Friday night thoughts from Oakland

Before I head home, I thought I’d check in with just a few thoughts.

First off, congrats to Fremont High, which is off to a 3-0 start. I only have info right now back to 2001, but they hadn’t started as well as 2-0 since 2002 and who knows the last time they were 3-0. Any time a 1-9 team comes back and wins three straight to start a year you have to like what they’re doing. This team has a stout defense and some backs that can wear you down. And remember this name — Sione Tupouata. He’s a 6-foot-4, 250-pound junior tight end/linebacker who is a beast and can RUN! He took a handoff on an end around and got into the open and you should’ve seen the look on Mt. Eden’s cornerback’s face. He wanted nothing to do with him. Tupouata ran 82 yards for a TD on the play. I’ll guarantee this kid plays football on Saturdays and he’ll be a hot recruit next year. Oh and by the way, Fremont basketball coach and AD Frank Knight was on the sidelines and told me that Tupoauata is going to be playing the post for him this year on the court. Wow! He’s going to be dangerous. Clordion Kennedy had another nice game (26 carries, 143 yards) and I’m guessing he’ll hold onto the OAL rushing lead for at least another week. His most impressive feat doesn’t even make the stat sheet. Late in the second quarter, he returned a punt 62 yards for a TD but it was called back because of a penalty. On the next play, he broke a 49-yard rushing TD — only to have that also called back. At that point the clock was inside 10 seconds and he was so winded from running 111 yards for naught that he had to come out and the clock ran out after the next play.

Onto Castlemont, which is — in my opinion — the OAL’s top team and finally got its first win. The Knights could easily be 3-0 based on how they’ve played so far but stand 1-1-1. Aaron Horne put on another show with three touchdowns, including an 89-yard kick return for a score. He’s got seven touchdowns in three games this year. The Knights host Salesian next week.

What can I say about Mack? To put it in Coach Culberson’s words “We just did not, no way, no shape, show up, and the score reflected it.” Nuff said about their 54-0 loss to Oakdale. And coach, I’ll take the blame for the loss for taking that underdog label off of you. It’s back on, OK?

Rough nights for Tech and Skyline too with identical 21-0 losses. CORRECTION: Tech lost 21-7 despite running 2 1/2 times as many plays as Pinole Valley. Encinal moved to 3-0 with a 20-14 win over Monterey and that clears the way, I think, for a showdown on Halloween at home against St. Patrick-St. Vincent that should be the Jets only obstacle in a 10-0 regular season. Also, nice road win for St. Elizabeth, 22-14 over Tomales. That’s a fellow NCS Division V opponent, so that’s even bigger when it comes to playoff positioning. In Division V, there’s a six team bracket so the top two teams get a first-round bye and St. Liz figures to vie for one of those top two spots. This win could later on be the one that got it for them. That’s about it for me tonight. Oh, I didn’t mention the Berkeley-Pitt game. That went about as I expected. Berkeley’s a solid Division I team, but its about a year or two away from competing with the likes of Pittsburg. I have no doubt ‘Zo will get them there though. They’ll open ACCAL play next week with Hercules before an exciting Thursday night TV game against a James Logan team that could come into that game 0-4 if it can’t get past Newark Memorial next week. We’ll see. Now officially, that’s it from me.

Jimmy Durkin

Jimmy Durkin is a sports writer for the Bay Area News Group.

  • Steve R. Waterhouse

    A few thoughts? Looks like you covered just about everything.

  • You know how it is Hoose. You start out just about to write a few things and you get rolling and keep writing.

  • Michael Moore, Sr.

    Thanks for your dedication to the student-athletes of the East Bay!

    Michael Moore, Sr.
    OAL Commissioner

  • Ron Risi

    I coached football in the eastbay area for 33 years;
    The credit that you the Berkeley High Coach is ridiculous.He has taken players(recruited them),from all over the bay area.Mostly players that were already given the basic skills,and were stars on other teams, already.Josh Tatum was a prime example of a player who was offered a scholarship as a Junior to USC,but it was made to look like because he went to Maclymonds, he got his scholarship. This coach is a liar and a cheat,period!!!!
    He was already caught for his cheating once.I could go on and on about different circumstances, where this coach approached friends of mine, whose sons played for other schools,in an illegal fashion. Trying to convince them to go to Berkeley High School.
    Enough is enough,he can’t even win with the tremendous athletes that he recruits. He has never beat anyone outside the OAL, that was any good or ranked!!!
    In short he is a terrible coach even with the cheating he does.

  • You obviously aren’t as well informed as you think you are. You say he was caught for cheating. Do you know the actual reason he was suspended? Bet not (yes I do and no I’m not going to disclose the full details here). All he did was do something for some deserving kids that they wouldn’t have otherwise had.

    And even if players have the basic football skills when they go to Alonzo, it’s foolish to think basic football skills are the only thing that matters in terms of going to the next level. Particularly in Oakland, a HUGE part of it is making sure kids are eligible in the classroom and making contacts with coaches to get players recognized. To say he’s a terrible coach is pure ignorance.