30Q-2-KICKOFF (No. 14, Part 2): Breaking Down the MVAL

 What can you expect from the MVAL this season?


Circle Nov. 6 on your calendars. That’s when the Mission Valley Athletic League title will likely be decided. Defending champion Washington will host James Logan and both will probably be undefeated in league play at that point.


An inexperienced Newark Memorial squad and experienced Kennedy team might have something to say about that, but I don’t see a hiccup happening for Washington or Logan.


The Huskies finally got over the hump last season, beating Logan for the first time since 1998. It was also the first league crown for the Huskies since that same year. But do the Huskies have enough to repeat this season? Perhaps.


For starters, starting QB and team leader David Ross returns. The league’s top QB enjoyed a tremendous year throwing the ball last season (2,147 yards, 25 TDs and 65-percent completion rate). Ross showed how calm and cool he is under pressure last year, throwing the game-clinching TD with 1:48 left in a 14-7 win over the Colts.


The problem for Ross this season is none of his starting receivers are back, including one of the best the MVAL has ever seen in Rahsaan Vaughn. That could force Ross to use his feet a little more often this season, which isn’t a bad thing since Ross has the agility and speed to be a threat on the ground.


The good news for Ross is his whole offensive line except the center returns and he has a solid target in Division I college prospect Cedric Lousi. The tight end and first-team defensive end should play a huge role on both sides of the ball in his senior season. Lousi is getting looks from BYU and San Jose State. The Huskies have to hope newcomer WR Daryl Walker and backup WR a season ago DeAndre Carter can carry the receiving corps. Washington will need to replace its entire secondary on defense.


James Logan will also have experience at QB with Jonathan Willis returning. The senior ran for 750 yards and threw for another 650 with 10 TDs and only three interceptions last season. Willis will also have a nice target at tight end in Toni Pole. Pole, also a defensive lineman, is getting looks from Division I schools. WR Joseph Castro should also be a solid target for Willis.


But we all know Logan likes to run the football. Brandon Arnold and Kyle Lopez both graduated so senior T.J. Matsumoto will carry the bulk of the load at RB this season. Newcomer Victor Johnson could also see some time at RB. Logan always has the target on its back, but there should be plenty of motivation for the Colts to go out and give it their best against Washington. The Huskies not only won the MVAL crown last year, but they also ended Logan’s 16-game MVAL winning streak.


The Colts defense should be strong with Pole on the defensive line and junior linebacker Albert Bell (6-0, 190 pounds) roaming the field. Willis will also play defensive back and anchor the secondary.



You can never count out Newark Memorial. The Cougars will be young and inexperienced this year after losing defensive leaders Anthony Sao and Eric Banford, but coach Rich Swift said the offseason and summer workouts have been very promising and the staff is optimistic.


The team might be young but it doesn’t lack talent or speed. Senior WR/RB/DB Michael Tobin should get most of the action on offense. The wingback is dangerous in open space and is a potential home run hitter. He should be the go-to guy in the running game and passing game.


WRs Andrew Alvarez (6-0, 175) and Kyle Arce could also become huge factors in the offense. QB Nick Pohndorf should have plenty of time to throw the ball with senior offensive lineman Bryan Jones and Richard Massie controlling the trenches. This offense has the potential to be very scary for any secondary, but we will have to see how much the lack of experience will come into play.


Kennedy won’t be too far behind the top contenders. After a 4-2 showing in the MVAL and its first playoff win in the history of the school last season, the Titans are expected to do well again. The team did lose standout RB Jerrell Walker and RB/DB Dane Dismuke, but should still be able to contend with returning QB Trevor Damewood running the offense.


Returning WR’s Alex Almadova and Chris Hoerz should help provide plenty of offense for the Titans. I am not sure what the RB situation is right now, but newcomer Jas Singh has been spoken highly of by Michaletos.



American, Irvington and Mission San Jose are likely to be the bottom three in the MVAL. I have not heard anything from any of these coaches yet, but as soon as I do I will update this post with information. I do know Irvington has the lone new coach in the league, Casey Kester. I don’t have a phone number for Nick Amato so if anyone does, please e-mail it to me at mbower@bayareanewsgroup.com.




