NCS realignment: CV back to Bay Shore?

Here’s my story Ben Enos and I just finished writing for tomorrow’s paper about today’s NCS realignment meeting. Scroll to the bottom for analysis.

Castro Valley High may remain in the North Coast Section’s Bay Shore Conference after all, perhaps as part of a new configuration of 12-team super leagues.

The NCS Alignment and Classification committee met Monday at Redwood High in Larkspur and forwarded a recommendation that would align the Bay Shore Conference into one eight-team league and two 12-team leagues, one of which would include Castro Valley. That recommendation will be voted on at the NCS Board of Managers meeting on April 18, along with a proposal the Bay Shore Conference originally drafted in October.

Castro Valley applied for and was granted a switch from the Bay Shore to the Valley Conference a year ago in an effort to better satisfy its competitive needs. But the new Bay Shore Conference proposal sparked the interest of Castro Valley enough that it would like to remain the in Bay Shore Conference.

“What they’re discussing now is exactly what we wanted,” Castro Valley athletic director Andy Popper said of a proposal generated from a recent meeting of Bay Shore Conference schools and presented Monday by NCS commissioner Gil Lemmon and HAAL commissioner Dave Kiesel.

Popper said Castro Valley made calls over a year ago to gauge interest in a setup involving large leagues divided into divisions and there was no support for such a configuration, which led to the school’s intended move to the Valley Conference. He said they would’ve never made the move to the Valley if such a proposal was on the table.

The proposal would keep the current Mission Valley Athletic League in tact and add Moreau Catholic. The two new unnamed 12-team leagues would be divided into six-team divisions based on competitive equity. Each division would likley receive an automatic berth to NCS playoffs and its possible the schools in each division could vary by sport.

One league would consist of Alameda, Arroyo, Berkeley, Bishop O’Dowd, Castro Valley, Encinal, Hayward, Mt. Eden, Piedmont, San Leandro, San Lorenzo and Tennyson.

The other would include Albany, De Anza, El Cerrito, Hercules, John Swett, Kennedy-Richmond, Pinole Valley, Richmond, St. Joseph Notre Dame, St. Mary’s, St. Patrick-St. Vincent and Salesian.

The proposal requires Castro Valley to be re-admitted to the Bay Shore Conference, something that requires a vote of both the Bay Shore and Valley Conferences. Lemmon said he’s going to begin the process of organizing that vote.

The alignment committee also forwarded a proposal for the Valley Conference that would maintain status quo. That proposal is based on Castro Valley returning to the Bay Shore Conference.

That will go forward to the NCS Board of Managers along with the Valley Conference’s original proposal from October that placed Castro Valley in the East Bay Athletic League.

Much of Monday’s meeting with the Valley Conference centered on Livermore. At previous realignment meetings, Livermore principal Darrell Avilla spoke in support of finding a better competitive match for the Cowboys than the EBAL.

On Monday, athletic director Rex Anderson said Livermore would support the creation of a 12-team EBAL that would be split into divisions based on competitive equity. If that wasn’t an option, Anderson said the Cowboys would rather stay with the status quo than join the Diablo Foothill Athletic League, citing a potential increase in travel time and loss of class time.



Jimmy: I think overall the proposal going forward for the Bay Shore Conference is a good one. Having two 12-team leagues will provide a lot of flexibility to allow strong programs to compete in a league that is exciting and challenging and weaker programs will be able to avoid constant beatings from far superior teams.

Looking at the league that involves essentially the HAAL teams adding Berkeley, Alameda, Encinal and Piedmont, you’re talking potentially about a basketball league with Berkeley, O’Dowd and Castro Valley? How good is that! And a football league with Berkeley, Encinal, O’Dowd and San Leandro? Yes please. I think this type of league provides strong benefits for those types of programs, but it also allows the Tennysons and San Lorenzos of the world to participate in leagues that give them a shot to compete.

