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30Q-2-KICKOFF (No. 25): Valley life

By Ben Enos
Friday, August 27th, 2010 at 10:00 am in 30 Questions to Kickoff, East Bay Football.

Today, another league gets the spotlight.

De La Salle again enters as the favorite to win the EBAL. What will the other teams have in store for the Spartans?

So, we’ve covered De La Salle, and today’s post will focus mostly on the rest of the league. In thinking about the EBAL this year, I’m coming up with a lot of questions rather than answers.

Let’s start in Danville with Monte Vista and San Ramon Valley. The Mustangs have a heckuva receiver corps (Bryce McGovern and Dane Turner, to name two), and I think Mike Sullas is a tad underrated. The question comes from who will throw the rock, and the candidates are last year’s backup, Jeff Lockie, and a transfer from Sacred Heart Cathedral, Seamus Finnegan. I think we can figure the Mustangs to be good once again (but don’t sleep on whoever has to replace Dave Wilkerson at LB… he’ll be missed).

San Ramon Valley is a tough one to figure. The Wolves have talent, maybe best exemplified by their junior QB, Zach Kline. And, they’ve got a pair of standout two-way players in Kyle Egan and Ben Teichman. My questions is just how good will the defense be? Nine returning starters mean I think it’ll be pretty good.

Moving to Pleasanton, the search is on at both Amador Valley and Foothill to replace outstanding quarterbacks. At Amador, the task falls to Pat Gibbons to replace the dual-threat ability of Kean Stancil. Gibbons is a good athlete, but stepping into Stancil’s shoes won’t be easy.

As for Foothill, the search is still on to replace Sean Mannion. And, there’s been some coaching turnover with assistant John Mannion taking a job in Oregon and Greg Haubner now the new coach at Livermore. Whoever takes over at QB will have a heckuva safety blanket in Cameron Rowland, who is one of the region’s top returning receivers.

Cal High seems poised for a solid season, with former SRV coach Dave Kravitz in the fold as an assistant. The Grizzlies will have a new QB, but I really think RB Kyle Alvarez is going to have a big season in their run-heavy offense. Once they installed him as the starter last year, he took off. The question, mainly, is will they throw effectively enough to prevent teams from stacking the box?

Finally, let’s look at the Livermore schools. At Granada, the Atkinson brothers return for their senior seasons and hopes have to be high on Wall St. The question will be who can complement George and Josh on offense. If they can get some help, the Mats could surprise.

Finally, Haubner is in year one at Livermore and I’ve heard from several people that it was a fantastic hire by the Livermore administration. I also hear that they’ll be running an option offense this year, so I’ll be curious to see how teams game plan for that.

All in all, I think you can expect the EBAL to be what it always is — tough. I think we can start with Monte Vista as the expected challenger to De La Salle’s throne, but I think we should be prepared for the unexpected this year.

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  • outsider

    Welcome back EBAL fans. I am glad to see Livermore making some changes to try and bring them into parity with the rest of the league. It will only help to keep EBAL the strongest league in the NCS.

  • EBALFAN#2

    A lot of noise about the WCAL being a strong league this year. I know that San Ramon is playing Mitty, are there any other EBAL-WCAL games this year? The EBAL teams should start playing up and there is good competition right here in the Bay Area.

  • MV Alum

    MV starts with Serra then Pitt and Hayward good out of league schedule I agree wth Ben the position players are going to be good It is all about the QB right now. Obviously it is Dela then everyone else I think u have MV, SRV, Cal then the rest just don’t know about Foothill or AV since they lost alot, Granda can be good but they are another toss up I think Livermore will need a year under the new coach.

  • renegades10

    Both DLS and MV play Serra, and as mentioned SRV plays Mitty. That’s it this year for EBAL-WCAL matchups. From what I have heard this is the last year of the DLS-Serra matchup at least for the time being so you know the Pads are really going to want to get after it especially after the last two close games. Yes MV has a solid schedule this year, think they should handle Hayward, but the other two games will really tell us what they have this year. And the SRV-Mitty game will also tell us how SRV’s young guns look going into the season. I change my mind on a few spots every day but if I had to predict it right now I would go with

    1. DLS
    2. SRV
    3. MV
    4. Cal
    5. Foothill
    6. Granada
    7. AV
    8. Livermore

    Feel that when SRV-MV meet up at the end of the year SRV’s young guns will have gotten all the experience they need to matchup with the Mustangs whereas earlier in the season I would take MV hands down. But those two keep changing in my mind every day, along with Foothill and Granada. I also think that Livermore may beat AV this year, but am not confident enough in it to put the Cowboys ahead of the Dons just yet. Will wait to see how the season starts off. But tonight I’m just excited for the Grant-Folsom game.

