HAAL Thoughts

Sorry, I couldn’t muster up the strength to do a reaction to the Friday night games last night. But I am here now, watching college football and ready to give my HAAL team-by-team thoughts before we head into league play.

Arroyo: The Dons are a lot better than I thought they were going to be. The power-running game has been working well with Marc Kendig and the change-of-pace runner Neal Buac has shown he can take a pounding and keep on going. QB Brett Judson has had the cuffs on him thus far, but I think he can really throw a good ball. I think that isn’t the identity Arroyo is going for, though. The Dons want to beat a team with its offensive line and running game.  Arroyo will enter league play with a 2-1 record and a strong chance at making the playoffs if it can at least pick up a 4-3 record in the HAAL _ certainly possible.

Bishop O’Dowd: What can I say about the Dragons? We all knew they would be 3-0 at this point since they were opening with Alameda, Kennedy-Fremont and San Rafael _ hardly any competition. The Dragons have basically done exactly what I figured. Give the ball to Mario Brown and Che’rod Simpson and let them run wild. One name that we should all get to know is Malcolm Graham. He plays tight end opposite of Chris Martin and really gives QB Matt Balich another big target. The passing game hasn’t been needed, but I think it could be decent with those two tight ends and Hasani Burns at receiver. I can’t really measure the defense, but it has done a solid job in the first three games. I expect the defense to be very strong. But this team won’t be challenged until it plays San Leandro.

Castro Valley: The Trojans played the second-toughest preseason schedule of the HAAL teams (behind San Leandro) and went 0-3. The defense has been getting torched and the offense hasn’t been able to keep up. The Trojans will have to win the HAAL title or lose once, but beat San Leandro in order to have a chance at getting into the playoffs. Castro Valley is still trying to find an identity on offense. QB Michael Rojas has shown flashes of being able to put the team on his shoulder and RBs Johnny Barbieri and Dominic Shortridge have shown glimpses of being able to carry the running game. It now is just a matter of putting it all together at the same time for the Trojans.

Hayward: The Farmers are much more organized this season, despite playing without their head coach Bill Bishop (out with kidney injury). Acting coach Rich Trevino has done a tremendous job and this team is headed back in the right direction. The Farmers have the athletes and will compete this season. After watching this team last night, I think Hayward can finish as high as third place in the HAAL. The defense eventually wore down last night, but overall it did a pretty good job against the run. The Farmers might have the most talented back in the league in Dominique Jackson, who did not play Friday because of “a hip injury,” according to Trevino. This is probably a sleeper team to knock off San Leandro or O’Dowd.

Mt. Eden: I don’t have much to say about the Monarchs, except that this could be a long season. Mt. Eden is 0-3 and haven’t really showed signs of breaking out of that slump. The Monarchs haven’t been able to stop anybody and haven’t been able to score points. That is definitely a bad combination.

San Leandro: What can you say about the Pirates? On paper, they were supposed to be 0-3 at this point and that’s exactly what they are. This team has surprised me a bit with how much they are throwing the ball this season. But with a QB like Travis Gardner and receivers like Demetrius Owens, Dwaine Simpson and Lenny Jones, it isn’t a bad strategy. RB George Roberson is right up there with the elite running backs in the HAAL. The run defense just hasn’t been there this season for the Pirates. It is the first time in a long time that the Pirates haven’t had one of the best run defenses in the East Bay. That won’t bode well for San Leandro when it plays Bishop O’Dowd. If the Pirates can get the defense going and eliminate the stupid penalties (late hits, unecessary roughness etc…) and fumbles then they have the athletes to be a top team in the East Bay. I think San Leandro, at 0-3 right now, has a slim chance to make the playoffs with one loss to O’Dowd and not winning the league title. But it would be really slim. San Leandro should be hungry for that league title if it wants to guarantee a playoff spot.

San Lorenzo: The Rebels have won two straight for the first time since 2006 and enter league play with a 2-1 record. San Lorenzo will be in the bottom half of the standings, but it is nice to see this team be competitive.

