Our very first question when we put out the call to get ideas for this year’s 30 Questions to Kickoff had to do with the DVAL. So, we’ll indulge our friend “Dvalfan” and give him some answers to what the league might be like this season.
What’s up with the DVAL this year?
I think I’m fairly tuned into what’s going on in our own backyard, the Diablo Valley Athletic League, so I’ll give this one a shot. I completely agree with Dvalfan when he says there’s a lot of talent in the league.
Actually, I think it could be one of the more compelling league title races when we get down to the end of the season. Let’s go team by team, shall we?
Clayton Valley: The answer to your question, Dvalfan, is no. I don’t think they can repeat their dream season of a year ago. That doesn’t mean the Uglies are going to be bad though. I think every coach in the league would want a beast of a RB/LB like Vince Buhagiar on their squad. Add in Holden Nakamura and the Eagles have a very good ground game to turn to on offense. The defense should be good again this year because, even though they lost star playmakers Joey Levine and Nick Cole, they do return some good talent. I guess you’ve got to start with CV on top until someone proves otherwise, right?
College Park: With the loss of Kenny Shrader and Chase Danska, the Falcons lose a big portion of a very good offense from 2008. I’m excited to see TE/DL Travis Raciti in his senior season. He’s shown flashes of being very, very good over the past couple years and this should be the year he really becomes a force. The question is can the Falcons duplicate their speed on offense from last year? One thing you can count on though is CP will be in the title hunt. That much is almost always certain.
Concord: The Minutemen proved themselves to be a playoff-caliber team last year, and I think they could build on that momentum this year. There aren’t too many questions on offense, with RB Forrest Hightower leading the way as one of the most explosive players in the area. QB Ricky Lloyd is a year older and should be a year better and there’s always QB/WR Ray Buford, who can move the pocket and make things happen in addition to being a good slot receiver. The main question is on defense. Don’t expect anyone to throw at Hightower (one of the most heavily recruited cornerbacks in the region this year), but if they can stop anyone at all, the playoffs might not be too far off again.
Mt. Diablo: I’m hearing some good things about the Red Devils. They have a returning QB in Ethan Morrow and a speedster in Deon Turner. Before I proclaim that Mt. D is ready to make the jump to league title contender status, I’ll take a wait and see approach. Then again, I think the league may be a bit more open than last year and I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see Mount make a little noise.
Northgate: Most of the optimism coming from the Broncos centers around QB Colin Barney. I unfortunately saw him in a game where he got his knee absolutely wrecked last year, but before he was sidelined he did show what I thought was a very strong arm. I guess the main question is will the offense (they’ve run the double-wing, double-tight the last two seasons) hold him back? There’s nowhere to go but up for Northgate, and I expect better than last year’s one-win season.
Ygnacio Valley: The Warriors have maybe the biggest set of question marks of any team in the league. New coach Chris Turner inherits the East Bay’s leading rusher, Patrone Wood II, but it’s not clear how much else he inherits. Gone are stalwarts like Siua Taufa, Loni Fa and Socrates Rodriguez. So, the questions revolve around the trenches for YV. Who will block for Wood in whatever offense the Warriors run? I think it’ll take a little while to get things going.
Well, that’s what I know for now. Once practice starts, we’ll know if I’m full of it or not. Then again, I’m the guy who picked Clayton Valley to finish fourth last year. Maybe I won’t make that mistake again this year, eh? I know we’ve got a ton of readers with DVAL ties out there, so if you want to comment on your league, go ahead and sound off. I’ll take all the info I can get at this point in the year.
See you tomorrow for more 30 Questions to Kickoff.