  • KillerD

    1. De La Salle

    2. San Ramon Valley

    3. Monte Vista

    4. Granada

    5. Cal High

    6. Foothill

    7. Amador

    8. Livermore

  • Mike

    I like what I see SRV hopes to start off the EBAL/WCAL streak..on a win..

  • big easy

    1. De La Salle
    2. Monte Vista
    3. San Ramon
    4. Cal
    5. Foothill
    6. Granada
    7. Amador
    8. Livermore

    I expect de la to run the table but they should have two close games in mv and srv. The spot for second will be decided at the last game of the season between mv and srv. Cal always has a strong running game and good athletes and could be a suprise team. With foothill replacing mannion it will be tough for them to compete. Just like amador who loses one of their best senior classes in years. Granda i think is overrated. they do have the atkinsons but what they lack is size. Livermore as always will be a bottom feeder. Overall i would expect for 5 teams from ebal to make ncs. With a record of 2-1 aganist the wcal teams in the preseason

  • MV Alum

    I think you have to put MV ahead of SRV for the fact that they have 7 returning starters on both the O and the D again the QB is the sticking point but they crushed SRV last year and if you are going to go by experience then both teams will get better as the year goes along (Lockie especailly if he starts) so I see it this way…

    1.DLS
    2.MV
    3.SRV
    4.Cal
    5.Granada
    6.Foothill
    7.AV
    8.Livermore

  • Donut

    yeah MV , SRV has the better QB now. hahaha

  • Donut

    last year doesn’t mean anything once this season starts. Foothill smoked you guys at home on ESPN and you’re looking to avenge now without Mannion?

  • KillerD

    I shall stick to my EBAL final standings……..

  • MV Alum

    Donut Kline hasn’t done anything yet and Foothill did not smoke anyone 41-37 last minute TD (oh wait 42-7 MV over SRV that is getting smoked) I am pointing out that MV like SRV has a lot of starters coming back so for now I have them ahead of SRV…

    Killer D I respect your opinion I just disagree…

  • BVAL Fan

    Agreed that Amador wont be as good… i see them losing to freedom

  • monarch86

    That Sullas kid is underrated and from what I saw at last night’s jamboree there are lots of questions for Pitt and Logan. On the other hand the Cal O line looked impressive and Dela was Dela but they were up against a lot of 2′s…

  • bigeasy

    De La is clearly the favorite. MV and SRV are the only two teams that i can see challengeing for the ebal title. The key for MV will be Lockie, while SRV’s season will be dependant on if and how fast their young guys can devolep. I also believe that granada will disapoint this season. Even with the atkinsons they still have a major lack of size.

  • Donut

    MV is gonna lose to Cal High Again. that is getting smoked.

  • bigeasy

    Donut may I ask what you mean by lose to cal again. Considering since 2001 Cal has beat MV once in 2007. I think it is is clear that MV had Cal’s number and I expect it to be the same again this year. Also how is that getting smoked when MV lost it was 19-13 not much of a blowout if you ask me. Especially when you compare it to the 45-24 33-0 34-20 and 41-10 blowouts MV has laid on Cal in 4 of the last 5 victories. With the exception of the 08 game all of MV’s victories have been blowouts. That is what I call getting smoked.

  • Donut

    Crystal Ball.

  • bigeasy

    You still fail to clarify the again part of your prediction

  • brandonbeard

    Hard to say for me, but DLS is still the favorite and will win itr all again.

  • Prep Fan

    The last 3 Cal-MV games have been good close games. There is every reason to believe the game will be close again this season, especially with Cal playing them at home. MV beat Cal 24-21 in 2008, while Cal got the ball to midfield in the last minute but couldn’t pull it off. Cal beat MV in 2007 19-13.

    Last season, they were tied going into the 4th quarter, when a questionable call on a 3rd down tackle near the sideline resulted in an MV 1st down via penalty. Without that call, they punt to Cal and it is still tied. Instead they went on to score and Cal got desperate late to try to tie it up and gave up a couple of late TDs. Sure 45-24 looks like a blowout, but everyone who was at that game knows it was much closer than the final score indicated. Plus, Cal’s JV team beat MV last season.

  • MV Alum

    Prep fan we know that the games have been close it is just Donut is such a hater that Bigeasy was looking for some clarification. Every game in the League is going to be tough that is why it is the EBAL and you have to be ready to go every night I personally am looking forward to alot of good games this year…

  • outsider

    The Cal vs MV games have been close, and I think that is why the rivalry is so good. That and Cal vs SRV, and MV vs SRV. Also if I remember correctly, one of those last two touchdowns scored by MV was allowed by the Cal secondary starting to pull up after the MV quarterback stepped over the line of scrimmage and still threw a pass. It was not seen by the ref.

