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Post-Seeding Meeting East Bay Boys Soccer Notebook

Overall the North Coast Section playoff committee did a very good job of seeding the boys soccer teams in 2A and 3A, but there are a few things to question.


I had been saying all along that there were 11 locks in 3A and the last spot was coming down to Berkeley and Pittsburg. Turns out that was the case, and I think the wrong team got in. Don’t get me wrong, I think Berkeley was deserving, but I think Pittsburg was slightly more deserving.
I feel like the defending champs had a better resume, going 8-4-3 in what was probably the second or third best league. Berkeley won eight games in what might be the worst league.
Berkeley also had no wins against 3A playoff teams (I’m not counting the forfeit against CP) and Pittsburg had two. Berkeley did have two impressive non-league ties against San Ramon Valley and Amador Valley. The Yellowjackets did play a better non-league schedule.
Unfortunately one of them had to be left out and it was the Pirates. Before Berkeley people get mad at me, I need to reiterate that Berkeley is a very good team and is a worthy playoff choice.
I also thought one of Newark or Antioch should have earned that first-round bye for having terrific overall seasons and clinching league titles. I would probably have seeded Granada over Castro Valley.
You can see the brackets by going here, but here is the run down.
First round byes: No. 1 De La Salle, No. 2 Richmond, No. 3 San Ramon Valley, No. 4 Amador Valley.
First round matchups: No. 5 Newark v. No. 12 College Park, No. 6 Castro Valley v. No. 11 Berkeley, No. 7 Antioch v. No. 10 Deer Valley (rematch of Thursday’s league title game) and No. 8 Granada v. No. 9 Monte Vista.
My seedings would have had Antioch v. College Park, Granada v. Deer Valley and Castro Valley v. Monte Vista, avoiding rematches between teams that have played each other twice or more.
Assuming Newark gets past College Park, that second-round game with Amador should be a good one. I also think a possible Richmond v. San Ramon Valley semi-final is very enticing.
Let’s move on to 2A.
Not too much I can say here. The committee did a good job with a tough class.
I will say this. As much as I like Acalanes, and I do very much, I feel Piedmont should have been the No. 2 seed. 20 wins and a 16-match unbeaten streak is very impressive.
I probably would have put Albany No. 4 over Las Lomas, but I wouldn’t have had a problem with the Knights at No. 5 despite me predicting them at No. 6.
Hayward overcame a lot of problems and earned the No. 7 seed, a spot higher than I thought it would get. I was a bit surprised that Campolindo was given the No. 12 seed, a bit low I thought, and I would watch out for the Cougars in the first-round against Albany. I am sensing an upset there.
Here is a breakdown of the bracket.
First round byes: No. 1 Bishop O’Dowd, No. 2 Acalanes, No. 3 Piedmont, No. 4 Las Lomas.
First round matchups: No. 5 Albany v. No. 12 Campolindo, No. 6 San Lorenzo v. No. 11 Kennedy-Richmond, No. 7 Hayward v. No. 10 St. Mary’s, No. 8 Northgate v. No. 9 Ygnacio Valley.
As you can see both DVAL schools that tied at 22 points behind College Park got in and they will square off for a third time. The BSAL also got four teams in and Kennedy and St. Mary’s were just as deserving as anyone.
Now it’s time to talk about the teams that got left out.
I don’t think it was a crime to leave Dublin, Alhambra, Miramonte or Pinole Valley out. With that said, I wouldn’t have thought it was a crime to leave St. Mary’s, Campolindo or Kennedy out for one of those schools. I think it was very even, but in the end it probably played out the right way.
Talent wise, Alhambra belonged. Had the Bulldogs played two or three more non-league games, and done well, they would have been in. Dublin deserved to be in based on overall record, regardless of its schedule, but since they finished behind Miramonte and Alhambra in league, it would have been hard to put them in ahead of those two. Therefore I think they all canceled each other out, unfortunately.
If there was ever a year for a 16-team bracket, this was it.
I will conclude by bragging that I got 23 of the 24 playoff team correct, and I predicted six of the seeds accurately.

