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30Q-2-KICKOFF (No. 15): Will the Jets still fly?

By Jimmy Durkin
Tuesday, August 17th, 2010 at 10:32 am in 30 Questions to Kickoff, East Bay Football.

After two seasons of competing in the Bay Shore Athletic League, Encinal has yet to lose a league contest. The Jets are 25-2 overall and 16-0 in league games while playing in the past two NCS Division III title games.

So, is this the year Encinal finally loses a BSAL game?

It’s possible the 16-game winning streak comes to an end, but I wouldn’t place large bets on it. St. Mary’s is a program that certainly appears on the upswing after a solid first year under coach Keith Minor and St. Patrick-St. Vincent is always competitive. I’m hearing good things about Kennedy with new coach Clyde Byrd and Moreau Catholic turned things around a bit last year. Piedmont lost quite a few key players to transfer and graduation but always finds a way to stay near the top of the standings. Albany has to replace a good quarterback and John Swett breaks in a new coach. But on paper, it’s hard to predict that any team will be better than Encinal. Two perfect seasons does that for a team.

The Jets again said good-bye to some talented seniors last year, including one of the top overall players in the East Bay in quarterback/safety Tyrone Duckett, now at Washington State. Duckett did about as good a job as anyone could have asked for in replacing Jonathan Brown, the 2008 East Bay Player of the Year who is now at Boise State after leading the Jets to a 13-0 NCS title winning season. Duckett took over as the option quarterback and threw 14 touchdowns and ran for 13 more while totaling better than 900 yards both throwing and rushing. He also produced 67 tackles, five sacks and two interceptions from his safety position, while fulfilling a similar leadership role on defense that Brown did from his linebacker spot. Just as there were questions last year as to how the Jets would replace Brown (as well as Dominique Sashington and Xavier Milton), this year’s team will have to find a way to replace Duckett and guys like RB/LB Abraham Amiri and C/NG Jesse Mercado.

While he won’t be the quarterback, the guy who Encinal coach Joe Tenorio expects to fill that Duckett/Brown role is senior RB/LB Jonathan Allen. Allen led the Jets with 951 rushing yards last year while also providing stability at linebacker. Expect him to see a heavy workload this year and get a lot of carries in the Jets’ option attack.

The always important quarterback position will fall into the hands of junior Andrew Ve’e. Ve’e took a few snaps late in games last year and also took some carries at running back and had 24 carries for 108 yards and four touchdowns. He completed just 1 of 4 passes for 0 yards, so time will tell how effect Ve’e can be throwing the ball. But the primary role he’ll likely play is perfectly executing that tricky option attack and my hunch is you’ll see the ball in Allen’s hands a bit more than Ve’e's, at least at the start of the season.

The Jets also have several other players who will contribute quite nicely to the offense. Jon Trodder had 568 rushing yards as a sophomore last year and could play a big role. Paul Okamura and Matt Meno both have good speed and aren’t afraid to handle the ball and should be very nice options to keep everyone fresh, which is always a key at Encinal with its roster size.

Up front, the guy to watch will be big Joshua Morrow. He was listed at 6-foot-6, 345 pounds last year and will anchor the offensive line. The hope after last season was that he’d be able to play both ways, but at least for right now he’ll stick to the O-line. Mustafa Whitehead should play both offensive and defensive tackle and has a strong motor and can make plays.

A lot of credit also goes to the Encinal coaching staff, which is one of the most motivated and energetic staffs in the East Bay. When the Jets won the title two years ago, they went out to prove that the team was more than just a few star players. By now, most East Bay football fans can agree that Encinal is probably the top lower division program in the East Bay and the coaching staff is intent on keeping things that way. So I’d say to look for another strong season at the Nail House.

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  • ManDown

    This will be an interesting year for the jets. Seem very young but i like Allen. He is a good player and will carry that team this year. I think they will struggle with and new QB and a new C on the field. Encinal better watch out for El Cerrito and Serra will give them a loss the following week. They can very much so go into league play with a
    1-2 record

  • KillerD

    Serra defeats Encinal at Serra by 21 points.

    El Cerrito is a toss up.

    St. Pats, St. Mary’s, Moreau, Piedmont, Swett and JFK will fight it out vs. Encinal and it’s entirely possible that at least one of those teams downs the Jets in 2010.

  • http://ibabuzz.com 617lemon

    if encinal is to drop a game this year in league i would put my money on st.pats. moreau will be improved but not enough to get the jets. st.mary’s was senior laiden in the trenches last year. ferrigno had that team ready. last season was his doin. we’ll see what minor does this year.

