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30Q-2-KICKOFF (No. 22): Who will rule the ACCAL?

It’s time to take a look at a league that could be poised for an uprising.

Can anybody end Berkeley’s three-year reign as Alameda Contra Costa Athletic League champions?

Berkeley has won at least a share of the ACCAL title for three straight years, which happen to be the three seasons the Yellowjackets were coached by Alonzo Carter. Berkeley shared the title with El Cerrito last year after a 13-10 upset by Pinole Valley in the regular season finale. That loss was Berkeley’s only ACCAL loss the past three years, as they compiled an 18-1-1 record and earned outright titles in 2007 and 2008.

Berkeley should still be good this year with QB Logan Murdock back for a third season on varsity and his second as the full-time starter. Michael Ned ran for over 700 yards last year as the backup to Rickey Galvin (now at Washington State) and will find some running room behind large left tackle Isaiah Henderson.

However, there is reason to believe some other teams are capable of contending. El Cerrito was a co-champion a year ago and while the Gauchos lost top receivers Andre Williams and Isaac Goins to graduation, quarterback Byron Thomas returns and linebacker/fullback Lyonel Louis is a force.

Alameda will be young up front as four of its five starters on the offensive line must be replaced. If they new guys can create some holes, talented senior RB Michael Cunningham should be able to add to his standout junior year when he rushed for over 1,413 yards. Tom Ruckman will enter his third year at quarterback for Alameda and is the other reason the Hornets feel like they can turn the corner this season.

Pinole Valley can never be counted out either. The Spartans won two straight titles in 2005-06 before Berkeley began its run and they will hope to get back to that dominance. LB Travis Feeney, who has committed to Arizona, will lead the defensive unit that will hope to shut things down for opposing offenses and give Pinole its chances to pull off some big wins.

De Anza, Hercules and Richmond combined to go 2-16 in ACCAL action last year and all three have strides to make before they can reach a contending stage.

It would appear that things should be a little more even in the league this year, especially within those top four teams. I’d say there’s a reasonable chance that you won’t see any team go undefeated in league play and possibly even two losses could earn a team a share of the title and there will likely be a lot of closes games decided in the fourth quarter.

Jimmy Durkin

I cover mostly San Jose State football for the San Jose Mercury News/Bay Area News Group, but also fill in from time to time with the 49ers, Warriors, A's and Giants.

  • billjohnson

    pinole valley gets it done this year.

  • hornetfan

    alameda with coach rochlin taken over the defense it will be the difference we need to put us over the top! berkeley has to come to the hornetsnest! p.v we beat them last year will do it again. as for el cerrito we kick there a$$ all summer n passin league will go on the road an pull out a tough one. island02 coach reynolds called a good game but i’m excited to see what new schemes rochlin brings. your there what can we expect?

  • MURDOC

    P.V.
    Berkeley
    E.C
    Hercules
    Alameda

  • http://ibabuzz.com island02

    Murdoc, please explain your rankings……

  • ManDown

    1. Berkeley or P.V.
    3. Alameda
    4. El Cerrito

    I am hearing good things from Pinole Valley with all the players they have coming back and Alameda with an All League QB and RB coming back for a big year. I know Alameda likes to throw the ball a lot but who will there target be this year? They lost the big WR and he was there biggest threat. I know Berkeley has good athletes coming back but I think losing Galvin is a big blow to that team. The QB isn’t that good and looks really skinny from what I saw and if Berkeley plans on making any kind of run in the playoffs or better yet beat P.V. then they will have to throw the ball. E.C. should be okay this year and all the players I seen from EC look really skinny but on the flip side they have great athletes so that might help them win some games.

  • BVAL Fan

    its almost the same outcome ever year in this league

  • EBfootball

    PV got the athletes! Steve Alameda’s probably lickin his chops with those boys.
    Berkeley will have some growing pains. New coach new system. Hired in May so their weight-lifting system is 5-6 months behind schedule (that could cost 5-10 lb’s of muscle).
    EC will be high flyin with that young QB and it’s always a toss up with them against Berkeley (rivalry game).
    Alameda’s only threat is they’re RB this year. They’ve gotten by with a go to WR but there’s not one there this year. And if Rochlin’s callin the D there’ll be a rookie coordinator callin shots instead of time-outs this year.
    The rest but I hope Richmond upsets somebody.