Rankings

Newark climbs to No. 3 in the rankings. Bishop O’Dowd moves up a spot and Amador is back in the top five. Antioch is up to No. 11 and Pittsburg comes in at No. 14.

1. De La Salle (20-1-1)
2. Richmond (18-4-2)
3. Newark Memorial (17-1-6)
4. Bishop O’Dowd (19-2-3)
5. Amador Valley (14-6-4)
6. San Ramon Valley (14-4-6)
7. Granada (13-6-3)
8. Castro Valley (17-5-2)
9. Monte Vista (12-8-3)
10. Piedmont (20-2-2)
11. Antioch (16-4-4)
12. Acalanes (14-4-4)
13. Albany (17-3-3)
14. Pittsburg (10-4-4)
15. Hayward (12-6-5)

Others considered: San Lorenzo (13-4-3), Deer Valley (12-7-6), Berkeley (12-6-5), Las Lomas (14-7-1), Dublin (13-5-6), Campolindo (9-7-3), College Park (10-10-3), Freedom (9-6-7), Ygnacio Valley (11-9-3), Northgate 11-9-3.

League standings

Update me if needed.

ACCAL
Team Overall League Points
Richmond (18-4-2) 10-0-2 32
Berkeley (12-6-5) 8-2-2 26
Pinole Valley (9-7-4) 7-3-2 23
De Anza (8-12-2) 5-6-1 16
El Cerrito (6-9-3) 4-5-3 15
Alameda (3-15-5) 2-8-2 8
Hercules (0-12-0) 0-12-0 0

BSAL
Team Overall League Points
Piedmont (20-2-2) 14-1-1 43
Albany (17-3-3) 13-2-1 40
St. Mary’s (10-5-3) 10-3-3 33
Kennedy (12-5-5) 9-3-4 31
Encinal (5-11-5) 4-8-4 16
Salesian (4-12-4) 4-8-4 16
St. Joseph-Notre Dame (4-14-3) 4-10-2 14
St. Patrick-St. Vincent (4-11-2) 4-11-1 13
Swett (0-19-0) 0-16-0 0

BVAL
Team Overall League Points
Antioch (16-4-4) 10-3-2 31
Deer Valley (12-7-6) 9-3-3 30
Pittsburg (10-4-4) 8-4-3 27
Freedom (9-6-7) 6-4-5 23
Liberty (5-10-5) 3-8-4 13
Hertiage (3-18-2) 0-14-1 1

DFAL
Team Overall League Points
Acalanes (14-4-4) 8-1-3 27
Las Lomas (14-7-1) 7-5-0 21
Alhambra (7-6-1) 6-5-1 19
Campolindo (9-7-3) 5-4-3 18
Miramonte (5-5-7) 4-2-6 18
Dublin (13-5-6) 4-5-3 15
Dougherty Valley (2-16-0) 0-12-0 0

DVAL
Team Overall League Points
College Park (10-10-3) 8-2-2 26
Northgate (11-9-3) 7-4-1 22
Ygnacio Valley (11-8-3) 7-4-1 22
Clayton Valley (11-10-2) 6-4-2 20
Concord (6-10-4) 4-5-3 15
Mt. Diablo (4-8-3) 3-6-3 12
Berean Christian (2-20-0) 1-11-0 3

EBAL
Team Overall League Points
De La Salle (20-1-1) 13-0-1 27
Amador Valley (14-6-4) 9-3-2 20
San Ramon Valley (14-4-6) 6-3-5 17
Granada (13-6-3) 7-5-2 16
Monte Vista (12-8-3) 7-6-1 15
Livermore (8-14-2) 3-9-2 8
California (5-13-5) 1-10-3 5
Foothill (6-16-2) 1-11-2 4