Turning to the other league, I think you’ll end up essentially with most of the private schools playing together, with a couple of the strong public schools added in. Picture basketball that’s already strong with Salesian, St. Joe’s, St. Mary’s and St. Pat’s adding a team like El Cerrito. Then it also would likely allow a boys soccer team such as Richmond the chance to be in a league with the likes of Albany and St. Mary’s. That’s a good thing.

So overall, I very much like that idea. The MVAL basically stays the same, adding back Moreau Catholic. Moreau wants to be in the MVAL and the MVAL seems receptive to adding them back in. So that’s a win-win.

The Valley Conference remains status quo in this proposal from today. Very few people have a problem with that. Livermore would like a league it has a better chance in which to compete, but it admitted today that it prefers the status quo to joining the DFAL, citing travel time.

The one hurdle involves getting Castro Valley re-admitted to the Bay Shore Conference. Gil Lemmon is working on setting up that vote. But even without the vote, he told me the bylaws appears to have wording that would allow the NCS Board of Managers to move CV to the Bay Shore Conference, so I’d say it’s a strong possibility that happens. Stay tuned. The official word comes April 18.


Ben: Having sat in the input meeting last month, then today’s appeals hearing, I really want to say that I think the committee did a very good job of listening, being receptive to outside ideas and making what it felt was the best decision for the students of the Bay Shore and Valley Conferences. I thought Commissioner Lemmon did a good job of disseminating information and making his cases and did a good job of facilitating the meetings.

When we first heard the mention of these “mini-conferences” at the input hearings, I thought this really sounded crazy. I mean, 12-team conferences broken into six-team divisions? But, the more people started thinking about it, the idea really took hold. Credit the committee for keeping an open mind to it, and when somewhere around 20 schools met last week at Bishop O’Dowd to discuss the idea, they came back with a focused proposal today and that made a big difference.

I agree with Jimmy 100 percent. We could get some seriously good leagues out of this deal. We could also see some teams become more competitive. I think the biggest benefit this idea has is at the junior varsity and frosh/soph levels. If you have eight schools with a JV baseball program in your mini-conference, well there’s your league. It cuts down on travel costs and makes scheduling more creative and easier. Reducing travel costs is a big deal now that budget cuts are threatening athletic programs across the state. I think they took a step toward that today. 

As the Valley Conference is concerned, I think once Livermore agreed today that moving to the DFAL would create more out-of-class time than it was comfortable with, things opened up to remain the same. I remember the Valley Conference meeting in October when the schools voted 21-9 to simply move Castro Valley into the EBAL. That was a pretty clear sign that 21 schools wanted to stay in the same leagues, and the EBAL voted against it because it created an unwieldy, big league. Now, everyone stays the same and I think you maintain some important rivalries in the process.

All in all, I think it’s a good deal.


Just to recap, here is the new Bay Shore Conference if today’s proposal passes.

MVAL: American, Irvington, James Logan, Kennedy-Fremont, Mission San Jose, Moreau Catholic, Newark Memorial, Washington

New League 1: Alameda, Arroyo, Berkeley, Bishop O’Dowd, Castro Valley, Encinal, Hayward, Mt. Eden, Piedmont, San Leandro, San Lorenzo, Tennyson

New League 2: Albany, De Anza, El Cerrito, Hercules, John Swett, Kennedy-Richmond, Pinole Valley, Richmond, St. Joseph Notre Dame, St. Mary’s, St. Patrick-St. Vincent, Salesian

Jimmy Durkin

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

  • norcalfball

    if they can afford to fly to new jersey, florida, etc then they can afford to be in the WCAL…as much as i believe there should be a private and public seperation for playoff and state purposes…

    why would DLS oppose the idea of playing 5 or 6 private schools every year. yes cal gave them a decent game this year. but still serra seems to be the team of late that has come the closest and they havent even been the best team in CCS…my point is when privates play privates it is a different type of game…

    may call it whinning..but i am more speaking to DLS..if you are the class of the football (nationally) and YOU ARE then why not play the best week in week out. not saying the EBAL is 2nd rate, but the WCAL would provide better competition overall. the “brotherhood” you talk about can only be attained at a private school level. i think mixed with privates week in week out foster’s better competition…through competition greatness appears. there was a time DLS was tested by a few public high schools in ncs every year. but now in the playoffs when is the last time anyone has even given them a game? a few instances in regular season maybe, but not the playoffs. where depth, health, and stamina of course kick in..

