30Q-2-KICKOFF (No. 12): Instant success

Today I’m going to tackle a question we’ve answered the last couple of years.

What first-year head coach will enjoy the most success?

Ben was very proud of himself when he selected Fremont’s Isamu Falevai two years ago and the Tigers went on to win the Silver Bowl. Last year, Ben went with Berkeley’s Fred Sims. The Yellowjackets finished second in the ACCAL and won their first round NCS Division I playoff game over James Logan. I picked Arroyo’s James Barnes and the Dons finished tied for second in the HAAL, earning a big win over San Leandro, and finished 6-5 after losing in the first round of the NCS Div. II playoffs. Overall, not bad choices for either of us.

Among this year’s new head coaches are Hayward’s Justin Redemer, Alameda’s Kemp Moyer, Piedmont’s Kevin Anderson, Albany’s John Trotman Jr., Dublin’s John Wade, Miramonte’s Jack Schram, Kennedy-Fremont’s Damian Mackey and American’s Bret Casey.


Among those, Redemer takes over a program that has had solid levels of success over the years, Moyer is established at Alameda and the Hornets have been to the playoffs two straight years and Wade is a long-time solid coach. Trotman was a successful assistant at San Leandro and should bring energy to Albany as well. None of those are my pick though.

I have to go with Miramonte’s Jack Schram. The former Encinal head coach was an assistant for awhile at Miramonte and will bring the same schemes to this year’s squad. The Matadors had a very solid season last year, going 11-2 with a loss to eventual champion Cardinal Newman in the semifinals. Plus, Miramonte welcomes back versatile star QB Ross Anderson. He gives any first year coach a HUGE advantage and make Schram my pick for the first-year coach to enjoy the most success.


Good choice for Jimmy there. Inheriting a quarterback like Anderson is a leg up for any coach.

Well, I think the expectation might be that I would take Wade here, and truthfully, I do think he’s going to take the Gaels to serious improvement this year. Maybe not a DFAL title, but improvement.

Actually, I’m going to stay in the same league I went to on this question last year. I’m picking Kemp Moyer at Alameda. Does the school on the other side of the Island have a good amount of talent? Yes. Is beating Pinole and Berkeley and maybe even El Cerrito a tough task to get back to the top of the ACCAL? Yes. I realize all that.

But where is one of the toughest places to go get a win in the East Bay? That’s right, Thompson Field. Two of the Hornets’ biggest games of the year, Pinole Valley and El Cerrito, are on the Island this year. Also, they get Northgate and San Lorenzo at home. Not games you would necessarily rule out as potential wins. And, if Alameda wins the games you would expect and maybe pulls an upset or two in a home game, well then the Hornets are back in the playoffs. Then, it’s all bets off because once you’re in the dance, anything can happen.

I dunno, maybe it’s because I had success with Berkeley last year on this question, but I think Moyer’s been around for a while and I think he’s in a position to do some good things.

Jimmy Durkin

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

  • mvalfan

    Kennedy-Fremont’s Damian Mackey will have the biggest win differential from last year to this year. its easy to inherit a good team and be good. last year in mval they got shut out by every team but mission and logan(with third string in at half) newark 0-42, washington 0-54 american 0-57 logan 7-55 irvington 0-14. bad. he will win 3 of those games next year if not 4 that will be the biggest turn around of any team ever. dont hate because you think they just recruted illegally. its only illegal if gil lemmon says something and i guarantee that wont happen. so ben and jimmy get on the wagon. they will go from one of the worst years in their history to their best year ever. that is success

  • Wade willl ahve the biggest improvement from last year. He’s my choice.

  • teehee

    “recruted illegally.” As opposed to recruiting legally? Everybody knows there are A LOT of out-of-district kids there now. The fact you brought it up shows you know too.

    There have been talks before summer camps even started

  • MVALFremont

    I think Kennedy will improve from last year but I also think Anerican will be alright. With American’s senior class Coach Casey was their frosh coach and JV coach when they were sophmores. Overall I agree with Jimmy and pick Schram at Miramonte to have the most success

  • Both Jack Schram of Miramonte and John Wade of Dublin inherit good material from the JV’s….with their skills…both teams will be hard to beat…BUT the rest of the DFAL will all be up this year so the challenger better come to play every game….As for who is the best coach…it depends on who shows up to play and are those kids trainable…here is where the coaches shine or fizzle…

  • EBfootball

    Moreno couldn’t do it at Dublin after his success at Hayward. What makes you think Wade can? I do respect what he did at Miramonte but is there something in the water at Dublin?