  1. James Logan – When it’s close, I have to go with the Colts.
  2. Washington – Could easily be labeled the favorite and are by many.
  3. Newark Memorial – If the young group catches on quick, watch out!
  4. Kennedy – Should  finish at least fourth and maybe higher.
  5. Irvington
  6. American
  7. Mission San Jose – 22 straight losses in the MVAL


  • the truth

    This leaugue is pretty horrible.

  • eastbayscout

    well hard to call it horrible…while the bottom of the league is not overly strong at the present moment. irvington did make a run into the ncs finals a few years back and won a game the year before in the playoffs. american has made the playoffs a few years over the past 6 or 7 years.washington 3 years in a row now. newark a few years ago and were right on the bubble this last year. logan is there every year.

    now if comparing them to the bval or ebal well absolutely not, but then again no league in northern california other than the san jose catholic league even comes close. every other league is up and down, year to year.

    but for all those who only look at the present history the ebal over the last 40 years would not even scratch the history of the fremont and hayward/oakland teams of the past. logan for years absoultely dominated the ebal until about 6 or 7 years ago. i mean ten years ago it was logan pitt and dls every year and nobody else even came close.

    so while the ebal is definately top dog now it hasn’t been like that forever. and i don’t count dls bc they arent really in the league being a private school they play by different rules and everyone playing for 2nd place there anyways. the ncs committee really just throws that loss out with all the teams in the ebal anyways, didn’t affect any of them one bit. in fact i think it benefited cal high as they got a much higher seed than probably should have based on record because they played dls the best last year right at the end of the season. so lose and who cares (like foothill’s whooping they took) and come clse (i.e. cal) and you get a boost.

  • junior

    hey eastbayscout- it appears you believe DLS has an unfair advantage. Do you feel the same way about Logan? They have twice the attendance of every other MVAL team and just about every other east bay team as well.

  • ProudPapa

    To say Logan has an unfair advantage isn’t exactly fair. While it’s true Logan has one of the largest student populations in the East Bay(about the same as Berkeley I think), the talent pool they are drawing from has changed dramatically in the past 10 years. Logan is so diverse, with an extremely large Filipino, Mexican, Indian and Middle Eastern population, that the average male student doesn’t have the size or background to be interested in football. Yes, there is still plenty of talent out there, but it is not fair to say they have twice the pool to draw from then other teams. I would be willing to bet that there are far more students to choose from to play football at almost all the EBAL schools for example, and nearly the same as Washington and Newark in their own league.

  • eastbayscout

    well yes logan has huge numbers, but so does berkeley, sL, and deer valley as well. they are not far behind. unfortunately no where to put logan the HAAL is already packed, but yes they do have an advantage in the MVAL but not come playoff time. but their team numbers aren’t all that high like they use to be, so obviously dont have that same number of quality athletes to be choosing from.

    my feeling has always been private schools and public schools should be seperated. public schools can only draw from within there attendance area and do not offer the same level of education and resources. while a private school such as DLS which really has no private school competition in the east bay can draw from a 30 or so mile raidus, plus offer a free or discounted private school education. so if you are a good athlete and they will pay for a better school and provide you with better resources why not go there.

    now is dls cheating, well no. but it is well known the cream of their players does not come from concord. do they have the best coaching, yes and there is no doubt that has something to do with it. but still year in year out public schools are dealt their hand already while a private school has some manuvering options.

    in the san jose catholic league bellarmine, serra, etc all compete against each other so no big deal. in div 1 ncs, name another private school? you have to go all the way to BOD to even find a decent other good private school football team and they are D3.

  • ManDown

    This league is DOWN and has been for a long time. Logan isnt the same as they were the past years and Newark is over-rated. All the other teams I give a thumbs down. Sorry but maybe the best team in that league is Washington and they are barley a 500 team over the past couple of years. So if you ask me this league needs to improve.

  • ProudPapa

    I agree the league could be better, but Logan is just one year removed from a season where they went 11-1 and defeated 2 EBAL schools (Monte Vista and Foothill) en route to the NCS regional semi-finals. This years squad may not be that strong, but look for a bounce back year from last years dismal season.