  • WARRIOR JACKET

    Berkeley wins this league hands down. I understand scrimmages and passing leagues don’t mean a whole bunch b4 the season is played, but I watched Berkeley dominate El Cerrito at the CCC contact camp and handily beat Alameda at the CCC passing league tournament. Berkeley is still loaded with good athletes and Sims has definitely opened up the play book. I cannot comment on Pinole but I will say that during last years lost the TE/DE, Jalen Rosales and FB/LB, Keir Abrams did not play in the game due to injuries. Both have been chomping at the bit to get back at PV. I know many of you are going to disagree with me, I just don’t see Berkeley losing in the league this year. Also, if Berkeley does not win the league they don’t get a play-off bid. The kids are just too hungry for that to happen.

  • WARRIOR JACKET

    EBfootball I don’t think there is a team in the league that is a strong as the Berkeley. The majority of the starting O line and D lines are Benching in the 300′s. Every power position player can work out with at least 225. During the coaching search parents and Assistant Coaches kept the off season workout program going. Trust me, Berkeley will be ready.

  • CHALKtalk

    y do people say dont put 2 much on passing leagues and scrims you play like you practice i bet you the same teams that did well in passing leagues and scrims dominate, ITS MENTAL CONDITIONING THAT MAKE YOU COMPETE

  • norcalfball

    not that scrimmages and passing mean nothing…but i think the point is don’t think because you beat someone in a passing league that means you would beat them come september…

    a lot of factors go into passing leagues…a lot of teams create offenses and defenses that work in passing leagues only, that you could never run during the regular season while others don’t. so some teams go win passing tournaments with fake offenses and defenses while others compete and get better with the one they will run come september. like running a prevent passing defense every down…that is great if your dline can control the run game all year everydown..i mean playing a 4-1 defense in passing league is not a defense you would run 1st and 10 come september vs a majority of the teams. and i have seen plenty of 4-1 man 2 free defense in passing…i have even seen DB’s playing the backer spots to give you better coverage…or backers that start at about 6-7 yards…good luck with all that…and then you got offenses that run little dink passes with their star RB with routes that you couldn’t even complete with a line in front of you because they got a mismatch on the MLB…you also got kids on vacation playing summer baseball, etc. so teams could be missing key players at some passing leagues. put the pads on things change..

    so yes while they help and if you are good in passing or in a scrimmage that should translate into a solid season, it doesn’t guarantee anything…so when someone says we kicked there butt in passing, so we will do it again come the fall…thats what means nothing. you can see the talent get a feel for things and get better..and yes a very good passing team will probably be good in september but doesn’t mean they will dominate.

    put it this way i guarantee DLS does not win every passing game they play in, yet they win every real game they play in. that is telling enough.

  • norcalfball

    its like putting too much stock into the nfl preseason for scrimmages…most good coaches run very very vanilla offenses and defenses to not show their hand while others go out and try to prove something by winning a scrimmage…some sit starters, some play backups more for evaluation purposes. can’t really get a fair guage in a scrimmage…you can get an idea, but not an all tell sign

    its not that you dont want to win these it is just some coaches put a greater emphasis on winning at all cost while other emphasize getting better at what they do which opens them up for some losses here or there.

    go watch the DLS scrimmage friday night…guarantee they don’t just walk all over everyone that night, yet in the regular season they probably will.

  • WARRIOR JACKET

    Chalktalk, I semi-agree with what you are saying. A team that is good wins no matter what the competition or situation is. However,sometimes srimmages and passing leagues are misleading. Playing in a scrimmage is like playing half a quarter. There is no special team play and the whistle blows on first contact. Teams can exert alot of energy because they only have to do it for a short peiod of time.

    Passing leagues lack the interior line components and there is no blocking allowed. So a team with a better passing game has the advantage over a team that primarily runs the ball.

    But sometimes you can just see based off of the athleticism, discipline and control a coach may have over a team that they are just better than their competion.

  • EBfootball

    @WARRIOR JACKET
    Bench press? That’s the problem. Unguided high school kids only work on that. What football action does that simulate? And if you say blocking, you don’t know jack. And I’ve seen Berkeley at a couple of the passing things. Yeah he openned up the playbook but he was showing them pictures of the routes in the huddle. A lot of routes to RB’s at the LOS. Not game like. Did anyone see them at a camp? How’d they do there?
    PS… I’m not a Berkeley hater, I would love nothing more than all 510 represenation in the NCS championship games. I think Berkeley has the potential to do that because of their numbers, comitment, and talent they get. But this ain’t the year. Not even for league. Maybe in 2 or 3.

