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Chat with us on Prep Corner Live!

Ben Enos and I will kick off the season of chatting tomorrow at 4 p.m. with this season’s first edition of Prep Corner Live! Join us from 4-5 p.m. right here as we talk about this week’s kickoff of the football season and maybe give you a sneak preview of what to expect from this year’s preview edition, which will be release in Thursday’s newspaper editions.

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.

  • Bower

    That is a hell of a name for a chat! Prep Corner Live!

  • KillerD

    My take on some of the more intriguing non-league opening week match ups:

    El Cerrito vs. JFK-Richmond – This game will be on a neutral field at CCC in San Pablo. Expect a very good crowd as word circulates around the east bay that Kennedy is formidable once again. For anybody who’s anyone that knows their history of high school football in the NCS, IF, IF, IF Kennedy is back from the coma they’ve been in for the past few years, then Watch Out for the Eagles. The Gauchos of El Cerrito have been a puzzling bunch, blow out a few teams, win some close games and drop a key game they could have won, etc. Momentum is a wonderful thing if your team happens to be riding the wave on Big Mo’s shoulders. Look for JFK to make a HUGE statement and shock EC with a 4th quarter come from behind wind after realizing that Yes they can win this game and they will.

    Prediction: JFK 31 vs. EC 27

    Salesian at St. Patricks – The Chieftans disposed of the Bruins twice last year but rare is the coach or team that defeats Coach Blanton’s team thrice in a row. Nightengale has done a very good job of building up the Salesian gridiron club for 10 years but the battle in Vallejo this weekend will find his team smarting after giving up chunks of yards to the Bruin ground chuck attack. St. Patricks is supposed to have speed to burn and their RB Naij is the real deal. Salesian is down a bit and the Bruins are up.

    Prediction: St. Patricks 29 vs. Salesian 21

    Piedmont at Healdsburg – It seems the Highlanders head north annually for a non-league contest and their match vs. the Greyhounds might be more than they can chew and gulp down on the road. Piedmont is rumored to be in a rebuilding phase after losing all of their talent. Healdsburg came very close to defeating powerhouse Miramonte in the 2009 playoffs, and Miramonte then shut out Novato, proving Healdsburg the respectable foe. Look for the Greyhounds overall physical nature to be too much for the Highlanders attack. This game will be much closer than people think however.

    Prediction: Healdsburg 29 vs. Piedmont 24

    Pittsburg at Foothill – Vic Galli’s Pirates need this win and they will get it vs. the undermanned Falcons. Gone is wonder-QB Mannion on a full ride at Oregon State and his great throwing with him. Pitt’s size and speed will be too much for the Falcons especially on Defense. Pitt will vex the Falcons offense, gain field position and then drive the ball into the zone via the rush, and the play action pass to fleet-footed wideouts and scat backs. Sweeney is one of the bay area’s greatest all-time high school football coaches but people familiar with the EBAL say this is not Foothill’s year at all.

    Prediction: Pittsburg 32 vs. Foothill 17

    Analy at Miramonte – When Coach Wade is in charge of the Matadors that is always good news for them and terrible news for Miramonte opponents. Analy was a very good team last year and fairly young. But they will be on the wrong end of the sword this weekend in Orinda. The Mats have a galloping QB, a sinister defense and they will overwhelm the upstart Tigers of Analy with fierce defense and special teams.

    Prediction: Miramonte 38 vs. Analy 14

    Concord at Whitney – Bullet-zinging QB Lloyd of the Concord Minutemen will throw for 3,000 yards in just this game alone but will it be enough to defeat the Wildcats from Rocklin? Yes but barely. Whitney plays good football but they are not in the class of Del Oro and the like up there. The game will be deliberately sloooooooooooowwwwwed down by Whitney in an effort to keep QB Lloyd and Co. off the field for as long as possible. Problem is, once Lloyd takes the field it will be, zip, zap, zoom, TD, PAT about six times that night.

    Prediction: Concord 41 vs. Whitney 23

    De La Salle at Serra – The Spartans travel to San Mateo to visit the Padres, and will Serra coach Walsh get another lesson in how to do things even better than he already does by coach Lad? Hmm. Walsh has done a terrific job of “testing” DLS but losing the game…somehow. Those days are OVER and THIS is the year that Serra shocks the football world. DLS is a top 20 team in the nation entering this year but Serra is PO’d, Walsh has been game-planning for this contest since the day after last year’s football banquet. Two years ago Serra had DLS beat and they choked. But this year the Padres will give themselves the old Heimlich maneuver in the nick of time.