  • http://ibabuzz.com billjohnson

    bleachercoach i know u got ur eye on the mcal wats novato lookin like this season? losin at home n da quarter finals had 2 have left a bad taste n bracketts off season.

  • ManDown

    I think Serra will get Encinal by 2 score. i don’t see Serra being 21 points better than Encinal. They lose the 2 studs from last year and that Defense had key seniors that are gone. I see El Cerrito either beating Encinal by one score or Encinal winning by 2 scores.

  • ManDown

    The only team in that league that is close to the Jets is St. Pats. St.Marys lost a lot with Brown-Ryan and that stud WR gone.

  • http://ibabuzz.com hornetfan

    island02 i see on our web site rochlin has an assistant d-coordinator will he have a big part of what were doin on defense or it’s rochlin’s show? as for encinal will take them at home they graduated alot last 2 yrs. how are they gonna stop ruckman & cunningham my only concern is at wr. coach cunningham who we got to catch the ball this season?

  • http://ibabuzz.com billjohnson

    mandown, killerd i havent seen e.c all summer wat they got goin on that makes u believe they’ll take the jets?

  • c.sparks

    how you gone say El cerrito has a chance to beat encinal? when alameda is a much better team? i still see encinal finishing 2-1 in league and undefeated in league play… they should be atleast 9-1 or 8-2..

  • KillerD

    Not sure what El Cerrito has but they were young last year and did well in the regular season.

    St. Patricks seems to be the majority choice to win their league this year.

    This is what I am hearing about the BSAL:

    St. Patricks
    Moreau
    Encinal
    St. Mary’s
    Piedmont
    John Swett
    Kennedy
    Albany

  • renegades10

    I agree that I think the top three you have KillerD will be the top three in the league. In what order is tough to say. I think Encinal’s reign at the top may come to an end after this year for one reason or another. Their JV team was ok last year, and they have lost a lot to graduation and the uncertainty surrounding the school and its athletic programs may keep some kids away. It’s too bad as Tenorio has proved himself to be one of the better coaches in the section. Still they return a fair amount of starters and think they could finish number one, but wouldn’t be surprised to see them finish number three. Moreau is definitely on an upswing after last year. They have a very good JV team moving on up and return 5 starters on each side of the ball. This team could surprise and be number one, but think that may be a year away. SPSV has consistently fielded competitive teams and although he has been maligned on these boards before, Blanton has definitely proven he can coach. Their showdown with Encinal promises to be one of the better games in the section this year, I believe with emotions running high. St. Mary’s truly had a fairytale run last year, but as noted before the graduation of DBR leaves a huge hole, and not one I’m sure they will be able to replace this year. They get five back on offense and two on defense, but the JV team was not good.
    Can’t pass judgment on a coach until he has had some years at the reigns. We will certainly find out about Minor this year as I think there will be some struggles for the Panthers. St. Mary’s and the rest could finish in any order depending on the day although I think Piedmont will finish fourth despite the transfers. Good to hear that better days seem to be ahead at Kennedy as they have really struggled for awhile. But the BSAL will really be a battle at the top and should be fun to watch as the season goes on.

  • http://deleted c.sparks

    ….. killer D.. really moreau…. over encinal in league…. think about that for one sec…. and then st pats..? winning the league? after encinal beating up the whole league for 2 years and counting…. if one team ever had a chance it was the 2008 piedmont team and 2009 st marys.. other then that… i dont see the 2010 moreau winning anything but 6 games…

  • KillerD

    C.Sparks:

    Alright but put your league predictions for the BSAL up and the reasons why.

    And Renegades10…..nice breakdown and I did not know St. Mary’s lost so many players too.

  • c.sparks

    okay killer D

    1. Encinal- return alot of good players Despite the departures of kimani washington Tyrone duckket and abraham amerie. Best coaching staff in the east bay. plus the blew out st pats last year.

    2. St. pats- you can make an arguement about who runs the best veer option attack in this league, but the only reason there number 2 is there is no passing attack, and defense may be a little slow.

    3. piedmont- piedmont loses players year after year, and still manage to put up a wining season, they loose cormac cragie and joey andrada, but i still see the a-11 offense being effective, but defense a little weak compared to the top of the league. talking to alot of coaches in the bay area, i was told that piedmont would be much better running a tradional offense.