    A back of rocks could do better at Albany than that last clown.

    Schram won’t be as nearly effective as Wade.

    Moyer’s been the OC. Maybe defense will be better and edge some people out.

    Piedmont will instantly be better with that gimmick offense gone.

  • EBfootball…..We really won’t know how Wade and Schram will do until after a few games….But there should be a big difference at Dublin and Miramonte should hold their own….Wade is inheriting a better JV group then Moreno did..sometimes you get stuck with what you get…

  • ManDown

    Dublin will have the most success IMO this year under Wade. Miramonte won’t be as effective under Schram. They will miss Wade’s play-calling on offense and there defense was terrible last year. Moyer has a real good chance to be good this year if he can sneak some wins over the top teams he plays this year. Everyone else will have to show and prove.

  • mvalfan

    teehee everybody knows Kennedy(fre)“recruited illegally” but it not illegal if nothing happens and nothing will happen for a few reasons. First gil lemon is from Fremont he knows how many Kennedy kids go to Newark every year so he will give them a break when he can. Second they have a new staff and they can just claim ignorance and get a slap on the wrist. third ncs would love if it could sustain a 16 team playoffs and they need quality teams to qualify so the first round isn’t a big joke. and last like I said gil lemon is from Fremont and the mval has gone down hill so why not help them out a little

  • Billjohnson

    Wade will make da most difference. Schram has the most 2 work with but the defense will kill them n da end. Albany has no players n i heard he’s bringn dat weak offense dat san leandro runs dey wont win more than 3 games! Thompson field hasnt been 2 tough dey may beat slz n ec but pinole is loaded wont b close so i c dem improving by 1 game at best. Hayward not sure got da athletes but i havent heard much.

  • Prep Fan

    MVALfan, I sure hope Gil Lemmon isn’t making decisions based on where he lives or whether a league has gone downhill or not. I don’t know the situation at Kennedy other than what I have read, but like drunk driving doing something illegally is still illegal, regardless of whether you get caught or punished. Not getting caught doesn’t make something right.

    As for the topic of this post, success can mean different things depending on the situation at the school where the new coach comes in. A new coach at DLS could go 13-1 and lose in the NCS championship game and many would not see that as being successful. But if Dublin does that, Wade would be a miracle worker. All new coaches have a lot of work to do, but at some schools the Ws in year 1 aren’t as important as getting the program in order, where success can then be seen with Ws in year 2 or 3.

  • teehee

    Its bittersweet for me. I dont want the coach to do well because he can not do it the right way and at the same time you can not really fault the kids and they shouldnt pay for his shadiness(if thats even a word).

    I guess in the end, as long as the players learn all the proper lessons throughout the year as they should learn im good.

    However, cheating, already got one tacked against him.

  • ManDown

    Is it true that this will be coach Alameda’s last year at Pinole? Can anyone confirm?

  • Thedude

    @ Mandown I’m hearing that this will be his last year. From players on his team. But we heard that last year also. I believe he’s gone. His JV squad doesn’t look good. I was told he thinks this is the year he can win one.

  • Yep it will be his last season, he’s been planning his retirement for a while. First time he told me was two years ago…

  • TitansFB

    This is going out to all you Titan Haters out there. Stop hiding behind the fake names and come out and show yourselves. The funny thing is everyone is quick to say that Mackey is cheating, give me the names. Now if you want to call out programs then lets do it. Now can everyone honestly tell me that Logan students who ride BART all live in UC. Logan has had players coming from Oakland as long as I can remember. Now lets look at NWK’s BB. at least one of the kids lives in UC. American’s best BB player lives in Washington. How many of Washington’s athletes live in MSJ district. The truth of the matter is Washington is mad cause a majority of the staff left. Logan is mad cause Mackey didn’t want to coach there. Newark is mad because instead of being the 3rd best team they now drop to 4th. All of the kids on the team are enrolled at Kennedy. The coach’s have no say on the enrollment and neither does Gill Lemmon. Last thing I have to say on this is. If Kennedy looses this year then everyone will say that’s what they get cause they cheated or they’re still the same old Kennedy. Now say Kennedy wins you guys have an excuse “they cheated”. So just shut up if he cheated prove it with facts bring it out in the open. Until you guys do that shut up and let plays football.