HAAL
Team Overall League Points
Bishop O’Dowd (19-2-3) 13-1-2 41
Castro Valley (17-5-2) 12-2-2 38
San Lorenzo (13-4-3) 9-4-3 30
Hayward (12-6-5) 8-3-5 29
Arroyo (9-7-6) 6-5-5 23
San Leandro (9-10-3) 6-9-1 19
Mt. Eden (5-14-4) 3-10-3 12
Tennyson (4-14-3) 2-12-2 8
Moreau Catholic (2-16-2) 1-14-1 4

MVAL
Team Overall League Points
Newark Memorial (17-1-6) 11-0-1 34
Washington (11-10-2) 6-5-1 19
Mission San Jose (9-8-2) 6-5-1 19
Irvington (9-11-3) 6-5-1 19
Logan (7-11-5) 5-5-2 17
Kennedy (4-7-2) 4-6-2 14
American (0-14-0) 0-12-0 0

Matt Smith

  • Marques

    Be careful what you wish for Bishop O’Dowd! Yes, they’re the #1 seed, but there’s a strong possibility they will play a DFAL team before the finals. In the NCS tournament, in at least the past 5 years, they have NEVER BEATEN A DFAL TEAM regardless of seeding. When they won NCS in 2005, it was De Anza that defeated Acalanes and Miramonte–only to lose in PKs in the finals. B.O.D.’s new nightmare may be Las Lomas–a team they tied 2-2 not too long ago. Interesting….

  • dbl

    Marques,

    Since you’re the former coach of DeAnza and current coach of Piedmont, shouldn’t you be thinking about the teams you may play? Acalanes, Hayward,and San Lorenzo are all tough and physical teams from your side of the bracket.

  • Marques

    Dbl, yup, I have been thinking about it. I’ve already printed out San Lorenzo info. Fortune has it that San Lorenzo will be playing Kennedy @ Kennedy. I live 10 minutes away so I’ll check it out and root for the dissed BSAL. Good, at least someone’s responding in here. I thought I was talking to myself.

  • Jesus

    Any team that was at the meeting will be able to get at least 10 wins in the BSAL. I do respect piedmont since they usually make it to the championship games of NCS but no other team will make it far.

  • Marques

    The first round BSAL-DFAL game to watch is #5 Albany versus a totally underrated #12 Campolindo. Both their coach and I were baffled at the 12 seed they were givin. If I was Matt, that would be my go-to game.

  • High School Sports Junkie

    Like I said during the selection blog, NCS thinks soccer is only played along the 680/580 corridor and anything close to 880 Newark being on a 17 game win streak and only loosing 1 game and getting a 5 seed is proof positive and is a shame to the hard work those boys have put in.

  • High School Sports Junkie

    oooops anything close to 880 isn’t real soccer but just a bunch of kids kicking a ball around

  • dbl down

    Talking about nightmares I would think three times there three times losers must be giving someone bad dreams. Then again, maybe you wouldn’t have even gotten there had not a certain coach had a certain player practicing with the Piedmont team since he was an 8th grader. He even warmed up with the team and sat on the bench at your first loss vs Miramonte. Totally not NCS cool.

  • Marques

    Newark should roll over College Park. Then it will be a showdown with a 680 team. Good luck to them.

  • Matt Smith

    You’re correct about that Albany v. Campolindo game. As I wrote in this very notebook, I smell an upset there. Campolindo is one heck of a No. 12 seed. I will be at that game. I am pulling double duty through the Berkeley/Albany area. First I will be at St. Mary’s v. Hayward at 3:00 and then off to Albany.
    I agree with our Newark fan. They got a bit disrespected. I saw them play, and they are good. They are very talented all over the field, especially up front. They will probably get by College Park easily, and then a showdown with Amador Valley where they will be playing like they have something to prove. Amador should watchout because a team feeling disrespected is a dangerous one.