  • CHALKtalk

    #12
    ill be there wide eyed and bushy tailed
    waiting on an opponent

  • WARRIOR JACKET

    Billjohnson, why do you think PV will when the league so easily? I for one have not seen PV participate in any contact camps or passing leagues. Do they or have participated in any? Just curious about your selection.

  • CHALKtalk

    look who ever thinks berkeley wont b good is tripping
    the mental preparation is all there you can tell by the swag and their time with the flow. the kids look like they trust each other and that means alot.

  • WARRIOR JACKET

    EBfootball, the bench press is not the only weightlifting exercise that was performed during off season workouts. I just used that exerciase as a ex. of monitoring some of the kids strength levels, since you questioned the teams strength training. And what makes you think the kids were not guided. Bench pressing is not an important football exercise? Wow, tell the the NFL and Major colleges that because every strength coach on both levels I’ve spoken to seems to think it is. Pushihg opponents back and an O linemen or D lineman extending his arms to assist in leverage sure sound like the same movement to me. You probaly can’t lift much and thats ok. I’m just saying!

  • WARRIOR JACKET

    Billjohnson. I meant “WIN”. LOL

  • fast and physical

    Power Cleans is needed by everyone, The Jackets will prevail, Games 2,3,4, are tough ones, could make or break season, and committee seedings. Need all Div.1 for preseason,but didnt workout. Rickey is no in Pullman, Ned is the truth, watch and enjoy.

  • EBfootball

    @WARRIOR JACKET
    Thanks for letting us know that you don’t know jack.

  • ManDown

    If anybody in that league has the winning formula against Berkeley it is Pinole Valley. This years PV team will be better than last years team and this years Berkeley’s team isn’t the same as they had last year with Galvin. Like like PV and EC chances against Berkeley this year. Bench Press is a very “OVER RATED” lift and most good colleges don’t really work on that lift.

  • CHALKtalk

    which colleges dont work on the bench fool
    last year berkeley was one dimentional with gavin
    this year thier a well rounded team so pick ur poison
    aug.28th ARROYO HIGH SCRIMAGE (berkeley mack miramonte, american, will be there go c what benching can do for u LOL u 2 can have a chest and maybe a heart behind the ch!!!est

  • ManDown

    Like I said most good colleges don’t work on the bench that much. It doesn’t relate to football like how you think. Most good weight lifting teams know that so what does that make you? What can berkely do now that other teams can’t? They lost one of the best players in the bay last year and he carried that team on his back.

  • CHALKtalk

    LIKE I SAID DONT BRING A KNIFE 2 A GUN FIGHT
    how in the hell do u get some one off u mister man down without the bench (U MUST TICKLE FEET OR SOMETHING)

  • ManDown

    Haha! CHALKtalk, you are one funny guy!

  • MURDOC

    Islando2, Well well well… P.V. and Berkeley for obvious reasons. Your concern is probably E.C. and Hercules.

    E.C., has about 5 guys who will run, jump, and catch footballs in the dark. Kahn, Davis, and Twin will have them boys ready especially on the offensive side this year. I cant imagine AHS running with these boys.

    Hercules, I got to see a lil bit. Im not extremeley impressed with everything that they do, however, this team has some fight in it. Expect them to upset at least 1 and maybe 2 teams this year. Lets just say they picked up some NEW talent.

  • http://ibabuzz.com billjohnson

    pinole will win got the size an athletes to stop b-high. zo was 1-1-1 against p.v so don’t b surprised wen they win. berkeley travels to el cerrito always a tough game. can’t see them finishing any better than 2-2 in non-league.

