Deer Valley boys soccer disqualified from NCS

This story started gaining some momentum yesterday and today it became official that the Deer Valley boys soccer team was disqualified from the NCS playoffs. Here’s the story that will be in tomorrow’s paper.

The North Coast Section announced that the Deer Valley High School boys soccer team would be disqualified from the 3A playoffs, relinquishing its No. 10 seed.
The Wolverines were scheduled to travel to Antioch for a 7:00 p.m. game on Wednesday, but NCS commissioner Gil Lemmon informed them that they were no longer in the field.
“They have been disqualified,” Lemmon said. “I called Deer Valley this morning to let them know.”
The problem, Lemmon said, is that a team can’t play more than 24 games. The Wolverines scheduled a game against Concord on Saturday, a day before the seeding meeting, and even though that game turned into a scrimmage and wasn’t a 25th game for Deer Valley, that presented another problem.
Once the season ends, and according to Deer Valley’s schedule it ended Thursday, Feb. 12 v. Antioch, you can only scrimmage teams heading to the NCS playoffs.
“You have to scrimmage another NCS team and it has to take place after the seeding meeting,” Lemmon said.
Unfortunately, this game had no bearing on Deer Valley’s playoff resume with Concord being a 2A team that is not bound for the playoffs.
“It’s just one game and it ruined the season and it’s not fair to the kids,” Deer Valley coach Nick Howliston said. “They’re absolutely heartbroken.”
This Concord was originally supposed to be a game because the Wolverines were under the impression that an earlier game against California was not counted because the game was called just after halftime due to a light malfunction.
According to federation rules anything that goes at least one half does count.
“The lights went off and there was some confusion there,” Deer Valley coach Nick Howliston said. “I didn’t know that game counted. I guess I could have done more by knowing this was the case.”
Because Concord only had nine kids, Howliston had two Deer Valley kids play for Concord and it turned into the illegal scrimmage that it was.
All signs indicate Pittsburg, which was left out of the playoffs on Sunday, will become the No. 10 seed and play at Antioch at 7:00 on Thursday. The defending champion Pirates were left out in favor of Berkeley, but now get a chance to defend their crown.
“If the committee had picked another team, it probably would have been Pitt,” Lemmon said. “So they would probably be the next in line.”
As of the time this gets published, Pittsburg has not been verified as the team on the NCS website, but Pittsburg coach Paco Gonzalez did say that he received the call, they are going to accept and they are just waiting for Athletic Director Al Hurtado to call back and make it official.

Matt Smith

  • Marques

    They’re officially in. I checked the website just now. What a weird set of circumstances.

  • Marques

    Did Las Lomas and Clayton Valley play their game that day?

  • Does anybody else find it questionable that Pittburg, which was left out of the bracket originally in favor of Berkeley, now gets the No. 10 seed ahead of Berkeley now?

    We can argue all day that Pitt might’ve deserved to make it ahead of Berkeley, but the fact is Berkeley was given the spot ahead of them. Now that Deer Valley is DQ’d and Pitt is back in, it doesn’t make sense for Pitt to be seeded ahead of Berkeley. Obviously it makes things easier to just give Pitt the seed that Deer Valley had because it only affects one game. But just because it’s easier, doesn’t mean it’s right. This is turning into a real mess.

  • Bay Area Watcher

    Yeah, agreed, it’s a complete mess. It’d be even more of a mess if a higher-seeded team was DQed. How would that work?

  • Soccer fan

    Las Lomas and Clayton Valley haven’t played each other this year

  • Just a fan

    How awful for the kids on that team. They worked hard all year and deserve to be there. It is the fault of the coach. Every year in one sport or another this happens and it is the sole responsibility of the coach to know what does or doesn’t count.

  • I think the only fair way is to give the team that you add in the last seed and bump everybody up. If you were left out of the playoffs, you are essentially the No. 13 seed. The No. 10 leaves, so each team moves up one. That certainly makes things more complicated, but seems to be the only fair way.

    Sure, Pitt would’ve been seeded ahead of College Park (a league champ with an auto berth) if it had been in the field, but without regathering the committee to reseed, I think you have to give the new entry to the field the last seed. And you’re right, if this was a top 4 seed or so, it would be unbelievably messy and certainly couldn’t be solved by giving the new team that top 4 seed.

  • Bay Area Watcher

    I guess the problem was this was all uncovered just hours before the first round games kicked off. A bit late to be changing up opponents for a bunch of games.

  • I agree that’s why the easy route is being taken, but if it’s compromising the integrity of the playoffs, I’m concerned. My big question would be: was Berkeley made aware of this situation and given the opportunity to request to take the No. 10 seed? If Berkeley gave the OK on this, I’m fine with it. If not, there’s a problem.

  • Matt Smith

    Jimmy and all others,
    The reason they didn’t re-arrange all the seeds, is because this change came the day of the first round. It’s nearly impossible to tell a bunch of teams to change their travel schedule and their gameplans and all of that just to make Berkeley the No. 10 and Pitt No. 11. Also, Pitt and Antioch are so close that it just made more sense. I actually think it was a savvy play.

  • I still say that just because its the most convenient way, it doesn’t make it right. As Bay Area Watcher says, what would happen if this was a higher seed?

  • Matt Smith

    Was it right? Probably not. Was there a right way? No. Anyway had circumstances. This was the best way. You don’t call Berkeley and Castro Valley and College Park and Newark the day of their matches and change gameplans and driving plans if you can change just one match and keep it in a five mile radius. It was the best way and you guys should see that.

  • You don’t have to call College Park and Newark, but heck yeah I think you call Berkeley. That can be a big difference playing Castro Valley instead of Antioch, so I think unless Berkeley signed off on letting Pitt have the 10 seed, it’s a bad move. It’s obviously a difference of opinion between us, but convenience should never be factored in when we’re talking about the postseason. It’d be different if the first round was today and the semis tomorrow, but since there’s the gap until Saturday and games could be moved to tomorrow, those type of options need to be explored.

  • Prep Fan

    It is better to have Pitt inserted in the #10 spot than to have just handed a forfeit win to Antioch. I’m sure that was an alternative they didn’t want to have to use.

  • Matt Smith

    I think you’re right, all the options need to be explored. They may have been and we don’t know. Maybe Berkeley didn’t want to go to Antioch.
    I think regardless CP was the No. 12 seed. It’s like a small school winning it’s conference and getting into the NCAA tourney. Berkeley and Pitt were playing for the last at-large bid. So take CP and Newark out of the equation. That wouldn’t change.
    I know I am speaking a lot from my heart and not with my head, but I feel Pitt should have been in ahead of Berkeley, so I think that’s why I am justifying this.
    I also don’t think there is a difference for Berkeley between playing Castro Valley and Antioch. To tell you the truth, I think Antioch is a bad matchup for most teams right now.
    Lastly, I don’t think I am saying that convenience was the reason it was done, but it was a small determining factor.


    Really guys? This much time spent arguing about two teams that had no chance to win the tournament at all? Who cares — you have to beat the best to win the tournament, so what the hell is the difference with the first round matchup.

    Your time would be better spent taking the Deer Valley coach and athletic director to task for being the math experts they are. That’s the real crime.

    Reminds me when that idiot at Amador Valley did the same thing to the girls team.

  • Matt Smith

    YES! I agree! Enough about this. We sound like a bickering old couple.
    Let’s focus on the teams that are still left. Some very, very interesting second-round games that include Granada at DLS and Newark at Amador Valley.
    I like SRV against Castro Valley, and I think a Pitt/Antioch game at Richmond could be interesting. Similar styles of play.