    4. st marys- this may be a sleeper team, second year coach. he may of gotten by with a little a bit of talent last year, DBR is gone. but we will see truely how good of a coach minor is this year.IF he doesnt disappoint expect st marys to be as high number 2

    5.moreau is young and adam robinson had a good season last year, if he takes it to the next level this year maybe a very dangerous team. my only concern is, when they lost to the teams above of me last year it wasnt even close, i dont care how young you are it must be a little competetive and the inexpeiranced coaching staff.

    6.swett

    7. albany

    8 kennedy

  • http://www.ibuzz.com Bleachercoach

    c.sparks the Jets have the best coaching staff in the Easbay? Hmmmm what about Lad and his staff ? Does a 3 year run put a coach in the all time greatest section I don’t think so.

    Encinal did lose alot of playes but the one big question mark I think is the Center position. Eveyone talks about how big the Jets O-line is does anyone know who the new Center is? New center + new QB + counter type handoffs = fumbles!!!!! If the Jets are weak in the middle it could be a tougher season for them.

    With that said I still think they will go 10-1. No way El Cerrito stands a chance they lost 45-18 and 35-6 tha last two season are the Jets 27+ points worse than last year ? That would be no. Is El Cerritto 27+ points better not a chance Jets 35 El Cerrito 0.

  • http://www.ibuzz.com Bleachercoach

    The real issue for the Jets is this….. With the new CIF rules which limits teams to only petitioning up 1 division there is a new player in the Div III race and that is Cardinal Newman. Can the Jets Beat Marin Catholic , Cardinal Newman and Novato? The road to the NCS Championship will likely lead the Jets to the northbay were they could play 2 or those 3 teams?

  • http://ibabuzz.com PERKIN

    Man Cardinal Newman is tough. Where did you read that Bleachercoach could you post a link? Post that same question to MC & Novato I think they have been dodging CN for years. When they were they own section play-offs & only playing each other it seemed like Novato, MC never wanted to play CM.

  • http://ibabuzz.com PERKIN

    D-III is loaded. Definitely makes it a better division then D-II by far.

  • http://www.ibuzz.com Bleachercoach
  • norcalfball

    overall depth is definately better in d3…but with washington and arroyo dropping down from d1…plus american who is supposed to be good this year…to go along with 2 of the best norcal QB’s at casa grande and concord…i think d2 will be fine…it is very top heavy though…but i still think the top 4 in d2 would square off quite nicely vs the top 4 in d3..after that d3 is definately more depth…

    makes for interesting fall…

  • KillerD

    It will be interesting to see how the Jets do but I will stick with my prediction about the BSAL

  • KillerD

    Csparks, my return on your take:

    1. Encinal- return alot of good players Despite the departures of kimani washington Tyrone duckket and abraham amerie. Best coaching staff in the east bay. plus the blew out st pats last year.

    Rebuttal: Joe T. has his work cut out and he is a hard worker. But good talent makes every coach more productive. Lack of talent or lesser talent usually makes the coach seem less productive.

    2. St. pats- you can make an arguement about who runs the best veer option attack in this league, but the only reason there number 2 is there is no passing attack, and defense may be a little slow.

    Rebuttal: St. Patricks is a tough and proud program, and it’s a long shot to say that Encinal will continue to dominate them, and St. Pats has Encinal in Vallejo at home. Go with the Pats. Blanton has one of the longest winning streaks in the state already on record and he is tired of playing 2nd Banana to the Jets.

    3. piedmont- piedmont loses players year after year, and still manage to put up a wining season, they loose cormac cragie and joey andrada, but i still see the a-11 offense being effective, but defense a little weak compared to the top of the league. talking to alot of coaches in the bay area, i was told that piedmont would be much better running a tradional offense.

    Rebuttal: Like response #1, talent is key. Losing those receivers and that qb will hinder the Highlanders. In Piedmmont’s three seasons before using the A-11 Calpreps has them averaging 24 PPG, since A-11 Calpreps has them averaging 27 PPG. Seems like coaches in the area expecting them to drop off this year.

    4. st marys- this may be a sleeper team, second year coach. he may of gotten by with a little a bit of talent last year, DBR is gone. but we will see truely how good of a coach minor is this year.IF he doesnt disappoint expect st marys to be as high number 2

    Rebuttal: Cinderella wore red and white in 2009 and stormed the BSAL. But if what people are saying is true, then St. Mary’s will drop a bit. But they have an outstanding playmaker at qb returning and their coach is eager to avoid the soph slump.