    if i were at DLS and i prided myself on this greatness, this brotherhood, this work ethic, this coaching…wouldn’t i want to prove it vs the best. the best is not the NCS playoffs vs a bunch of publics that can’t match them..the best would be vs privates…

    like i said before and i got 0 response from the DLS faithful, which sorry makes me question how much you like competition over your gaudy record. other than putting your greatness on the line maybe 2-3 games a year, how about 10 games a year as teams from socal, texas, etc do. put a little chink in that depth, that stamina, that health. have an opening round playoff game vs st marys stockton, vs serra, bellarmine, st francis, valley christian, etc not the american’s of NCS or getting a bye this year where is the fun in that? how is it fun winning by 40+ every year in the playoffs?

    now obviously your response will be publics rise up…but it hasn’t happened, it won’t happen, they are only capable of so much w the hand that is delt to them. and not sure anyone has noticed or just ignoring it but the cultural landscape is changing in pleasanton, danville, san ramon, etc. so it isn’t going to get in better (football wise anyways). those teams are going to be getting less and less potential football players. don’t have an accurate account but i would say most of these teams have seen a significant drop in overall players coming to the program.

  • InTheKnow

    Solution = Let DLS play in EBAL but exclude them from NCS. Have a private school bracket for sectionals, or just allow them to be eligible for the OPEN division game for state. Allow the teams that are playing by the same enrollment rules to compete for an NCS title.

    Under this scenario Cal High would have gone to state as the Division 1 rep and DLS would have still won the OPEN. What’s wrong with that?

  • norcalfball

    dont think just giving them the open is good for competition..can’t hand anybody anything…

    also i think paly was more than deserving of that d1 title game, beating a team much much better than them…

    cal high had arguably the best EBAL season (minus DLS) in the past decade, but can’t just write them in as d1 representing for future if DLS was no longer there..remember they are one year removed from a 1st round exit…no disrespect in that, it is just the life of a public school as kids come and go and have to take the hand that is delt not always the same talent right behind.

  • storm

    The Anonymous
    Thank you for your input to our discussion. My comment is the reality of the past and present, but I hope your right and I am wrong. I realize that all DLS has ever wanted was enough league games (5) to qualify for NCS and state. Not sure they would be affiliated with a league if the NCS, and CIF did not make this a said requirement. Norcalball’s comment regarding the talent being sliced even further with the public schools is right on. I am involved in another high school sport and have noticed the fall off of available talent. DV has cut even deeper in the San Ramon talent pool taking some of the athletes destined for Cal, SRV and MV.

  • Gdog

    DLS did not want to be in the EBAL in the first place but no league will take them without all sports. It is the best competition however for football. DLS has proposed to the section being “Independent” years earlier when, Pitt, Ant, Clayton agreed to play them every year and get them out of the BVAL in terms of League Championship. They may have even played a few years this way, Renegades would remember. Funny I don’t remember any of the EBAL schools offering to add them to their schedule every year then. Pretty difficult deal, I like the idea by the way, but you need at least 5 core teams to play every year minimum. No way the WCAL wants them for football only and what do you do with the other 25 athletic teams? I would think 2-3 WCAL would be willing to play them in Non-League each year, at least Serra & Bells. DLS going to Florida costs the school less than traveling to Granada for a game. ESPN is televising the game and is paying obviously, they might even be making money, I have no knowledge of that, but it is not costing them a penny I am sure.

  • junior

    Listen to Coach Lad’s interview with Gary Radnich- DLS does not make any money on the televised games.

  • But DLS definitely doesn’t pay a dime to play in those games. That’s become a pretty hard and fast rule for DLS. They won’t play a game that costs them a dime.