  • DAD

    ACCAL COMMENT, EVERYBODY’S TALKING ABOUT LOUIS FROM EC, AND FEENLY FROM PINOLE, THEY SEEM TO FORGET THAT BERKELEY WAS THE #1 DEFENSE IN THE EASTBAY LAST 2 YEARS. IT WASN’T ALL KEENAN COOGLER THEIR WERE A HOST OF SUPPORTING CAST MEMBERS AND ONE IN PARTICULAR. JACAI DENEVEU LB 44. HE WAS SECOND ON HIS TEAM IN TACKLES WITH 103. BEHIND KEENAN WAS INSTRUMENTAL IN SHUTTING DOWN EC,PINOLE,PITTS,FREEDOM.BUT NOBODY KNOW HIM HUN. WELL WATCH THIS YEAR AS HE TEARS UP ALL OF THE ACCAL TEAMS AND PROBABLY GET DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR BAR HATERS. JUST 5’10″ 200LBS. JACAI PACKS A PUNCH AND IS A SOLID TACKLER.HE AND LOUIS GOT MVP LBs AT CCC CAMP.YOU DON’T WANT TO KNOW HIM BECAUSE HE IS GOING TO BE YOUR WORST NIGHTMARE. AND COACHES TRY TO DOUBLE TEAM HIM IF YOU WANT,HE BENCH’S 315LBS. AND SQUAT 450LBS. COME AND GET.DAD

  • WARRIOR JACKET

    EBfootball, obviously benchpressing is not the only football related exercise performed in the weightroom. Cleans, squats, dead lifts , millitary press, shrugs, lunges amongst a whole host of others are also important. Come on man get a grip!

    Billjohnson lets not forget also the last three years PV has lost to Alameda and El Cerrito. I just don’t see what you see. Oh yeah, and Zo’s first year Berkeley was robbed of the winning score young Stas #15 caught in the corner of the end zone in the PV game. The refs were horrible that game.

    Mandown, the strength coach from the University of Texas thinks the bench is important. Is it the only thing? Of course not. Is running a fast forty time the only thing? No, but it sure helps out the athletic situation.

  • WARRIOR JACKET

    By the way EBfootball I do know JACK, I just don’t know where the heck you get your info from. Thats the real mystery.

  • renegades10

    don’t forget those core exercises, i’ve seen some big guys in pain working on those core muscles.

  • jacketfan

    happy new year guys,i see everyone is in mid season form. The thing about b-high is they don’t lose talent, they reload. the kids work their butts off during the coaching change, and they knew who ever the next coach was going to be, they new he was going how to be a good coach. Thanks have to go out to carter for providing leadership and organization to the b-high football program.The 2009 team was a lot more than ricky,the team had some great players on it that did not make the headlines but team effort made it possible for their success.Those seniors set the example on how to be a student first,and how to win!

  • ManDown

    The 2009 Berkeley team wouldn’t be good without Galvin running the ball and all you Berkeley fans know it. Without his talent who would you turn to? Come on keep it real guys Galvin got the ball 8 or 9 of 10 plays you guys ran on offense. But I do give props to the Defense. They were solid last year.

  • jacketfan

    mandown, I see you only followed them in the papers,and never came to a game.the total offense had to respected. Even though they appeared to only run the ball, passing game was installed but never used.
    only the staff from last year can answer that. That would have made a big difference,at the end. For those of us that watch their pratices,the number one defense could not stop them. As i said, only the offense coaches in 2009 can answer that question.

  • ManDown

    The total offense had to be respected? RIGHT… I saw that in both the losses you guys had last year. Pinole stacked the box you guys and what could you do? Nothing. You guys couldn’t complete a pass. Same thing with M.V. they had no respect for your passing game and just played hard to keep Galvin out the endzone.

  • http://Ibabuzz Island02

    That’s all I wanted to see Murdoc. Just wanted to see how you broke it down. Hercules with NEW talent ? That should be interesting to see. The accal should be interesting to watch this season. I don’t think a clear cut champion can be picked until we play some games. Don’t base your predictions on what you heard or thought you saw last season. Anyway it’s going to be a fun season.

    Go Hornets!

  • jacketfan

    mandown,as i indicated to you the only ones that can answer the question about that have moved on from 2009.
    I am impressed with what coached Sims is doing in 2010 by getting his total team ready to play. I don’t think we will ever know why the game plan for pinole and monte vista was never used, they knew everyone was going to stack the box to stop ricky. b-high had the talent to be a top passing team. With Sims who took what he had at saint liz. and was succuessful. we the fans of b-high football see a great future.

  • Fandango

    Berkeley’s 2009 passing game was stolen from the Oakland Dynamites’ playbook.