    5.moreau is young and adam robinson had a good season last year, if he takes it to the next level this year maybe a very dangerous team. my only concern is, when they lost to the teams above of me last year it wasnt even close, i dont care how young you are it must be a little competetive and the inexpeiranced coaching staff

    Rebuttal: Mariners have been telling everybody this is the year they break the 7 win mark in the regular season. And I agree. Their early season schedule is soft and their team is on the rise. Give the Mariners their due and they will finish at least 7 – 3 in 2010.

  • ArmstrongJets

    All,

    The Jets will finish 1st again this season. It’s always tougher when you are being chased but the jets will be up to the challenge.

    22ATW – Jets Fan know what that mean!!

    It will be a good season and I predict a undefeated season. All the team lost great players but the coaches are still there and unless something has changed you still have to stop what the Jets do on offense and defense.

    Two time defending BSAL champions (Undefeated in League), NCS Champion (Marin and Novato beaten – It can be done), NCS Runner-up (Marin had a great team)

    Winner win and know how to Win, Challengers talk about the Winners

    Go Jets

  • http://aol Big Joe

    It’s a toss up. SPSV is always in the hunt. El Cerrito has talent but do they have the discpline?
    Alaemda wants Encinal bad this year- who wins that matchup? St. Marys’s stunned by Justin Sienna-Napa- discpline over talent- looks like it. Coturvo has a winning program that stuck around long enough to upset St. Mary’s at the end. Jets are going to have major problems against Serra and Parick Walsh. Never the less, Encinal has a proven 3 year program.

  • http://ibabuzz.com island02

    Hornetfan, we have some solid recievers and 2 te’s that can get up field. Ryan Carlson (2011), Zak Alfers (2012), John Ruck (2011), Antonio Mannebusen (2012), and Peni Mesui (2011) and Sofela Habeeb(2011) at the te position. It should be fun to watch the aerial game this year. As for the defense you would need to talk to coach Rochlin.

  • http://www.ibuzz.com Bleachercoach

    ArmstrongJets you are smoked if you think the Jets beat Serra sorry not happening and they will be out in the second round of the playoffs there is just to much Northbay for the eastbay this year Marin Catholic, Novato and the new kids in Div III Cardinal Newman pick your poision the go have a nice Thanksgiving at home.

  • c.sparks

    pick your poison? bleacher coach your bias blinds you. encinal is capable of beating all 3 of those teams.. i dont see them beating all 3 of them back to back to back weeks.. nor do i see novato, marin, or cardnal newman doing it either.. soo any team can be sent home before thanksgiving. i guess the 2008 champsionship lost still stings you a bit, in which the jets beat novato 28-35. marin is the kings of marin county and i honestly dont see no one stoping them maybe in the semis, if no one stops them in the semis, i can almost guarantee there bringing back another championship… novato put up a donut hole againest miramonte, and everyone is just putting them to the side giving the boys from orinda no respect.. cardinal newman, has one of the best coachiing staffs in the bay, they put up a good team every year, with basically an sub par players. divsion 3 hands down one of the most competitive divsions this year in california, its almost safe to say whoever gets out of this divsion can book a bus to carson california.

  • http://www.ibuzz.com Bleachercoach

    c.sparks I am not biased at all. The Jets have a huge talent drop from the last two seasons if you cannot admit that then I think you are the biased one. The Jets do not have a D1 prospect in a skill position and in 2008 they had 2 on the field in Brown and Duckett and they had the season to prove it. Last season they had one and put up the donut hole in the championship game and the huge line they return this year got man handled by smaller stronger players.

    I cannot believe what you said about Cardinal Newman sub par players? How did they make 2 state bowl games with sub par playes lol what a retarded statement you made. Is it not clear that the road to the Bowl games is owned by the North Cardinal Newman twice, Novato and Marin Catholic 4 bowl games in 5 year. Don’t forget to pay your toll on the way over.

  • c.sparks

    yes you idoit! subpar players!… why dont you atcually do your research you novato guy.. haha why are you hiding behind marin as if your a real true fan of theres or something lol

    and encinal had way more then just 2 d1 players in the 2008 team.. they had around 9. 7 of which went terriblely wrong. milton for example broke his knee one week before the championship, and sashinton grades… and washington broke his new this year as well, andre hutcherson-grades, jonanathan murphy as well, and oh yeah dont forget the leading tackler in the bay abarham amerie…

    and yes you are right about the donut hole encinal put up in the championship… but i bet you didnt know they were missing 6 starters>? hmmmm..