  • Rene

    To answer about the Newark team feeling disrespected… What I learnt over the years is that NCS seeding is not about who is the best team in NCS, not as the process is at this time. The reason is that making a judgment about who the best team is at a given point in time has to be subjective. Subjective evaluations invite controversy, and high school sports are about educating students, and should not be about controversy. Therefore NCS has to come up with a system that makes evaluations as objective as possible, even at the price of accuracy; hence the current system. Anyone who has played soccer knows that if team A beat team B, and team B beat team C, that does not mean that team A is better than team C; it doesnt’ mean that team A is better than team B at the time the rankings are made. Technically, it does not even mean that team A was better than team B when it beat them. Think France vs. Italy in 2006 ;-)

    Therefore, Newark or anyone else should not feel disrespected by the current system, given that the panel did its best to be faithful to the selection and ranking criteria.

    I also think that what comes closest to an accurate evaluation is the rankings that the coaches present in the NCS meeting room make. They have seen more teams than anybody else, and have a good feeling for who can do what.

    This said, the rankings do not matter anymore. Let’s see what happens on the field.

  • Rene

    I am very saddened that Pinole Valley did not make the 2A playoffs. They are a quality side, and have been for a few years. They had been 3A since the 3A/2A split, and were not aware of their new 2A classification till very late in the year. Kyle Weeks, their coach, scheduled mostly 3A teams, believing they were 3A. Pinole played the likes of Monte Vista and SRV. However such contests did not help them come the 2A meeting, because the teams present in the room with them mostly did not play 3A teams.

    Imho, Kyle has been doing an outstanding job at Pinole, and he and his players should be commanded for a terrific season.

  • Matt Smith

    Rene, you make a great point. Time to settle it in the field now.
    It is too bad that Pinole wasn’t informed sooner of its playoff status.

  • Marques

    Rene and I discuused the classification issue a few weeks ago. In fact, if you go to the NCS website they actually note that there was an error in the classifications. It states “UPDATE-classifications were previously incorrect”. Regardless, it still would have been tough for Pinole to get in. Alhambra, Dublin and Miramonte were eliminated as well.

  • Marques

    Matt, I did some research. You’re right. Pittsburg should have been in.

  • Jesus

    Matt, I was doing some research about Deer Valley and Antioch game. When i was looking at the overall records Deer Valley ( 12-7-6) seems to have played 25 games which should get them disqualified from NCS playoffs. What do you think about this matter cus i don’t really know the rules too well?

  • Marques

    Wow Jesus, you’re sharp. That extra game, unless it was an accidently published scrimmage, would have to be forfeited by DV. Such an occurrance is definitely frowned upon by the NCS. Berkeley, years ago, went two over the limit and had to give up home field advantage for two of their league games the following year.

  • Matt Smith

    On the NCS site, they have Deer Valley as 12-7-5, so Marques must be right, one of the ties I have for them must have been a scrimmage somebody called in. It doesn’t look like they went over.
    Marques is also right that they are lucky they didn’t go over 24 matches. There are consequences to pay.
    Lastly, Marques, I was wondering what in particular in the Pitt v. Berkeley argument makes you think Pitt deserved the spot? For me it’s the two wins against 3A playoff teams for Pitt and zero for Berkeley.
    Your thoughts?

  • Marques

    Agreed, plus most of Berkeley’s victories were against 2A teams. 8 of their 12 victories were against 2A schools.

  • Marques

    Hi Matt. Maxpreps has Deer Valley as 12-7-6. I would guess that is innacurrate as it would have been pointed out in the 3A NCS meeting. Rene (Richmond HS)? You hear of anything?

  • Matt Smith

    I heard a little something. Word is that a tie against Cal early in the year is now being called a scrimmage. I guess there was some malfunction with the lights, but most of the game was played. The score was called in and to this point was always considered a game. Deer Valley scheduled a game with Concord Saturday and that allowed them to clear some red cards.
    I am not alluding to anything, but I know how it sounds. It could have just as easily been a scrimmage all along and they always had the intention of playing Concord. It could be simple and innocent or there might be some fishiness. I am not jumping to conclusions and I am going to just let it lie unless the NCS says something about it. I’m certainly not here to accuse anyone, I am just saying what I have heard.
    I just know I have heard from a few Antioch people who are wondering what is going on.

