Holiday Classic slated for Dec. 26

I just spoke to Matt Williams, the organizer for the Holiday Classic All-Star Football game that will pit the stars of the East Bay against the Sacramento area stars. You may remember last year’s game ended in a 13-13 tie after two overtimes and included a 57-yard field goal by Foothill’s James Langford. Well, the game is back on for this year and scheduled for the same date of December 26, which falls on a Sunday this year.

It again will be played at Grant High in Sacramento. The game received a good response last year and there were considerations of moving it to the East Bay, but the organizers want to establish it a little more before they begin rotating the location. It’s been at Grant for four years now (the first three years it was the Sacramento area vs. Stockton-Modesto-Merced area) and so they’ll give it at least one more year to become more well known and then hope to bring it to the East Bay on an alternating basis.

Williams is dedicated to making sure they get all the best and deserving players on the East Bay squad and so he’s asked me to open up the discusion to the Prep Corner readers on who should make the team. Ultimately, the opinions and nominations of coaches will play a significant role, but Williams wants to make sure every deserving player is consider so please feel free to comment on this thread with your suggestions. He’ll be sure to keep an eye on any name you give him and he’ll also answer any questions you may have about the game.

Here is a by position breakdown of how many players they need on the team:

QB — 2
RB/FB — 3
WR — 5
Center — 2
G/T — 8
DE — 4
DL — 6
LB — 8
DB — 6

Jimmy Durkin

Jimmy Durkin is a sports writer for the Bay Area News Group.

  • BVAL Expert

    Bart Houston is a good player but… he plays on a run first offense..

  • Arex

    I would hope anyone who is 6’4″ 280 is getting pancakes consistently. From what I’ve seen though his technique isn’t the best.

    The DLS line (both O and D) is going to be the biggest challenge the Cal line has faced all year. They are strong, fast, and explosive. There is a reason that DLS has been able to play with smaller players on their lines in the past. Their technique is superb and they are able to utilize any players weakness to their advantage.

    This is coming from a Cal football alumni who has played against them and gotten his ass handed to him. The DLS line will be 2 to 3 times better than any line Cal will face all year, even in the playoffs.

    I’ll be there at the game on Nov. 12th cheering on the Grizzlies, but the Cal line will have to mentally prepare themselves for a cage fight if they expect to win.


    OT- Morrow, OLB/RB- Allen, FS/RB- Okamura, DE/DL- Whitehead. Encinal

  • MZ piggy

    wheres the love? Sounds like you are CAL alum from all the years CAL was weak LOOK AT THE STATS, RESULTS and RECORD – then make comments. CAL has many players that are top of the class
    Then you state the obvious… DLS will be the biggest challenge for CAL and the lines… DLS is a challenge to the nations best.

    if you are such a CAL loyalist read the stats, come to the next few games and get a real picture of this team
    then you can call yourself a CAL fan

  • Prep Fan

    Cal only faced DLS once prior to the NCS title game at the Coliseum in 2007 (in 1982 or so), so Arex must be a recent grad. While he is stating the obvious, he has a point and experienced the whooping in 2007 first hand, as they only lost 21-14 the next season. I think this year’s team is superior to the 2007 team that Arex may have played on. That team only scored 35 points twice, while that is this current team’s lowest score so far after 7 games. That was the best Cal team ever to that point in time and the only team to ever hang a banner, but this year’s team has dominated every game so far, not just won them. There is a lot more football to be played before annointing this team the best Cal team ever, but they have looked pretty darn impressive to date.

  • Arex

    Haha. Prep Fan is correct.

    I still stand by what I say though, the Cal line this year relies a lot on there size. But that’s something you cannot do against DLS. Cal’s team is definitely a better team than 2007. But if they don’t beat DLS either time, they will not be the “best” team.

    And about my loyalty. I guarantee I’ve bled orange and black far harder than you can ever dream of bleeding.

    As far as the holiday classic, I’d say Alvarez would be a good pick as well.

  • epcthree

    Actually, PrepFan is just a little bit off. CHS played DLS twice prior to the NCS Championship game in 2007. Back in 1978, winning 20-6 and 1979 (Coach Lad’s first season) winning 3-0 on a last second field goal. Coach Lad still considers this one of the most disappointing losses of his career. DLS was 2-0 heading into this game, and suffered 8 turnovers.

    As for this years CHS team being better than the 2007 squad, that’s certainly up for debate. The 2007 squad was better on defense than they were on offense. They lost 10-9 to San Ramon that year on a missed extra point. But don’t forget, their line was pretty good sized as well. While they may not have had a 280 pounder, several of those kids were 240+.

    If I had to make a choice, I would say this year’s squad is better than the team in 2007. They throw the ball far more effectively (in reading all the commentary about EBAL QB’s above, Drew Reil’s name is inexplicably absent – in my mind he is the EBAL’s top QB this season, by more than just a little bit – 17 TD’s / 2 Int’s). They run the ball as well as they did in 2007, if not better. On defense this year’s squad has kept three teams out of the end zone in games. That said the defense of the 2007 squad was excellent. It might be a toss up on that side of the ball, but I would still side with this year’s squad there as well.