Tennyson: The Lancers are 3-0 and have a chance to go 4-0 for the first time since … (I will look that up Monday). QB Max Carmona has been on fire. This kid has a real calmness to him under pressure. RB T.J. Ner needs to get healthy for this team to make a playoff run, but Tennyson is in the driver’s seat to make its first NCS playoff appearance. Tennyson could be as good as the third place team in the HAAL and as bad as the sixth-place team in the HAAL. The Lancers will have to battle with Castro Valley, Hayward and Arroyo for that third-place spot behind San Leandro and Bishop O’Dowd (not necessarily in that order). If Tennyson can win two of the three against CV, Hayward and Arroyo, then this squad will be a lock for the playoffs. It is going to be a tough road, though.

Updated Predictions

1. San Leandro

2. Bishop O’Dowd

3. Castro Valley

4. Hayward

5. Tennyson

6. Arroyo

7. San Lorenzo

8. Mt. Eden


  • HAAL Player

    Good stuff,

    It’s good hearing that the HAAL is actually going to be competitive this year.. well kindof. haha

  • CV fan #25

    You forgot to mention that Ronnie Irvin is one of the best backs in this league. We had a tough non-league schedule (unlike Arroyo). In our league opener we will show the HAAL how good the the Trojans are and how playing a non-league schedule full of last place teams does not prepare you for “real” competition. CV 47 Arroyo 12.

  • Michael Bower

    I know all about Ronnie Irvin. He has been a star since his sophomore year. Why doesn’t he get the ball more?

  • dnrapp

    Probally the same reason that Dash Oliver did not get the ball more last year?

  • CV fan #25

    Irvin will get the ball more. Coach Seiden will feature him now that he is healthy. Irvin will rush for over 200 yards & 4 Touchdowns this week against Arroyo.

  • FamFirst1

    Its finally good to see hayward get recognition for their hard work I would like to see more talk about their defense I think conrad creedon(#52)and ashawndaus woods(#1) are real difference makers on the defensive side of the ball and dominique will also have help back there from carl yates,eleasaro niuatoa,bryan jones,and justin gaines. Woods also looked good running the offense until that last play

  • Michael Bower

    Yes, I agree with all of that Famfirst1. Woods was very impressive on defense. He stood out right from the beginning.

  • CV fan #25

    My analysis of HAAL entering league play:

    1. Castro Valley – Ronnie Irvin, Andy Alcarez, Dominic Shortridge,Dan Heka,and many others will have us regroup & run the table in the HAAL. A tough non-league schedule that had us play some of the best programs in the East bay will make our HAAL opponents seem like frosh-soph teams. We are still the best in the HAAL.

    2. San Leandro – A talented team with size & a good quarterback in Gardner. They will go 6-1 in league. Unlike the most of the HAAL(Tennyson,Arroyo,Hayward,& San Lorenzo), the Pirates played a tough non-league
    and will give us a challenge.

    3. Bishop O’Dowd – Martin & the 2 RBs are going to be tough competition but they did not look so good against inferior non-league teams like Kennedy of Fremont & San Rafael. Still they have enoguh to finish 3rd.

    4. Hayward – This is where there is a huge drop off. Hayward is the best of what’s left. They appear to have a running game but they won’t be able to run the ball against any of the top 3 teams in this league.

    5th – Mt.Eden – I know they only scored 1 Td so far this year but at least they have played real teams. This team will get the business too when we meet them but they should smash Arroyo, Tennyson, & San Lorenzo.

    6th,7th,8th – Tennyson, Arroyo, San Lorenzo – All of these teams are sub-par teams which will lose by 30 when their schedule gets tougher (for Arroyo that will be this week). Each team has only one good player and they post big numbers against weak teams.

    Final 2008 HAAL League standings

    1. Castro Valley 7-0
    2. San Leandro 6-1
    3. Bishop O’Dowd 5-2
    4. Hayward 4-3
    5. Mt.Eden 3-4
    6. Arroyo 2-5
    7. Tennyson 0-6-1
    8. San Lorenzo 0-6-1

  • Chris

    CV Fan, your predictions lost a “little” credibility when you said CV would beat Monte Vista 27-20…

  • famfirst1

    I strongly disagree with cv fan 25.ok you guys played freedom and MV but berkeley come n now they aren’t even that good of a team. Most of the non conference schedules in the HAAL featured team with differen playing styles and teams school have never even played such as san lorenzo valley and hayward and hayward playing ygnacio valley and their smashmouth offense which featured probly the biggest running back in the bay area but we will see how good castro valley does against SL,BOD,and Hayward. Keep in mind hayward lost their 2 games by a combined 11 points.they are a very scrappy team that has the talent on offense(jackson,Jones,Gaines,Yates,Niuatoa)and defense(Woods,Creedon) so don’t be surprised if they give the teams in the HAAL a scare or mabe even an upset

  • UC Fan #11

    CV fan,

    Giving up 55 points is one thing, how can you explain 91 yards and 0 points against a defense that had been averaging allowing 333 yards and 21 points. If your offense were to finally get on track, it would be against a defense like MV. I just don’t see your offense getting better. Yes Irvin had a decent game, but 0 passing yards????