  • Jesus

    I think they did play 25 games. According to the Concord high coach they had a game vs Deer valley this passed saturday. The Deer Valley coach set up ths game last minute cus one of their players got a red card againts Antioch the last game of the season and was trying to get a game in before NCS so that player could be able to play in the first round of NCS.

  • Marques

    Matt and Jesus, it definitely sounds fishy, especially considering that Concord is a 2A team which would not aid them, or Deer Valley, in seeding. If the Cal game went at least one half then, if it was scheduled as a game, then it was a game. I’m not an official, but the status of the game cannot be changed after the second half begins, BUT I’m not an official.

  • Marques

    Regardless, NCS site has Deer Valley as 12-7-5 so the matter was probably resolved, UNLESS the Concord game was neglected.

  • Rene

    Marques, I know nothing about this except what is posted here.

  • Matt Smith

    I am sure the NCS has looked into the matter, so I imagine that it is cleared up and there is no funny business. However, if I were Antioch, I would be asking questions because some players were red-carded in the BVAL finale.

  • Marques

    The big question would be how many of the red carded players already had a red card previously. NEW RULE: 2 red cards means that player cannot play ANY sport for the rest of that year.

  • Marques

    Hey! It’s Wild Wednesday! Day one of the 2A NCS Winter Soccer Playoffs! I’ll be at JFK v San Lorenzo, Matt will be at St. Mary’s v Hayward and the 2A match of the day Albany v Campolindo. Anyone going to hte Ygnacio Valley v Northgate game?

  • http://CCTimes Casual Observer

    Matt, It is a shame that Deer Valley may have violated the rules and still get the reward while Pitt does things by the book and is staying home. Cal has reported the game as a tie. The game went went more than a half, was reported, and is listed on Cal’s schedule as a tie. If this was a scrimmage then Cal would have made the change on both their schedule and on NorCal Preps. Maybe you could find out from the NCS what information they have and how they are going to handle it if DV indeed has played too many games.

  • Jesus

    I’m going to the Ygnacio Valley vs Northgate game. It should be a good one since this schools are only about 1/2 a mile apart. This game might turn into a rivalry game. 2 evenly teams plaing againts each other in NCS I pick YV to win this game in Overtime. The red headed kid from YV will score the game winner and he should also be league MVP his the best overall player in the whole league.

  • Jesus

    Pittsburg!! is back in the playoffs!!! Deer Valley got disqualified from NCS… Antioch vs Pittsburg tomorrow at 7pm at Antioch!

  • Matt Smith

    Jesus broke the story. It is verified. I just got off the phone with NCS commissioner Gil Lemmon and Deer Valley is disqualified.
    I will have a story here on the blog in a few minutes.

  • Marques

    WOW! Shocking!

  • Coach Mando

    After thinking about these comments for a couple days, I’d like to encourage some positive discussion about updating and improving the NCS selection and seeding process. Let’s not keep sweeping this under the rug. Obviously I am not the only one who is frustrated with the process, but all this time bickering about NCS seeding is useless. Continuous dialogue about improving the system may create positive ideas for NCS. There are two positive ideas being circulated out there right now – anyone else interested?

    1) For a few $ more, have the ref’s fill out and mail back to NCS a simple questionnaire about each team they ref. They could rate talent, speed of play, sportsmanship, etc, with a ranking. NCS pays someone to compile the data. At the end of the season, the compiled rankings and data along with the information submitted by the coaches, would allow a more objective decision by the judges.
    2) Pay someone who can objectively rate and analyze as many games as humanely possible within the course of the season. I’ll do it for a reasonable fee.