  • EBfootball

    @WARRIOR JACKET
    Looks like you did a little Internet research. Get back to watching your bicep curl contest.

  • DAD

    Stolen from the dynamites! Must be very few plays because berkeley had no passing game, not with a stable of rbs we didn’t have to pass. Yeah it would of helped us in the playoffs and against pv,but we still won the league and one playoff game.Carter was defensive guy , Sims is an offensive guy, watch for the passing game to be opened up.and with a always running game they can’t be stopped.

  • jacketfan

    fandango: the only connection to the dynamites at b-high was me. And i know every coach at the dynamites for the last 35years. those that are still there, and the ones that moved on to the higher levels. so if you want to talk about youth football.My son started with coach green on the jr. pee wees! He has gone on to the next level to play, i can asure you that after 35 years as a youth coach, high school coach, vice commissioner of youth football,and a parent of kids at the those levels you dont’ know what you are talking about. So please if you don’t know,be silent on that matter.

  • DAD

    Berkeley cougars ! We been stomping you since I played and I’m 43 now.Yall don’t have no passing game what are you talking bout. Don’t get me wrong thoe, dynamites have always created talent.Great players! But far as coaching and the collaspe of their program in recent years, . Never had and never will.So what you talking bout Berkeley’s passing game came from the Dynamite, WE DON’T HAVE A PASSING GAME! GOT GET! BUT NOW WE WILL WITH COACH SIMS.

  • DAD

    AND IF YOU WANT TO C BERKELEY’S CONTINUED DOMINANCE OVER OAKLAND TEAMS, COME WATCH US SMASH DOWN ON OAKLAND HIGH SEPT.3 2010

  • Disagree

    USC Does NOT use the Bench, CAL does NOT use the Bench, ASU does NOT use the Bench, UCLA, Does NOT use the becnh. Dont believe me? Email thier Strength coaches Chalk “fool” talk

  • DAD

    SPEED KILLS!POWER AND STRENGTH HURT!BERKELEY HAS BOTH. LET’S GET IT BHS! HATERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • CHALKtalk

    Disagree they must do plenty of pushups and thats cool smart guy thanks .(now i know y the pac 10 been getting smacked)
    Im sure they do some type of chest press exercise
    the argument was when do you use benching in football

  • shabawler

    Like the start of last year…awww SNAP here we go again…its De Ja Vu.
    Mark your calendars: 10-1-10 @ PV to see what’s WHAT.
    For a 2009 refresher:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1okpRjCyM-A

  • bhsfan

    wow this has heated up big time, first of all yes b high is going to will the accal, they bring back tons of talent from 09 and 2 major guys that didnt play pinole where juniors k abrams the fullback aka ricky galvins body guard and jalen rosales the te, 2 major important guys n a run game, oh yeah they are both bigger stronger and faster, at least 3 returning oline guys, qb logan murdoc is now a senior and will benefit from the move made by zo to move him up on varsity as a tenth grader, he gain so much experience due to playing in just about every game that year. i think its very important to have a good jv team cuz those will mostly b ur varsity guys the next season, with that said as i recall b high jv beat the brakes off every team in the accal, beat pinole with limited amount of plays due to kids that got moved up and some grade issues and injuries, they beat ec jv something like 63-0 and just about all major factors from that jv team is all on varsity and working hard to win league again, so unless b high has a major injury crisis they win the accal hands down.

    @all you smart guys child please what high school can u name that doesnt use bench press for wieght room workout most coaches ive talked to they use the bench press and incline,disagree are u sure that usc doesnt use the bench press, i thought the kid that hurt his neck was on the bench when he got hurt lmao, so if ur n high school and not bench pressing, i wonder what ur upper body strenth and how many games the school wins lmao. i believe that lower body strenth is more important the upper but both are so very much need and i think renegade said it working on ur core is another one thats needed

    @ dad i got much respect for the cougars but i played dynamites and never lost to them lol but the was a great rivalry many many battles, u know as well as i do how all these new teams effected both organizations, but yeah ur son is going to have a great senior year, his 3rd year starting LB.

    sims will do a good job of coach at b high, hes a proven winning coach oh yeah he played at cal wonder if he bench pressed their

  • brandonbeard

    Berkeley wins that ACCAL again this year. They are a very talented team with a very good coach!!!