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30Q-2-KICKOFF (No. 20): DVAL Dealings

Today, I tackle the Diablo Valley Athletic League. Can Concord repeat? Will another team take the throne? Let’s find out.

So, last year I picked College Park to win the league and Concord to come in second. Little did I know that the Minutemen were the team of destiny, rolling through the DVAL all the way to the NCS Division II title. You won’t see a team like that at Concord for a good long while, so judging them on that standard probably wouldn’t be wise this time around.

But, that’s not to say Concord is going to be awful. Far from it. The Minutemen should be formidable yet again. Jacob Daynes is the new quarterback and no, you shouldn’t expect him to be Ricky Lloyd. But, he should be able to run that offense effectively, and there’s plenty of talent around with four starting linemen back, Terrance Young and Jacob Smith back at WR and Olito Thompson in the backfield. Plus, the defense should be pretty good, led by big fellas Trent Mahler and Willy Thompson.

Who might take the throne? Well, I’m hearing good things about Northgate. The momentum gained from last year’s 9-3 season is carrying over, and several league coaches have said the Broncos looked good this summer. Cameron Stover, Matt Butler and Alex Cost are gone. In their place are Blair Schmidt, Sean Han, Jimmy Sharpe and new QB Shane Ryan. Don’t expect a major drop-off for Northgate.

College Park should again be solid, and this year the Falcons are a Division II school rather than D-I. That won’t matter right away, as CP scheduled a D-I heavy nonleague slate thinking they’d be back in the top division again. Where it will matter is in league, as those league contests will be doubly important for playoff eligibility. Daivon Ballard returns at running back and the new quarterback is Jordan Louis. I expect the Falcons to contend.

Clayton Valley and Ygnacio Valley are undergoing somewhat drastic makeovers due to graduation. YV lost 27 seniors off last year’s team, and Clayton is the youngest its been in coach Herc Pardi’s tenure. Questions surround both teams at quarterback, with Jamari Pope looking to continue his progression as YV’s man in charge and Mateo Gomez doing the same for Clayton. I do like both team’s running games though, with Anthony Barnett a solid option for the Warriors and the Eagles having a very talented pair of juniors in Jesse Medrano and Joe Prothroe. I like those guys a lot.

Mt. Diablo will look to continue the building process under Jerry Reese, but several coaches I talked to really like Reese and the job he’s doing. The Red Devils did well in passing leagues this summer, and if they can find some guys up front, the skill positions are fairly solid.

All in all, I think the league will come back down a little from last year’s high. It’s a tough league, but I think having Concord’s star power last year elevated it to a great league. This year, they’ll still need to prove it. Right now, you have to consider the Minutemen the favorite but it’s not the slam-dunk that they made it look like one year ago.

Ben Enos

  • ManDown

    1.) Northgate – Did good things in ’10 I see them reaching greater heights in 2011
    2.) Concord – A little drop off from last year with the loss of GREAT QB. Hard system to run without a stud back there.
    3.) College Park – Hard to judge this team. Never really know when they will be good.
    4.) YV – What is going on down there? Good looking players, lacking good coaches.
    5.) CV – Had a good 2 year run and aren’t getting better.
    6.) Mt. Diablo – Didn’t win a game last year. They will finish last.

  • http://ibabuzz.com PERKIN

    Its gonna be tough for Concord to repeat with their style of football but they have very good players their QB is solid. WRs & D is pretty good. The way Hamilton coaches constantly going for it on 4th down always throwing 4-5 wide even on the goaline it won’t work unless he has a D-1 caliber QB. Mobile one at that Lloyd’s wheels really helped him make plays last year. I see them finishing 2nd. If they had a standard attack I think they win league again.

    College Park will win this league. YV has some good looking players I see them finishing 3rd. Haven’t seen Northgate so their 4th. Clayton Valley 5th. Mt. Diablo 6th.

  • mvalfan

    college park will have to put up 35+ points if they want to beat concord. their d cant stop a throwing offence. CP might be a better team but its not a good match up for them.

  • http://Bluedog2 George Manley

    I think Concord will do it again this year, but it will be their defense that will make the difference…running and passing will be balanced this year….College Park has a lot of Soph. and Jr.s from last years team …But like last year they may run hot and cold again…North Gate could cause trouble..if the JV’s moving up can take the next step….It will be a three team race between Concord…College Park and North Gate with Concord coming up on top….

  • DVAL Fanatic

    1)Concord – Returning 7 starters on O and 6 Starters on D(Calpreps). Thats a lot of battle hardened players coming back. We said they would drop down they lost Hightower, Childs, Galindo, Buford. Then they beat everyone in the league by 40 pts or more in 2010 and win it all. New QB is solid and they have really good O and D line after I saw them at PITT’s camp. I think toughest games are against Cardinal, Amador, and Heritage but I predict they sweep DVAL again.
    2)CP – Always well coached and have a lot of returners. QB/FS turned some heads at St Mary’s camp and will make the CP machine go. I feel they will win every game except Concord game because every year they have given up 40 pts or more the Concord. Belive me Concord’s D will not give up 40 to CP no matter how good the O is.
    3)Northgate – Had a very good JV team going 9-1 last year. That means the Jrs will play a key role this year. They might be my pick for 2012 DVAL champs when they mature. This team looked very promising at St Mary’s camp and will be more consistant when they get to DVAL play.
    4)Ygnacio Valley – Finished 2nd place last year but lost a ton of talent to graduation. Pope could be the most dynamic QB in the league but will he have time to make plays with a young O line. This young Oline and DLine struggled vs Concord and PITT at camp but did better at Antioch camp.
    5)Clayton Valley – Probably have the best RB in the league in Prothroe but same story as YV with a young O line that struggled at St Mary’s camp. The D was still trying to find itself after losing so much talent on the Dline and Lbs.
    6)Mt Diablo – Played very well at the first DVC passing turny losing to DLS in the championship. But the Oline and D line have thier work cut out for them after Antioch camp. The trenches are where the game is won and lost.

  • BVAL Expert

    College park will be good however.. there tough out of league games will not be easy.. deer valley california freedom and los lomas alhambra…. Freedom will be a test because Freedom runs a similar spread offense as concord does.. except its not a traditional spread.. But still will give them good preparation for concord.. Dval fanatic your CRAZY cp is not going to beat california.. Northgate wont be as good.. keep them towards the bottom.. people are losing there minds out there haha.. College Park is really discipline surprised that people are still doubting them.. they have a good offensive coordinator Bill Kepler.. Whose upset-ed amador and foothill.. Definitely this team is going beyond standards provided. They are Totally contenders to win league this year. There defense needs to be alot better.. Davion Ballard will probably make first team this year.. Really fast player when he cuts the edge on a pitch.. Also Johnny Croft is very shifty RB had a good camp.. Theres usually three running backs in the offense and i kinda want to know whose the other back.. Heard that Jordan Louis had a great camp practice at St Marys.. Heard he looked really good on defense as well put big hits on people.. They have like three sophmores on the team.. but i dont know what roles they will play.. I think one will start linebacker but i dont know about the others… CP play soft man cover 3 look..

  • DVAL Fanatic

    to BVAL Expert…Let me clarify, I think CP will win every DVAL game except Concord but if CP is more healthy going into that game CP will have a great chance to win. Your right BUT Im not that CRAZY yet. CP and Concord have the toughest Non League schedule by far. Both teams very well could have a losing record going into DVAL play but both CP and Concord have the best chance to win League.

  • BVAL Expert

    Alright there you go.. now i agree haha