30Q-2-KICKOFF (No. 19): Spanning the Bay (Football League)

It’s about time to take a look at our smallest league in the East Bay, which has reverted back to being an exclusively East Bay league this year. That’s the Bay Football League.

Harker of San Jose is out and Emery has rejoined the league. Football has been an on-again, off-again experiment at Emery. With so few students, it’s very difficult to field a team year in and year out. But the Spartans return to the field at the varsity level this year with David Winford at the helm. Expect a young team that could take some lumps.

Jumping into talking about the favorite and it’s no surprise that it’s once again Salesian’s league to lose. The Pride have won I believe at least a share of nine straight titles (at this point, it’s easy to lose count). Until they don’t win it, they have to be considered the favorite. Freddie Tagaloa anchors an offensive line that has good size and is more than just Tagaloa. Tim Curry will hold down the other tackle position and is very good and will make Salesian tough to penetrate. Marcial Malic will likely see his workload increase as the feature back and he’s also the returning defensive player of the year in the league. Players such as Joey Marchini and Travis Earby will also be key.

Berean Christian has put together a very solid program. RB Logan Lisle was second in the East Bay (to some guy from DLS named Lucas Dunne) in the regular season in scoring last year with 165 points. He scored 20 TD and served as their kicker, booting 33 PATs and added six two-point conversions. At the small school level especially, an explosive scorer like that can be extremely key.

Valley Christian lost league co-MVP Ryan Toney (he shared the honors with Salesian QB Ikaika Woolsey). Toney was third in the East Bay with 154 points and a big reason why  Valley Christian was fourth in the East Bay in total offense (Salesian was just ahead in third). But Camryn Harris and Zach Parrella are back and VC should be in the upper half of the standings.

California School for the Deaf had a solid 6-5 season last year with a playoff berth, although it struggled to just 1-4 in the BFL. The team was young and should return some key players as last year’s QB Carlos Lopez was just a sophomore. He was among five underclassmen to make all-league for CSD last year, so that could signal a solid season this year.

St. Elizabeth took it on the chin last year in their first season since Fred Sims departure. Greg Morris was hired extremely late, but with a full year of preparation I would expect the Mustangs to be more competitive and in a better position to succeed.


Jimmy Durkin

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

  • Jimmy, is there anyways we can petition to get John Swett into the BFL & Salesian into the BSAL this year??

  • BVAL Expert

    California school of the Deaf is keeping teams in check.. props to them

  • Billjohnson

    Easily the worst league 4 knightengale 2 stay n dis league shows he’s no competitor. The excuse dey use is a joke n come playoff time he should play up marin catholic does y cant they do it there roster is loaded. No way he goes accal next year thats a stone cold lock.

  • Salesianfb

    @billjohnson our coach is very competitive and likes to win, but if you didn’t know many teams will be merged into a “super league” next year including ourselves, and teams like el cerrito, SPSV, and St marys once again although I see what you’re saying. Just gotta wait one more year

  • Billjohnson

    salesianfb ill believe it wen it happens but i expect your coach 2 use the same excuse he’s been using. Salesianfb any chance ur coach petitions up 2 play d3 ncs? And would u want him 2?

  • EBfootball

    Salesian is in the BSAL for every sport except for football. Pathetic. Can someone explain why without making Nightengale look like a coward because I see no other reason than that. Does the realignment for next year change anything for the BFAL?

  • Wolfman

    I have to agree with EBfootball and Bill Johnson on this it’s time for Salesian to step it up because you get no respect beating School of the Deaf, Emery & St. Liz every year!!! Come on Coach Nightingale step up to the Big Boys!! Salesians does it in Basketball so there is no excuse???

  • scoop

    Seriously salesians Is a joke of a program for playing EVERY SPORT in the BSAL except football, With a soft non league as well. This is probably the worst league in the bay and MAYBE even california. Lets not get it wrong they are very talented but the coach is a coward I don’t blame the kids, there has been talent there in that program, just a coward for a coach

  • Oh boy

    @EBfootball, did you actually want an answer to that? Or was it to just call names?

