30Q-2-KICKOFF (No. 1): Best League of the East Bay 2009

Let us begin by rejoicing! Thirty days from now will mark the eve of the return of high school football. And that, quite frankly, is a welcome thought. So we’re not going to waste any time. Let’s get right to the first question of our daily countdown.

What will be the East Bay’s best league in 2009?

It’s a debate that comes up every year, especially as we near playoff seedings. What IS the best league? There could be several answers to this question, depending on how one views the question. I’m strictly looking at the upcoming season, and I’m choosing to answer it in two parts.

Based on power-rankings and the strength of certain programs, the EBAL has got to be mentioned . It’s hard to ignore a league that will feature a national Top 20 team in De La Salle, a Monte Vista offense led by a Pac-10 conference-bound quarterback (Brett Nottingham, UCLA), and any team coached (or co-coached) by Foothill’s Matt Sweeney.

Still, if I’m basing my answer on a competitive league title race, I’m not sure I could go with the EBAL.  Some of the individual games will be good ones, but with question marks surrounding San Ramon Valley and Cal this season, the title race could be essentially decided as early as Oct. 9 (when DLS plays at Monte Vista).

The league that could be the most engaging and go down to Week 11 just might be the DFAL.  Right now three teams are legit title contenders (Campolindo, Las Lomas and Miramonte) and the other four programs all have spoiler potential. Mike Invankovich and the double-wing, double-tight adds a new wrinkle to the proceedings at Acalanes, and Casey Moreno is now three years deep into his rebuilding at Dublin. Alhambra has had a chance to rebuild and Dougherty Valley got to taste success in its first varsity season in 2008.

Could it come down to Nov. 13 when Las Lomas and Campolindo tangle? Based on the Knights and Cougars’ recent battles, we wouldnt’ complain.

Chace Bryson

  • knights

    Alhambra is the best team in the DFAL. Loaded in the backfield, huge up front with Coniglio (2nd in NorCal discus) and Omalibu (6’3″ 270 – plays hoops too)

  • Steve R. Waterhouse

    The best race could come in the MVAL. Washington claimed last year’s league crown, the first since 1998. James Logan is paced by returning QB Jonathan Willis and OL/DL Toni Pole and Newark Memorial will be in the hunt.

    By the way, for those wondering where I’ve been, I was laid off in mid-July after 8 1/2 years full time and over a decade in all. I want to thank all my loyal readers over the years and hope to see some of you as I make my way to games simply as a fan this year. If you’d like to reach me you can do so at srhooose@yahoo.com.

  • D W

    You’ve got to be kidding me, right? I may have grown up in MVAL territory, but can somebody provide a more convincing case against the EBAL, as far as depth goes?

    Because even if SRV & Cal High have question marks, their most questionable teams probably handle the other leagues just fine. Put aside DLS’ continued dominance, and you have the entire San Ramon Valley plus Pleasanton and possibly Granada looking to make similar noise in the postseason at all levels. Until the other leagues improve their quality of play from top to bottom, nobody comes close to the EBAL, especially in football.

    Of course, you might say the same thing with all of the other sports, save perhaps basketball (but then DLS/Carondelet & MV probably have other plans, too).

  • sorry to hear it steve:(

  • Knights

    Ebal, best in east bay, second in northern California…. And second in bay area to the WCAL

  • HAAL Fan

    It clearly states in the blog that the author believes the EBAL is the best league in the East Bay. He only states the DFAL as having the most competition for their individual league’s title. Translation of blog: “EBAL = the best. DFAL = the most interesting race.” The problem is that with the EBAL the championship is already locked up just by having DLS in their league. Every other league in the area seems to be up in the air.

  • High School Sports Junkie

    Steve that absolutely makes me sick I know that newspapers all over are struggling but ya still need talent and they just let one of the best go. A letter to the editer will follow

  • Dougherty Valley looks very good. They man-handling Irvington high school in a scrimmage last night. By the end of the scrimmage, Irvington didn’t want anymore of the Wildcats.

  • i seen it

    I saw the dougherty irvington scrimmage. DV outplayed Irvington yes… but they didnt really look good. I think once they get a few graduation classes through there and start getting some more athletes they can compete. But they will without a doubt finish in the bottom of the DFAL this year. They have ZERO size right now. I think they have good coaches and the program is being built the right way from the ground up. In 5 years i think they will be winners. But they just do not have anywhere near the size or the athletes to compete in the DFAL