  • Kyle Bonagura

    If there is a telling stat to the shape of the MVAL its this:

    Last year, the Huskies were the league champions but were 0-5 in their games against teams from outside of the league.

    Logan was also 0-5 against teams from outside of the league.

    Tough to earn any respect from outsiders when the league’s top two teams went a combined 0-10 in non-league.

  • It seems to me the MVAL suffers from too many high schools and therefore talent is spread, also, not all private schools offer free education even if you are an athlete

  • junior

    no private school offers scholarships for athletes…enough already with that topic.

  • ProudPapa

    Logan went 0-4 in non-league in a down year, but still only lost by 7 points or less to 3 of those teams who were all playoff makers, Foothill, Deer Valley and Berkeley (but did get blown out by Monte Vista).

  • eastbayscout

    and the year before that….logan was 5-1 and washington was 2-2-1 (tie against eventual NCS champs SRV)…

    so that is my point it is year to year just like every other league other than the ebal and bval. they stand hand and shoulders above the rest.

  • eastbayscout

    oh and newark was 4-0

  • just a fan

    usually the mval falls 3rd behind ebal and bval, in ncs D-I, but down years are hard to determine. whether the haal has schools doing just as well, it’s easier to compare. if san leandro and james logan are having similar years, but supposed mval 2nd place washington is doing just as good as logan (and better than the next D-I comparable school in haal, say a castro valley) mval is better of the two leagues for D-I.

    its hard to rank the mval and haal, because the haal fluctuates year to year: are hayward and arroyo D-II or D-I this year? are previous years bubble teams able to consistently reach the ncs conversation, like mt. eden 2 years ago? castro valley could improve and challenge san leandro on a yearly basis, but the haal is a tossup between enrollment divisions and talent equity in up years and down years. seems like only league powerhouses o’dowd and SL have the program strength to run through the league consistently.

  • just a fan

    thought a good idea would be to have san leandro and james logan play each other more often in non-league. in this economy the closer, local options make more sense, than SL playing schools out of section. understand if they were in a contract, but if bowers wants more ncs attention, play other leagues top teams. thats what zo is doing at berkeley playing pitt and ebal teams and is having whole lot of achievements

  • ProudPapa

    Logan’s Coach Zuber is from San Leandro, so I agree it would be fun for Logan and SL to play. They played at Fresno St. football camp this year, and from what i heard, Logan handled them.

  • to all(Fans) who do you think wins mval? and which players are MVP’s? throw some names out there.

  • ProudPapa

    Logan wins MVAL, but not without a great matchup of unbeatens (at least in MVAL) when Logan travels to Washington (week 7?).
    David Ross QB Wash
    Jon Willis QB Logan
    Toni Pole TE/DE Logan
    Cedric Lousi(sp?) TE/DE Wash

  • Just a Fan

    I’m taking Washington to repeat because of MVP Husky QB Ross. Getting Logan at home is the difference in a tight game. could be a field goal that wins it, like the Newark Game in 07, though not 6-3. More like 24-21 in the ballpark

  • I heard the Irvington coach brought his position as new head football coach. Apparently the school had spent excessively and we’re $9000 in debt. The coach was given the position for personally taking over half that debt, $4500. Now the Irvington football team has a bunch of ex youth football coaches for the staff. Rather than lift weights this year, the coach had the students working to re-pay his debt. There is a high probablity Irvington will loose all it’s games this year. This might allow Mission’s first MVAL wins in years.

  • Washington was blown away in the scrimmage today. There will be no championships for them!

  • LOL mack was out played out coached and pretty much out classed by wash and HH. Mack prides them self on smash mouth fball but the only smashing that was going on was mack on all over the field. i give it to mack they hit a few times AFTER the play! Haha 3 personal fouls(due to late hits) in the first 10 plays thats great way to play ball. But ehh it took macks starting D to shut down Heritages 3rd string and washs 2string mixed with some freshman! But hey Mack looked good in the end! agianst freshman!

  • UC Person

    logan will win league this year…

  • ProudPapa

    Logan outplayed Pitt @ Scrimmage… tied De La Salle (probably their 2nds though) but had difficulties with Cal. Logan poised for MVAL title. Did Heritage outplay Washington?

  • MVAL

    Spencer Romero senior WR for washington? FACTOR?