  • HS Football Fan

    Taking this back to what the original article was discussing (the Bay Shore’s plan for keeping Castro Valley), I pointed out that there’s only 22 football playing members in this new plan. I asked Jimmy in the basketball chat last night if he’d heard anything, and he suggested Moreau and Salesian as the teams that could be used to make this work. If that happens, here’s the way I see it playing out (at least at the start):

    MVAL football stays the same, plus

    Football Division 1 – Alameda, Berkeley, Bishop O’Dowd, Castro Valley, Encinal, San Leandro

    Football Division 2 – Arroyo, Hayward, Moreau, Mt. Eden, San Lorenzo, Tennyson

    Football Division 3 – El Cerrito, Piedmont, Pinole Valley, St. Mary’s, SPSV, Salesian

    Football Division 4 – Albany, De Anza, Hercules, Kennedy, Richmond, Swett

  • S1lverngreen

    I was in your neck of the woods today, Boise airport, I heard Barton and Houston got offers from UCLA today…Jimmy is right, DLS does not pay a dime to travel out of state they do ask parents for a reasonable amount to cover incidentals and the sort….

  • Oh boy

    HS Football Fan, I think your breakdown is workable.

    No outrageous travel
    competitive equity
    interesting match-ups
    natural rivalries

    The only flaw I see is unequal school sizes but no plan is perfect.

  • EBAL FAN #2

    The difficult part of the debate to comprehend is that DLS Football is a complete abberation. They are not just the top football team in the NCS (for 19 years running), they are the top team in the UNITED STATES for the last nineteen years. There is no SOLUTION for DLS winning. As long as Lad is the coach, they will be among the top Ten in the United States. That is a high bar for anyone in the country to compete with.

    If DLS could play WCAL football only, they probably would. But the WCAL wants all of the sports or nothing, which is perfectly reasonable.

    A team like Cal with a great young coach will probably give DLS fits. DLS will lose eventually but think about it; when DLS loses it will be like a “lightning strike”, an unfortunate footnote (for DLS fans) enroute to another incredible streak.

    I think Lad is only about 56 years old, conceivably he could coach another 10-15 years. It really IS about coaching and the program bult up over a very long time.

    Win or lose, I bet that EBAL players will remember and swap stories about games played against the Spartans for many years to come. They will get no such memories from a non-league game against Mt. Eden.

  • junior

    EBAL Fan#2= a voice of reason…….

  • THEanonymous

    I think EBAL fan #2 meant to say “they are the top team in the United States on average during the past nineteen years.” in other words, not for each and every one of those years. Otherwise, his post seems pretty flawless. Hopefully 2012 can pull a miracle out of the hat.

  • THEanonymous

    (meaning class of 2012)

  • Anybody hear who got the Dublin & Piedmont jobs?

  • Heard John Wade is the new Dublin Head Coach. DC from Piedmont got the job.

  • InTheKnow

    I actually heard that Wade was offered and turned it down. PERKIN can you confirm that he is the coach or is it still rumor?

    DC from Piedmont got which job? Piedmont or Miramonte?

  • Can’t confirm heard from a friend of a friend. DC from Piedmont got the Piedmont job.

  • KillerD

    Is Wade the new coach at Dublin? If so that is a great hire by the Gaels. Wade is a very successful coach and the facilities and a chance to build Dublin into a winner must have been too good to pass up.

    Who is the DC from Piedmont and is it confirmed that he got the job?

    What about Alameda and Albany, are those jobs open?

    Any other jobs open?

  • InTheKnow

    Alameda went in house with their offensive coordinator.

    Albany hired offensive coordinator from San Leandro – Troutman

  • Albany got a new HC or OC?

  • chalktalk

    calling all baby sitter calling all baby sitters
    its time 2 stop calling yourself coaches if you cant coach you know who you are hiding behind a cap and a clip board. all the coaching clinics in the world cant help. u will soon find out it was the kids talent not ur coaching that got u by they won in spite of not because of u. BOW UR HEAD IN HOMAGE!!! HUMBLE UR SELF AND STEP AWAY FROM THE FIELD PUT THE WHISTLE DOWN DONT CALL ANOTHER PLAY
    4 THE LUV OF GOD mann

  • ManDown

    Wade leaves Miramonte? Why would he do that? He’s built an empire down there and has everything in place how he wants it so I do not see that rumor being true. If he did in fact leave then that would be a hot job to have. I heard about Alameda making there OC the new head coach so we’ll see how that works out. There offense was good the past few years so now lets see what he can do calling all the shots. Albany’s new head coach Troutman should change some things up over there but has his work cut out for him. Albany is soft when it come to football and don’t remember when the last time they had a winning season. Don’t know much about the Piedmont DC but if he made all the calls on defense then I don’t know how much they will improve over the next three years.