    I think Jimmy or Ben mentioned last year that Nightingale stays in the BFL out of loyalty to a league that took Salesian in when they were not very good and routinely getting beat up by bigger and stronger schools. Since they are obviously a good program now, I think they should play either BSAL or D3 but I can’t be mad at an AD for being loyal. There’s a lot of coaches and players that jump ship all the time and that is more cowardly in my opinion

  • Billjohnson

    oh boy dat excuse is weak its time 2 move on get out dat garbage league. St.pats beat dem n 09 n had 2 play at salesian n ncs cuz salesian was a league champ dats y dey play n da bfl not loyalty theyve been stealing home ncs games 4 a while now.

  • KillerD

    Nightengale of Salesian is not a coward, he is a proven winner.

    Would Salesian be tested more in a tougher league week to week?


    Personally, I believe Salesian to be a very respectable institution of learning that has very good athletics.

    Nothing for Salesian or Nightengale to be ashamed of either way, very good program overall.

  • ManDown

    Salesian should not be in the BFL. They have been good for a while now and I’m sure they can get out of that league if they wanted to. Just like Encinal in the BSAL. Its a joke!

  • Old Former Meddling Coach

    ManDown, As You already Know, Encinal was moved to the BSAL under protest. They did not repeat did not want to leave the ACCAL. Now Salesian was in the BSAL in every sport but Football. Why was that? I’m sure someone knows. Jet Pride.

  • BFL should be used to rebuild. Its where Moreau should of had to go since they couldn’t compete in the HAAL. Its where Mission San Jose, Richmond High, De anza, should be playing Football. Not an NCS championship team should be. Once Moreua got good they should of had to go back to there league.

    Its what I don’t understand about these new SUPER leagues HAAL & ACCAL. There going to build a good league & a B league. WHat determines that & does that get redetemined every year? Are teams gonna be in the B league getting good then off to the A league? Jimmy brang up Tennyson & Mt. Eden playing for a B league championship well after they win the B league do they have to go to the Super league or stay in the BFL like Salsian & win a B league every year?

  • ManDown

    PERKIN, I agree with you and what you are saying is right. I don’t understand how that will work and will be very hard to determine year in and year out.

  • @Mandown, it doesn’t seem like they’re going to clarify that for everybody probably until the season starts 2012. I also heard that it will be different for every sport. Make it by enrollmonet or North/South like the Pac-12. Playing teams that are a reasonable distance or similar enrollments are factors that no team could argue.

    I can’t imagine how their criteria will be & it makes no sense to redue it every year.

  • Here’s how I would expect the league’s divisions to work out, based on experience with how similar leagues in the CCS handle it. The leagues will determine which division teams should be in. It could be different for every sport because teams achieve different levels of success in different sports. (Look at how Encinal, for example, does in football compared to basketball). At the end of each season when the league meets, it discusses any need for teams to move up or down a division.

    In other similar leagues, if a team wins the “B” division, it might move up to the “A” division the next year, replacing the team that took last in the “A” division. It’s not a guarantee, but if a team rolls in the “B” division, it usually means they can competitively handle being in the “A” division for at least a year or so. But typically that’s done by teams requesting to move up or down, I think.

    I would think the only factor for determining these divisions would be a team’s history of success. And that’s how it should be. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it a million times, if you think enrollment is the only factor in a team’s success, you are outright lying to yourself. If you’re good, you’re good. You’re enrollment might make it easier or more difficult, but it’s not the only factor. Say a team like Encinal is put in a division with the bigger schools. If it ends up not being able to hack it, eventually it’ll drop down. But in football, despite it’s enrollment, it should be playing in an “A” division because of its success. Same deal with Salesian, if it does end up leaving the BFL.

    Competitive equity is about making things competitive for every one, not just to help keep teams who are already on top where they are. That’s why I like the flexibility of these leagues, because year in and year out teams will be placed where they reasonably should be. And if they handle it by deciding next year’s divisions at the end of each season, teams will know about a year in advance where they will be playing. It’s a good set up, if you ask me.

