cities??? do you ever read the paper?

  • Michael Bower


    Take a look at a public school roster and take a look at a private school roster. There really is no comparison as to which school will get more “outsiders.”

  • junior

    your reaching…why dont all private schools dominate then??? oops, guess it isn’t as much of an advantage as you thought.

  • junior

    oh by the way…. dls has a blind application- they don’t know the names of who is applying. so why do they win so many games??? couldnt be superior coaching, committment, attitude, etc. no, must be something else.

  • Kyle Bonagura

    Realize I’m playing devils advocate… but it is very rare for public school athletes to switch schools. Yes it happens, but I’d say 95% of the public school rosters are filled with kids who spent their whole HS career at one school AND live in the designated boundaries set forth by their respective school districts.

    There is no argument that can be made which gives a well-run public school an advantage over a well-run private school. That’s not a discredit to DLS or any other private school, it’s just the way things work.

    Junior, I wouldn’t expect discussion about the public-school race to stop any time soon … if anything thats just a sign of the respect everyone has for DLS. it is what it is.

  • junior

    interesting you failed to comment on the fact that other private schools do not dominate. sure puts a BIG hole in your theory.

    It is hardly a sign of respect when there is always an asterisk after “compliments” are made about private schools.

  • Kyle Bonagura

    Notice that I did write “well-run” private schools, which was me taking into account its not a given that private school will win.

    However, since you wanted to bring that up… dating back to 1993 there has only been 2 years where at least one other private school than DLS did not win an NCS title in football.

    In that same time frame, private schools won 41% of the NCS titles in football while actually accounting for 12% of the total number of schools in NCS.

    The difference between 12% and 41% is drastic and that alone shows private schools have an advantage.

  • HAAL Fan

    It can’t possibly be unclear to you where the advantage lies in the public vs private battle, can it? Public schools can overcome the advantages of better funding, recruiting, and better community support by simply playing better football. Publics overcome privates with superior coaching and a greater desire to win. It’s just a whole lot easier when you can tell the best athletes in the area that you’ll provide them with better education and you got a newly built stadium, with field turf, under the lights on a Friday night to prove it. Decision’s a lot easier at this point.

  • junior

    the old “recruiting” line…where are the formal complaints with recruiting? why hasnt anyone turned these recruiting schools in? dont bother looking because it does not happen.

    if DLS is recruiting, they need to do a better job it- their starting center in 2007 was 5’7″ 180lbs.

    interesting that the most recent REAL recruiting took place at a … public school (stockton). give it up, i understand tho-you make yourself feel better by having a built in “excuse” for getting your butts whipped.

  • PHS04

    DLS doesn’t recruit.. They send out invites to all junior high kids they see with some kind of talents and invite them to football camps.. I know because i got 3 of them along with my whole West Pitt Youth team..
    Back when i was in junior high i went to school with a guy named Cameron Colvin. He ended up goin to DLS, what a coincidence that our P.E teacher was also the JV football coach at DLS. Now he is the head coach at pittsburg.

    But to make things straight up.. DLS. doesn’t exactly recruit.. they give kids a chance to be disciplined and good athletes they get the best out of there kids. All DLS applicants have to pass some kind of test before admittance so it just isnt that simple.. Now that I think of it I should have went to DLS, but Pitt has a great program as well….

  • HAAL Fan

    Regardless of the significance or overall clarity of arguments, at the end of the day it will remain the same. Public school guys will say privates have the upper hand with recruiting, funding, and community backing. Private school guys will say the difference is just in character. It’s picking sides at this point and I know where I stand. Do I think privates have the advantage? Yes, absolutely. Do I think publics can overcome these obstacles? Yes, absolutely. Finally, just because publics can overcome these obstacles that privates don’t have to, does it make it right? No, absolutely not. Justification never leads to redemption.

  • HAAL Fan

    That’s just how I feel and will continue to feel. Although Junior, I can respect the accomplishments of a private just as much as those of a public.