  • chalktalk

    how do u about all the hires

  • chalktalk

    man down when u say albany is soft what does that mean

  • InTheKnow

    Chalktalk what the heck are you talking about with post 172?

  • chalktalk

    are u a coach
    or a glorified baby sitter
    do u disguise ur lack of knowledge with verbiage
    do u have to coach the most talented team in order to be successful. Do u force kids to practice inferior Technics then yell at them when they fail i can go on …….

  • InTheKnow

    Go on… please. I still have no idea what you are talking about. I am just an interested follower of high school football in the bay area. You, on the other hand, sound like an angry person….. why are you so mad?!

  • chalktalk

    football is an art to me. so when u have people that cant even draw stick figures trying 2 teach a kid 2 paint its sickens me. SEE WHEN U R ARTIST WEATHER IT BE A
    musician or superior athlete
    you know without a doubt the natural flow of things.


    the reason y TEACHING technique will never be prefect u cant describe the motionS of THERE action with the timing of the flow.


    BRUCE LEE ” u must become like water when u expand i contact when u contact i expand when u are weak i dont strike it strikes for me”.

    ( time to get some work in cuz WORK = EXPERIENCE = KNOWLEDGE = POWER)

    but u should know all this

  • chalktalk

    BRUCE LEE ” u must become like water when u expand i contRact when u contRact i expand when u are weak i dont strike it strikes for me”.

  • NCS Fan


    Chalktalk = Charlie Sheen wanna be

  • chalktalk

    ncs fan
    nice come back 4 a fool
    or a RUDY

    ncs fan u were just happy not 2 get cut
    dont expect u 2 understand how 2 be great

    charlie sheen great actor
    ur moms = cougar pornstar

  • S1lverngreen

    C talk, your rants are pretty entertaining…curious, what message are you trying to convey? I am perplexed and yet entertained by you! Help us out here…

  • chalktalk

    # 183 u shouldnt be entertained u should b learning
    the truth
    the fact that ur entertained mean ur not gifted
    so go ask a gifted person how he moves

  • chalktalk

    #183 ur the type that get ran over then wonders y ur technique didnt work timing RUDY timing

  • s1lverngreen

    Chalk, WTF? what are you rambling about son?

  • junior

    Somebody grab the crack pipe from chalktalk before it is too late.

  • KillerD

    what kind of offenses will Albany and Alameda be using under their new regimes?

    WHO is the new Dublin coach or is it still open?

  • chalktalk

    today’s lesson let the game b about the kids

    dont let ur ego get in the way of ur greatness

  • chalktalk

    tiger blood is my vice

  • junior

    You got me to laugh on that one chalk!

  • Davona Drive

    For football purposes only, put De La Salle (DLS) in a league that consists of St. Mary’s (Stockton), Marin Catholic, Moreau Catholic, Bishop O’ Dowd, and one other private school. Next, the top two schools from that league, would battle the top two schools from the WCAL in a NorCal Open Division playoff.

    With the exception of those two “private” school football leagues, the rest of the various sectional playoffs within NorCal would continue as they do now. So we are talking about a 5-game league season, which for DLS would work out well, allowing them to continue playing their games against nationally ranked opponents.

    St. Mary’s has become a consistent power within the SJS, though not at the level, which DLS has operated at for over 3-decades now. But those Rams are getting closer to that level each season. One reason they do not win the SJS every season, is because there is better depth within the SJS. What do I mean by that? Well there is a greater number of powerful teams that exist lie within the SJS, as compared to the NCS.