    Prediction UPSET: Serra 23 vs. DLS 22

    James Logan at Arroyo – Coach Barnes is looking for a landmark win for his newly rebuilt program. Arroyo is hosting a day game vs. the Colts and the Colts might be sleepwalking early in a dreary environment compared to what they are used to playing in under the lights. Arroyo will be full of vinegar and enthusiasm but it will not be enough. Even though Logan is down a bit their talent will be too much for the wiley Barnes and his staff to overcome with a few less athletes than the Colts. Arroyo is letting everybody know they are for real this year, but not yet, and they will have another 9 weeks to prove it.

    Prediction: Logan 30 vs. Arroyo 17

    Marin Catholic at St. Ignatius – New MC coach Mazi takes over for esteemed MC Coach Peralta who led his team to the State title game in 2009. Opening vs SI on the road is rough but MC might be up to the task. SI has been a hard team to gauge for a decade, up, down, up, up, down, down. Look for MC to get their defense up to snuff but SI and their passing attack will be the difference. SI takes this one after a physical tussle leaving both teams bruised.

    Prediction: SI 28 vs. MC 21

    Cal High at Washington – What a difference a year makes, right? Last season Washington got the W in the last few seconds vs. Cal. But this year will be different under the lights at Tak Fudena Stadium in Fremont. Cal’s Belicci is no longer a rookie coach, he has earned valuable experience, cleaned up and out his staff, added legendary former San Ramon coach Kravitz and opened up the offense a bit. This will be a wide open game, and Belicci will throw the ball more than the Huskies think.

    Prediction: Cal 29 vs. Washington 21

  • Lumberjack

    Great post KillerD. I see one point to correct with your post. Concord doesn’t go for PATs. Have Lloyd run another play and score a two pointer. Pull the ball in the best players hands every play.

  • Lumberjack

    Put the ball…..

  • ManDown

    KillerD you are smoking if you think Serra beats De La Salle this year. De La salle is LOADED and Serra lost their best players to graduation. Im expecting a blow out this year.

  • KillerD

    Mandown, we shall see, give your takes on the other games reviewed.

  • BVAL Fan

    and you say pittsburgs going to beat a ebal team… ebal teams no matter who they lost they always have a back up whos just as good or a little less then who they lost… this isnt the bval league where it takes into an effect in the experience.. for example monta vista lost brett nottingham.. i hear the the back up to him is almost as good as he was….And also i hear pittsburgs O-line is unexperienced and not very goood…

  • ManDown

    JFK and EC will be interesting because I think its a matter of what teams gets organized first. Both teams probably have attendance problems and wont be as good as they will be by week 4.
    Miramonte will win in a blow out, I see Marin beating SI. I think either Logan will blow out Arroyo or they just barley get past them either way Arroyo loses. I think Concord and Whitney will be close but Concord’s air attack might be a little too much for them. I like Pitt over fothill, Pitt’s QB is a STUD! And with all those athletes that have I think Foothill doesnt really have a chance. St Patricks will beat Salesian by 2 scores. St. Patricks RB is a good one and very underrated.

  • BVAL Fan

    i dont understand where you guys are coming from with the Pitt and Foothill game… if you through the stat book at it.. a Bval hasnt beat a Ebal team in like two years the only one i can think of is Freedom Vs Amador… Yes i agree that pitt has athletes but year after year they show to be not disiplined and mess up alot… For example last year Freedom was beating Pittsburg in the Third Quater. The thing that you guys dont get is, EBAL teams are loaded every year with experience foothill might not be as loaded as last year but definitely not going to be a easy win.. You guys need to pay attention more To both the Difference Between Ebal teams and Bval teams… Because this definatly is not going to be a blow out…

  • renegades10

    MV has had a string a of good qb’s. Lockie is not as good as Nottingham. However, Foothill’s two prospects for the starting qb spot are not anywhere close to being as good as Mannion. One of them is around 5″7 or 5″8 if I remember correctly. And neither of them have Mannion’s ability to get the ball downfield. So no there is not another Mannion for Foothill this year. That being said Pitt has a stud qb, to go along with a solid rb and wr, but from what I heard Pitt had the most issues this last weekend at the jamboree. And Sweeney is one of the top coaches in the East Bay, so I wouldn’t be surprised either way, but this is a game Pitt should win and needs to if they want to be considered a top contender this year.

    KillerD while I obviously hope your prediction does not come true, I must admit as a DLS fan that even though this year’s team is incredibly talented, your prediction has some merit based on how poorly DLS has started the last few years. I don’t think another close game is out of the question, but of course I hope you’re wrong and DLS stomps em.