  • ManDown

    This is a head scratcher to me. No other league in the Bay Area goes by “Competitive Equality” Its usually by enrollment and distance of schools. Lets see how this thing works because teams like Pinole, BOD, Encinal, and Salesian can lose out on a home playoff game and teams like Arroyo and Alameda get to host a playoff game playing in the B-League.

  • EBfootball

    I have to disagree with you Jimmy. Having “flexibility” to move into a less competitive league is not competitive equity. The solution is getting better coaches. Coaches are all on one year contracts anyway and one isn’t cutting it get a new one in. You’ve seen it Jimmy more than most of us… COACHING CHANGES ARE THE BIGGEST FACTOR IN THE CHANGE IN SUCCESS OF A SCHOOL.

    And you always bring up Encinal. They weren’t the talk of the 510 until a coaching change. We have to commit to these kids and the challenges they are lead through and not baby them. They’ll never get stronger that way. And if we’re so concerned about a kids self esteem, how do you think they’re going to feel about themselves in the “B” league. Seems like this competitive equity favors the very people creating this. It makes AD’s, coaches, and administrators look good with inflated records.

  • Jimmy you make it sound real easy & I hope things go as smooth as your saying. Look at Salesian for example. They went into a league maybe at the time rightful so to rebuild & compete & instead of going to their correct league they have stayed there. Its obvious that some schools are stronger politically then others. STronger personalities at Principal/AD whatever.

    You gave no criteria for playing A or B just that if teams get “good enough they May move up but may not”.
    What if a team wins it all but at the competitive equity meeting says, “we’re all seniors we won’t compete next year!” Is it a self determination? They could be telling the truth but a lot of coaches BS.

    IS it fair to move since they just won it all does that move you up being top 1 or 2 every year? That criteria is Black & white no one can argue with that. I’ve heard these All-league meetings can be all night arguements & usually the guys that aren’t willing to budge end up getting what they want. Better system if the NCS decided it. Someone with no bias one way or the other. I can see that being fair.

    Jimmy, you’ve sat in these NCS seeding meeting for instance. How do you think those would have went without a board & just the coaches/AD’s deciding the seeds??

  • Until we see how it works out, we’re just talking hypotheticals. It doesn’t make sense to get too concerned about it until it happens. The CCS leagues that do it do a good job of managing themselves, so until we see how it goes, I can only say we hope and trust it’ll work it out and police itself. We’ll see.

  • Jimmy, are you talking about how they do their Open Division football in the CCS?

  • No, I’m talking about two of the super leagues they have. They have the Blossom Valley Athletic League, which breaks into the Mt. Hamilton, Santa West and West Valley. Teams shift up and down the leagues based on how competitive they are. I worked briefly at a newspaper in Morgan Hill and covered that league. There’s also the Peninsula Athletic League, which breaks into the Bay, Lake and Ocean. It’s the same concept where teams will move up or down from year to year. Some years, they stay the same. Other years there is a shift. It’s worked very well down there. That’s why I’m optimistic of how it will work here.

  • OK a model. Now you’re talking. WHat criteria do they use to move teasm up & down? I think I heard something about this last year. Seqoia who was good for the 1st time in a while gaol was to move out of the bottom league.

  • @EBfootball schools are all getting what they pay for in coaches. IN most cases getting much more then what they pay for in coaches. Its atrocious what coaches are paid especially in the HAAL & ACCAL.

  • Billjohnson

    Perkin mandown gotta agree wit y’all dont know if u play spades but we call dat sandbagging!

  • I’m not sure if there’s a specific criteria. But usually they look at the last place team in the higher league and the first place team in the lower league and I think put it to a vote to decide if they should switch. Like you said, for teams in the lower league, it becomes a goal to move up. For a team that struggles in the higher league, it can be maybe a little relief to slide down, but usually the goal becomes to elevate the program so you can move back up. That personal pride in your program becomes a driving factor.

  • Here’s a look at the Blossom Valley Athletic League bylaws regarding division placement.