    I am not just talking about Grant (Sacramento) either. Schools like Rocklin and Folsom come to mind too, each having won the past three SJS D-II titles. Last season Folsom finished ranked as the #5 team nationally, according to Max Preps. Nevada Union has played in 3 of the past 6, SJS D-I title games, winning two of them.

    I am not at all saying, that either Rocklin or Folsom could have beaten DLS the past two seasons. But without a doubt they would have posed more of a playoff threat to DLS than Heritage, Granada, and California did this past season. Likewise with American, Foothill, Monte Vista and Pittsburg during the 2009 NCS playoffs. A dandy of a game would have been DLS vs. Grant in 2008, that was the season Grant received the Open division bowl, and DLS the D-I bowl. Grant went on to upend LB Poly, while DLS were edged by Centennial, 21-16.

    But anyhow I think that if St. Mary’s (Stockton), and not DLS were in the EBAL. They would be the team to beat, and still would have beaten Cal for the league crown last year. Okay last season DLS beat the Rams, 49-14. But it was only 14-14, a 19-0 3rd quarter run by the Spartans was the difference. Remember in 2009 the Rams beat a very good Bellermine team, 34-10. The Bells wound up playing in the state D-II bowl, and barely lost that game vs. Oceanside, 24-19.

    I just do not see any NCS school, with the exception of DLS, being able to go toe-to-toe against a SoCal power. Whereas in recent years history has seen SJS schools like Grant (2008, won), Rocklin (2009, lost 33-30 to Servite the overall state champion), Folsom (2010, won, whipping Serra-Gardena), St. Mary’s (2008, lost to Cathedral Catholic-San Diego, 37-34), and etc.

    But as far as NCS goes, only Cardinal Newman, and Marin Catholic in D-III, and Novato to an extent in D-II have demonstated anything, though they all lost in those games. However, in a 2006 loss to highly touted Oaks Christian, Cardinal Newman played tough in a 27-20 loss. The same can be said of Marin Catholic during their 2009 bowl loss to Serra (Gardena), which was only a 24-20 setback.

    No way will NCS D-I contenders like Berkeley, James Logan, Pittsburg, SRV, MV, and etc be able to do this. In D-II besides Cardinal Newman, and Marin Catholic, perhaps Encinal, or a program on the rise, like Bishop O’ Dowd with head coach Hardy Nickerson now running the show can get to that level. But at the moment the SJS and CCS schools seem to have more talent. Remember Palo Alto has had some good teams the past few seasons, they also won the D-I bowl game last season against Centennial (Corona), 15-13. They also reached the D-II bowl game in 2006. Bellermine went 12-1 and won the CCS Open Division in 2008, but were unable to secure a bowl berth.

  • Davona Drive

    If De La Salle remains a member of the EBAL, perhaps someone will be able to create an innovative offensive style of play, one specifically designed to beat the Spartans. But probably more importantly a conditioning program that rivals the one at DLS.

    Or another way to attack DLS is to have a simple offense, but with those basic plays be able to execute them to perfection. That would be out of the Vince Lombardi school of thought. His Green Bay Packers practiced a few basic plays to perfection, and then executed as a machine during their games.

    Right now DLS is like a machine, because they execute, display discipline, and are highly conditioned. A couple years ago, I believed that they would elevate the level of play throughout the EBAL. That the opposing league schools would adjust to them, and eventually pattern their programs after DLS. So far I do not really see that. Sure MV had a good squad, led by a QB now at Stanford (Brett Nottingham). But they could not rise to the occasion. Last year Cal was clearly the next best team, but in two attempts they could not get it done against DLS.

    So really until Lad hangs it up as a coach, probably in another 5-seasons, DLS will continue to rule the NCS football landscape. But they will not fade that quickly after his departure. I would say possibly another 3-seasons following his retirement, the Spartans will slip a notch. Meaning not winning an NCS football crown.

  • John Ghormley

    I’m trying to make contact with someone named Dave Kiesel with whom I was in St. Edward’s Seminary in the Seattle area during the 1960s. Is the Dave Kiesel mentioned in this article this person?