  • outsider

    The Cal High vs Washington game is Saturday, Sept. 4 at 7:00, not Friday. Tak Fudenna Stadium.

  • Prep Fan

    Looking for some clarification? He was making stuff up to make it sound much worse than it actually was. And yes Outsider, that over the line of scrimmage pass was just that. Not just a step over, but 4 or 5 yards over the line. Everyone saw it except the ref that was supposed to be watching for it. If I remember corretly, that was also a 3rd down gift that would have otherwise resulted in a punt. I have to give MV credit, as their defense did shut down Cal in the 4th quarter and they won the game by 3 TDs, but it was a much closer game than the final score indicated. And the prior two games were less than a TD apart and were split by the 2 squads.

  • MV Alum

    Prep not asking u for clarification you explained yourself and your opinion admirably like I said the games were good but Donut just makes statements with no backup also Nottingham was over the LOS but not 4-5 yrds he was definitely a step over probably a yrd and it cost Cal but MV did step up on D. Like before it is going to be a great season can’t wait

  • outsider

    Cal gave a lot of stuff away last year. Team was actually pretty talented, but with a new coach there were a lot of issues to overcome. The Washington and Del Oro games at the beginning of the season were both close and could have gone either way. The league games against Monte Vista and Amador Valley were also close, but the Grizzlies folded in the fouth quarter partially due to the above mentioned penalties and some, in my opinion, questionable play calling by the coach. I think their actual ability was shown during the Foothill game when they pretty much ran over a good team. Can’t tell about this season yet. The Grizzlies did pretty well at the Pittsburg scrimmage but had some trouble against De la Salle. I thought that Logan looked pretty good also. If Pittsburg plays like they did in the scrimmage I do not think they will do very well this season.

  • Prep Fan

    It’s all good MV Alum. I know you weren’t asking me for clarification, and that BigEasy was responding to Donut, but I just wanted to get the facts straight. Even if we have diferences of opinion regarding whether Nottingham was 1 or 4 yards over the line (ok maybe 2 :) ), the final scores are facts. He didn’t even mention the 24-21 game from 2008, which was a fantastic close game. Aside from DLS, there should be some great games in the EBAL this season and maybe MV, SRV, Cal or Foothill can put a complete game together and give DLS a run for their money. I’m looking forward to an exciting season.

  • Bigeasy

    Prep Fan nothing I said was made up. I gave the scores of 5 of the last 6 games only leaving out the 08 game because it was the on exception to the point i was trying to make. I do not diagree that the game last year was closer then the score says(I was there) but in the end the score is what matters. Of course Cal will have a better chance seeing that the game is at home but as history has shown us they have not been very succesful regardless.

  • ManO’War

    EBAL is tough league, but it is hard to match the well-run DLS talent. Should be more parity this year for the other teams, unless one can hang with DLS. Coach Haubner is a find for Livermore, one question is whether he has attracted the athletes for his squad that were not playing football. He was a master at pulling and putting together what talent he had for efficient use of resources before. If he has some horses he might be able to surprise someone, but even closer games this year will bring excitement to that program, always good in the feeder youth leagues incidentally. Granada lost its steam when their leader QB went down last year – can they regain past upward momentum? SRV, MV, Cal, Foothill, AV all question marks really BUT with plenty of returning experience.

  • donut

    nobody runs through league like SRV im tellin you Cal MV fans are gonna feel it this year

    call me a hater but last few years MV only has beaten SRV twice, they’ve gotten smoked 2-4 times including playoffs when it matters.

    Cal High has a new winning streak cuz they steal everybody else’s coaches. trying to make a program look good is fine, but feeling high and mighty about close games you need to get it down in the post season. Losing streaks are made to be broken, SRV going 6-4 last 2 years they’ve made significant ground in NCS all I can say is where is your Cal High repeat run to NCS finals? the Pittsburg train isnt nice SRV ran into it too but MV you guys cant even get past SRV lol so why get upset only when you can’t beat DLS that’s when its frustrating..

  • outsider

    Donut. Find out the facts why Kravitz left SRV. I guarantee you that he was not “stolen”.

  • bigeasy

    “nobody runs through the league like SRV” #31 by donut

    Actually i think the proper saying would go “nobody runs through the league like DLS”

  • monarch86

    Losing Tony hurt Cal’s Seniors last year but this crop is on board with Eric B. and they are stronger than they have ever been the SRV game will be telling since these guys have been competing against each other since Scout’s – Watch out for Cal’s earthmovers