  • HAAL Player

    CV fan,

    you obviously don’t know what you’re talking about.
    I think Arroyo’s line will handle CV. Arroyo will come out on top that game.

  • CV fan #25

    HAAL player, I know some people on Newark’s team and they say that the Arroyo line is overated. They are ok at best.

    Fam1st, what lame excuses you make for Hayward. They weren’t used to the styles they faced in non-league? Damn, I can see your next excuse now Hayward loses because they aren’t used to playing on Friday night’s in Castro Valley? LOL! See ya soon. Talk to me after we obliterate arroyo.

  • Gitrdone

    CV fan, I think you should focus on your practice and get your team actually playing the game. You guys had a pretty well rehearsed pregame pump up routine but didn’t show up when the clock started. You and your team need to actually score some points and throw some passes to players wearing the same color jersey as you before you can talk about obliterating a team.

  • UC Fan #11

    I will be at the CV-Arr game. I just don’t know how you can think that the offense will be able to do much. The couldn’t do anything against an average-at-best MV defense. MV has always been prone to give up give plays in the air, 0 yards passing??? You mentioned about other people making excuses, what about the numbers 18, 87.3, 108.7 and 196?? 18 is the # of points they have scored in 3 games against sub-par defenses. 87.3-rushings yards per game in 3 games. 108.7-passing yards per game. 196-total yards per game, good enough for 7th in the HAAL.

  • CV fan #25

    I hope you are at the Arroyo game so you can come back here and tell these people what you have witnessed. Promise me you come back here and tell it like it is.

  • Big Hunk

    It’s all good any CV doubters, just show up and see it for yourself. CV had a tough non-conference schedule and just workin on some things. The o-line and d-line are healthy this week and gonna abuse arroyo. Andy Alcaraz is gonna have a field day! Along with a 200 yard day from Ronnie Irvin.

  • Michael Bower

    CV did have 14 players out against MV, according to Trojans coach Jordan Seiden. Actually, he gave me my favorite quote of the year thus far today: “I felt like we were going into a gun fight with a plastic fork.”

  • Gitrdone

    55-0? More like going into a gun fight without a gun and your middle finger up at the guy that does.

  • Prep FB fan

    At least 14 players were injured & out for CV against MV. Plus I heard at least 6 were suspended for the 1st half. CV had to pull JV players up for the MV game. But that is football and injuries happen. Many of the injured players will be back against Arroyo. But the game is at Arroyo. Arroyo plays good solid football. They play hard all 4 qtrs. If CV cuts down on turn overs they have chance. Should be a very good game.

  • Chris

    It sounds to me like the CV players need to learn the diffidence between something hurting and something being injured.

  • We wont go down easy we have good running backs and we will be the sleeper team in the HAAL.we will be in every game that we play in we have the heart to win against every team in this league.

  • and for the cv fan ronnie irvin is a very good player but he wont be a factor wen he plays haywards defense they are too solid in the secondary and in the lb core and the d line isnt nothing to sneeze at either they wont go out without a fight.

  • AHS #7

    good job CV fan #25 on FINALLY WINNING YOUR FIRST GAME. ohh and good shit on “obliterating” us (arroyo). but wait. nevermind, you guys lost.

  • Hayward #52

    All i have to say is whoever is a CV fan can please own up to ur team sucking so badly its funny final standings

    4.- who cares the rest suck

  • BOD player

    Damn CV fan25, you look like a serious douchebag right now.U talked hella shit about how CV is the best team in the HAAL and will go 7-0, when the only league team they’ve beat is Tennyson. They played a good game against us and i respect them, but ur just a dumbass fan that don’t know shit. U enen made predictions like an expert, but they went completely wrong. Loser.