    One of the important factors is that Coach Billeci comes from the DLS system. He knows it and understands it. If you watch this year’s CHS O-Line, they use the rolling start that has been a signature DLS trait. Coach B is far less emotional than Coach Sanchez was. I think in big games, emotional coaches can be a help but they can also be a detriment. To me, the 2007 Championship game was a prime example of this. Instead of coming out with an idea of establishing their game, Coach Sanchez gambled with a trick play that resulted in a DLS TD on the first play of the game. It was a foolish and I think unnecessary attempt and it broke the spirit of that CHS squad almost immediately. I just don’t see something like that heppening with this year’s team.

    Am I saying that CHS is going to beat DLS this year? My feeling there is that DLS is the best team until someone beats them. I happen to believe that CHS has a chance to do that and that’s not something I would have said for many years when talking about another East Bay squad. Will CHS beat DLS? If those kids believe they can… they have a shot.

  • outsider

    I agree that Drew Reil is doing a heck of a job at Cal. Lockie is one yard better on total yards but if you look at the pass percentage, Reil is way ahead. He is so new to the scene that no one knows about him. He did not have a stellar junior year to lead into this year. He might not be as good an athlete as others or have as much pure quarterback sense but he is deadly on timing routes, has a good enough arm to get pretty far down field and seems to be able to follow two or three options and get the ball to the open receiver.

  • norcalfball

    i agree alvarez should be in the discussion at RB..along with stover, waters, and dunne though is going to be very tough call..and then of course atkinson twins if they play, my IMO they should both go to the secondary, both are better defensive players than offensive players anyways. and they should both start easily in the secondary.

    i definately think 1 or 2 Cal lineamn shold be on the team however along with 1 or 2 DLS lineman…

    qb’s – lloyd if he plays obviously…then probably singh and reil for the last 2 spots…considering the competition faced by both qb’s they have played the best after lloyd.

    TE’s – dont know of any stellar TE’s this year so someone can fill me in on any they know of…maybe one of the bigger WR’s could fill this position.

    wr’s – starnes, carter, mcgovern, rowand (then shapiro, jennnings, butler, young, king) for final 2 spots i would think, need 6 wr’s to run the spread

  • #1 Prep Football Fan

    Let me take a stab at this…


    I only can go by players I’ve seen play, not stats and these kids can play. Never seen Singh, T. Young is a junior, I do like Shapiro.

  • bulldog forever

    All of the wide receivers that have been mentioned are very good players. Trevor Davis from Alhambra should considered too, but he just doesn’t get the amount of passes thrown to him like those other guys do.

    He’s not bad at returning punts, either. Of the first 5 punts he fielded this year, he returned 3 of them for touchdowns (2 were called back).

    At least the colleges are recognizing him. He has a full-ride written scholarship offer to a DI university (who flew him out there last week), and there’s another University flying him to visit their campus in two weeks.

    Grant Hill of YV is another WR that I like. Has he gotten any offers yet? You would think that he would be a slam-dunk for a scholarship.

    Where is McGovern of Monte Vista going to college next year?

    I think that he and Davis should both be considered for the Holiday Classic this year.

  • outsider

    Trevor Taft from Cal is developing into a good TE. Big, fast and strong with good hands.

  • Prep Fan

    Trevor Taft of Cal is a stud on both sides of the ball and is one of the unsung heroes of this year’s Cal team.

  • Prep Fan

    Wow, great minds think alike 🙂

  • kkop

    What about Matt Butler of Northgate?

    He is killing it this year. Top 5 in receiving, rushing and scoring in DVAL. (check the Dval stats)

    His yards per carry and reception are insane and he has a bunch of touchdowns. He is also tearing it up on defense. Don’t know how many int’s he has, but I know he picked off a pass at the end of the game a few weeks ago to seal the victory. He would be a stud in any league around. Surprised nobody mentions him. He should be on that team.

  • kkop

    i see that Norcalfball had a change of heart @48 from his original post @5. Good to see someone else recognize Butler.

  • norcalfball

    there is your TE then…a good call…

  • Wynn, Reanauld and Dunn should make it, however their respective colleges might not allow it.

  • kkop

    What about Matt Butler of Northgate?

    He is killing it this year. Top 5 in receiving, rushing and scoring in DVAL. (check the Dval stats)

    His yards per carry and reception are insane and he has a bunch of touchdowns. He is also tearing it up on defense. Don’t know how many int’s he has, but I know he picked off a pass at the end of the game a few weeks ago to seal the victory. He would be a stud in any league around. Surprised nobody mentions him. He should be on that team.

    —-I see that Norcalfball had a change of heart @48 from his original post @5. Good to see someone else recognize Butler.

