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.