    and i bet your forgetting about jonathan allen, who has already been scouted on espn.com and his overall is a 73, as well as josh marrow.. paul okamaura might be one of the fastest guys in the east bay, matt meno. d1 prospect as well.. and all of these studs were on the 2008 team..

    nobody fears the north bay after 2008.. \.. ask miramonte and Aaron ross the 10th grade quarter back who should you guys the exit sign… ;)

  • http://deleted c.sparks

    *excuse me i meeant ross anderson

  • footballfan

    Don’t forget that Eureka (2009 DII champs) and Petaluma (2009 DII runner up) will also be DIII, if they don’t petition back to DII. Petaluma probably won’t but Eureka just might. Novato will do well in league this year but wait for 2011 for them to make an impression in NCS.

  • footballfan

    Deadline to petition up or down is September 17th. Cardinal Newman can stay where they are, DII, regardless of enrollment since that is where they have been for years.

  • http://ibabuzz.com bleachercoach

    Footballfan are you sure about Cardinal Newman according to the CIF NCS they are only letting teams petition up 1 level. Therw does seem to be a contadiction in the rules.

  • http://ibabuzz.com billjohnson

    any word on marin catholic petition up? r they planning on goin up or they thinking bout stayn down?

  • footballfan

    I’m not positive but since they are already DII after petitioning up when the RE and East Bay became one, they may not have to do anything. The NCS enrollments still show them as DII even after the changes. Marin Catholic will probably petition to stay DIII but are currently placed in DIV so they will have to petition to move. Once you petition, you don’t have to do it again unless you WANT to move back….I just don’t see CN going backwards when they have done so well in the past against much bigger schools. This is only MY interpetation of the rules so I could be wrong but when you look at the new alignment of the enrollments, the only schools that moved were those that have not petitioned their placement.

    http://www.cifncs.org/sports/football/files/10FBclassDivisions.pdf

  • http://www.ibuzz.com Bleachercoach

    footballfan I called the NCS Dublin Office today for some clarification and only got more confused. The women I spoke to said as far as the NCS is concernd anyteam can petition up to whatever level they like. She said the difference was for the CIF bowl game and that if you petitioned to a higher Division your team can only be picked for a bowl game in that Div. Example Cardinal Newman who by enrollment is Div IV but petitions to Div II can only be chosen for a Div II bowl bid no more going back. So then I went to the CIF page and found this NOTE: If a Division III Section Champion is within the Division IV enrollment parameters of
    1-500, it will be moved to that Division for bowl game consideration. If fewer than
    three schools are available for selection in Division IV, the smallest remaining
    Division III School will be moved into the Division IV selection pool SO what does all this mean ? I dont have a clue lol

  • Jet4Ever52

    Jets will still fly Allen has improved great to see him on the rise and the center position I believe that wont be an issue because Eugene Rush I believe will be under center and he has experience on jv and var and he has improved alot. Encinal will be great i see undefeated in league and I believe they can beat Serra Encinal will prove themselves again like they always do.

    JET PRIDE!

  • http://ibabuzz.com Bleachercoach

    c.sparks

  • http://aol Big Joe

    I don’t see sub par players in the North Bay area. Those teams are sending kids to college for football.
    The North Bay also had some pretty good track times this year at NCS. If you got players falling by the wayside because of grades, then parent(s) and coaches need to step in and help. Doesn’t mean anything who starts the party, it’s who is standing at the end.
    I saw a John Sweet player of great skill fall several years back, end of career period-couldn’t even get into a JC- no high school dipolma-was given every opportunity by staff- more interested in being a hoodie.

  • http://aol Big Joe

    wow- i checked out the Serra high school website for football, they seem pretty humble- talking about improving on a 6-6 team from last year? That team was strong until the end of WCAL play. Coach Walsh will have them ready-they always play DLS tough- hard to imagine them lossing to another pre-league team.
    They put lots in college ball also, with the grades.
    The QB from Oregon, now Miss. didn’t live up to his training though, poor example of a kid who had big opportunities.

  • http://aol Big Joe

    Have not heard much about SMCHS Berkeley so far- still smarting from a playoff loss to Justin Sienna with a 4th quarter lead. That’s another North Bay team.

  • http://aol Big Joe

    Cardinal Newman had 2 of the best NCS football players ever- Percy Grogans(Oregon) and Jerry Robinson(UCLA and pros). They have been producing for years.
    Montana’s older son couldn’t start there, transfered to DLS, couldn’t play there, and he’s back at Notre Dame the second time looking for serious playing time. I think the QB at Newman was Pond at that time.