    Appeal of Division Placement –
    5.1 All members schools are required to submit to the League Commissioner, by the date requested,
    the Team Summary and Profile Report/End of Season Summary Form. The completed report is
    to be signed by the principal, the athletic director and the coach. If these reports are not
    received by the due date the penalty is as follows:(5/20/08)
    • First Infraction –
    Schools not submitting the required completed form(s) on time will be fined $25 per sport for
    that school year and season.
    • Second Infraction – Schools not submitting the required completed form(s ) on time for the
    next sport season will be fined $50 per sport for that school year and season.
    • Third Infraction – Schools not submitting the required completed forms on time for the next
    sport season will be fined $100 per sport for for that school year and season.
    • Schools that do not submit the form on time will not be allowed to appeal any league movement.
    5.2 Failure to remit payment in 30 days will incur a 20% late fee. If this payment is not received
    in 30 days procedures as outlined in Article 3, Section 3 Delinquent Fee/Dues Policy will apply.
    5.3 Schools wanting to appeal their division placement as set by the BVAL Executive Board shall
    request an appeals hearing and must inform the Commissioner if they are requesting a change
    with another school. (5/24/01)(moved from Sec 5 5/20/08)
    5.4 The appeal board is chaired by the BVAL Past President, two appointed principals, and 3
    Athletic Director’s selected by the BVAL Athletic Directors. (5/24/01) (moved from Sec 5

  • So basically, at the end of each season there’s a summary report filed by each school for each sport to report how each team performed (with consequences for not filing it).

    There’s a Executive Board that then determines the divisions. Schools can request a switch of divisions with the commissioner. If a school disagrees with a division placement, it can file an appeal.

    That sounds like a very fair process to me.

  • I hope they use that criteria or a criteria like that where a 3rd party makes the decision to move up or down. I see disaster if all AD’s/Coaches were put in a room & had to decide.

  • EBfootball

    Jimmy are you really trying to defend the PAL??? First off I can’t think of any team from those three leagues except for Terra Nova and Jefferson. Second I just checked out those leagues on Cal Preps and there are negative numbers all over the place. That competitive equity thing helped no one out there.

  • I’ve never followed the PAL, so I’m not “trying to defend” them. I know it’s worked well in the BVAL (Blossom Valley, not Bay Valley).

    I didn’t say these leagues are about boosting a team’s computer ranking on Cal Preps. But go back and look at those ratings. What I noticed is that there aren’t large differences between the highest rating and the lowest rating. The Lake has the largest gap with the high being 0 and the low being 33.5.

    Let’s compare to the affected East Bay leagues. In the BSAL, the gap between the highest rated team (Encinal) and the lowest (Albany) is 56.8. In the ACCAL, it’s 57.1 between Pinole Valley and De Anza. In the HAAL, it’s 48.9 between O’Dowd and Mt. Eden.

    To round out, the PAL-Bay high to low gap is 26.5 and the PAL-Ocean is 30.4. That shows me those leagues are much closer to each other top to bottom. Competitive equity doesn’t mean every team is good. It means teams in the same league are comparable. These numbers (and I don’t live and die by them, but they were brought up so I’m using them) show those leagues have more competitive equity.

  • Nightingale is hurting his team’s rep staying in the BFL. Time to play in the BSAL. That loyality crap is BS. Salesian has always been respectable, quit dopdging better comp.

  • Dudleydawson

    must be nice to know you have a guaranted home playoff game everyear. Knightengale is the a.d. so we all can expect him to stay put in the bfl

  • Obviously Salesian has far outgrown the BFL. It’s a shame, they’ll win every league game this year by over 40 points. As the parent of a senior player it has been frustrating to have all these overmatched teams on the schedule. For several seasons multiple parents have been lobbying to move up in competition but we’re told that it’s in the hands of the NCS and we couldn’t get out of the BFL until next season. Salesian will be quite strong this year but is unfortunately stuck in the BFL for one more year.

    I’m sure Nightingale likes the perks of being the league winner (home playoff games) but I’m sure he would also prefer better competition. SPSV, always good, bailed on Salesian this year, not sure why but at least that game was replaced with a strong Sac team Inderkum. St. Mary’s also bailed (good decision, no point in that slaughter) but apparently late enough that he couldn’t find anyone other than Kennedy to play. Middletown & McClymonds are good competition in the other non-league games, though it’s also unfortunate that Swett is still on the schedule.