  • FBallFan

    Interesting how the lineman always get low billing in these documents yet they are the key to a strong offense. Two of Cal Highs lineman were in the top 25 at the Oakland SPARQ event this last summer and went to Los Angeles for the West ultimate SPARQ camp (Garwood and Pearson). Pearson also went to the nations Ultimate Camp in Oklahoma this last year. Those that doubt the lineman really dont know what they are talking about. I dont think you make these camps without technique, skill and a strong desire to run over people. Glad xx above is out there to allow others to see how silly people are today, xx can say alot but it is clear he doesnt know what he is talking about.
    Lastly, the current senior team beat the DLS JV team handily two years ago behind the strength of the line.

  • ebalfan22

    No one has mentioned DL yet. I think Benjamin Teichman (San Ramon) and Tanner Clark (Granada) should be included. After Friday’s game Clark has 60 tackles and 4 sacks and Teichman had 53 tackles and 2.5 sacks before Friday’s game (dont know his stats from the last game). DLS isnt the only team with good DL!

  • matty

    Phone calls start tonight to let the players know they have been selected. If all goes as planned we will have the entire team called and confirmed this week.

  • ArmstrongJets

    Jonathan Allen and Paul Okamura from Encinal Jets.

    #32 J. Allen – 71 Carries, 862 yards 12.14 per carry
    #23 P. Okamura – 34 Carries 547 yards 16.09 per carry

    With the average of 10-15 carries a game, these two running backs should be included. I see the 1000+ yards but they have in some cases 140-145 carries. Consider the yards per carry as you look at the candidates.

    Here an example of the latest stats for the EBAL (not to pick on them but just an example that was updated today.

    Rushing (by yards)

    Player G Rush Yards Avg.
    Lucas Dunne, De La Salle 9 140 1,309 9.3
    George Atkinson III, Granada 9 111 1,066 9.6
    Michael Sullas, Monte Vista 7 145 985 6.8
    Kyle Alvarez, California 9 100 864 8.6
    Damariay Drew, Livermore 9 87 750 8.6

  • Prep Fan

    Also please consider the defenses these teams have been up against (not to pick on the Jets, but just an example since teams’ schedules differ substantially).

  • sideliner

    Does anyone ever look across the bay.Ive seen all these teams and players and nobody mentions 4 guys from SPSV.RB Patrick 19 tds,1200yds must avg 13 or better per carry.Souza QB(21) 13 throwing,8 rushing 1800 combined yds,Herndon REC 9tds 15 yds or so per catch and the 320lb lineman,Delgado who pancakes everyone!
    These guys could play with any of these teams.
    Only loss to a good Encinal team and I know SPSV was without some key players in that game.

  • How about Justin-Siena- 1-8, program falling fast this year. Suggestion going to NCS commisioners- drop down to a league with Calistoga, St. Henela, Potter Valley and Willits. They could re-group and build back up to a Div 4 power in a couple of years. Nothing wrong with being humble and admit fall from grace.

  • Justin should be in a league with Berean Christian, Valley Christian – Dublin, St. Liz, CSD. Wilson Academy, and Rincon Christian. All these schools can play some comp football and Justin could get back on the good foot- like JB says.

  • ManO’War

    Can we buy tickets yet to the Holiday game? (Website?) Juniors (like D. Drew) not eligible. Any news yet on players selected/confirmed? Game was great last year; certainly as more news on it goes out it will be a good look-see for the college coaches (can they attend at that time?) also. Best game in town anyway (whichever town).

  • renegades10

    Prepfan, I know your last post on this thread was a bit dated, but to back up your point about Encinal’s good rushing stats vs poorer defenses and how it compares to the EBAL rushing stats, we can look at the stats of DLS and Encinal rb’s vs Serra.

    Okamura: 2-10, 5.0 YPC
    Trodder: 7-51, 7.3 YPC
    Allen: 13-81, 6.2 YPC

    Dunne: 10-171, 17.1 YPC
    Te’o: 10-75, 7.5 YPC
    DeMattei: 8-41, 5.1 YPC

  • MV Alum

    Sullas had 110 and another 57 called back on penalties 18 carries total 15 actual

  • matty

    I am setting up a site where one can buy tickets online. This way you dont have to wait in line when you get to Grant High.

    If anyone is interested you can check out last years highlites at http://www.wannaplaycollegesports.com

    Both teams are loaded again! I hope to make the roster announcement soon. it always takes longer than anticipated.

    I will say this if you like wide open offenses. Concord’s LLoyd and Folsom’s Grave are committed. You all know about lloyd but Folsoms Graves stats 53 TD passes, only 3 INT’s, and 16 rushing TD’s for the year. He will move into 3rd place on the alltime Ca. passings TD’s with one more. He has over 100 td’s in just 2 years. He was a wr his soph year.
    Check out last years highlites at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eiBhmb3HzdM

    You will have to go to youtube.com and paste this link. Or go to youtube and type in Dano graves.

    The other QB’s are just as exciting!