30Q-2-KICKOFF (No. 22): Across the ACCAL

After taking a little more serious tone yesterday, let’s head back to our tour of the leagues by talking about the Alameda Contra Costa Athletic League.

Berkeley won at least a share of three straight titles before Pinole Valley captured the crown last season. The difference ended up being a 16-14 win by the Spartans over the ‘Jackets in the ACCAL opener. Berkeley got on a decent roll after that, winning six straight games, including a first-round NCS Division I victory over James Logan.

Pinole finished 11-1-1, with the lone hiccups a tie to Sequoia-Redwood City, which also finished 11-1-1, and a NCS Div. II playoff loss to eventual runner-up Rancho Cotate. It was a terrific season for the Spartans. While a couple of talented defenders graduated in Travis Feeney and Antoine Davis, the Spartans return leading rusher James Lewis, a second-team All-East Bay choice. Pinole usually crafts together a stingy defense, so a returning explosive back like Lewis makes them dangerous and the favorites on paper.

Berkeley should still be a team to be reckoned with, even after graduation hit them hard. The team has only 14 seniors (a tiny amount at a school that big), but one of them is RB Rudolpho James. The ‘Jackets have a tough nonleague schedule, but that should prep them for league play. Sir Devonta Stewart is another good athlete and Berkeley actually has a pretty good kicker in Sam Boyden.

El Cerrito has been in the mix for several years, including winning a co-championship in 2009. The Gauchos went 4-2 in ACCAL and 5-5 overall, but did not make the playoffs. That should have the team motivated for a run at the postseason this year. Sophomore Jalen Harvey was an all-leaguer as a freshman and quarterback Jordan Webster saw some time last year and that should help him.

Alameda has a new coach in former assistant Kemp Moyer and will look to rebound from a 4-7 season that did see the Hornets sneak into the playoffs before losing to Pinole. Zac Alfers will be the top receiver and offensive threat and RB Frank Muzio should carry the load on the ground. Defense is where the Hornets want to see the most improvement in order to improve on last season.

At Hercules, there should be a little momentum flowing from last year’s 5-5 season. Although it didn’t result in a playoff berth, it had to be nice to get to .500 for the first time in at least a decade. Nico Murrillo returns after running for 1,008 yards a season ago for the Titans.

Richmond has a new coach in Tashaka Merriweather and the Oilers have to be happy to return the ACCAL’s second leading passer in Daniel Esparza, who threw for over 1,200 yards and 12 TDs. De Anza also has a new coach in Jim Klaczak and will try to improve.

Jimmy Durkin

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

  • ManDown

    There’s no excuse why Berkeley should only have 25 players. Thats terrible and the HC should be ashamed of himself for allowing that to happen.

  • Yeah Warrior/Jacket I agree. Just trying to bring out the root of the problem. Carter is no doubt a dynamic personality regardless of the situation he made it work. B-High got new uni’s atleast once & always went to the CAl Camp which isn’t cheap. But before him & after him there are numbers issues. Bissel didn’t run with a Frosh team his last couple of years & Simms is having the same problem.

  • Bayareaboy2

    Berkeley had the ball for 15 min. on offense, they scored on the first play on a deep pass BUT ONLY because Bo Banks was waiting for referee’s to start the game so when he saw the offense line up he didn’t think much of it until a receiver was catching the ball, OOPS.He found out later that the ref’s had left for the day as did ALL THE OTHER COACHES who were baffled by that fact. It was Berkeley O VS Encinal D and if you go to youtube……. http://youtu.be/R7lVJ9Ts-4Q you will see exactly how it went for Berkeley.I hear in the 15 minutes they had on offense Encinal stuffed them cold….in the video you can see Berkeley TOP 25 PLAYER Rudolpho James (white jersey) getting
    macked by LB Alex Amiri and from what I hear encinal handled them to leave little doubt.

  • Berkeley played tough they had some good looking kids. We don’t need that talk going. I’m sure they were missing a couple of players they only had 22-24 guys. Its just a scrimmage it means as much as you see on our record. We didn’t do a great job against Alhambra a couple yars ago I remember reading blogs that they wanted a higher seed because of it. We still have a LONG WAY to go! I don’t need my players reading how good they are & not coming to practice. Jet Pride.

  • Same ol’ Williams

    End of conversation…!


    @ Same Ol’ Williams

    When I saw atmosphere I don’t mean the surrounding area, nieghborhood or facilities, I mean the coaching vibe. Something is missing and its a combination of reasons why. A lack of discipline, efficiency, respect, professionalism, punctuality and an overall seriousness which is needed to run the program consistently.


    I meant “say”

  • Same ol’ Williams

    Speaking of Alhambra, my mole tells me Hayward High likes a power running offense. Alhambra vs Miramonte… I got Miramonte by 17 points.

  • Bayareaboy2

    Probably said too much sorry coach me and a bunch of fathers throughout the league
    got together Saturday night after the scrimmages and did some drinking and talked alot of crap to each other, shared ideas shared view points plus we were watching the UFC fights.
    Its unanamious that shit talking from players is not necessary it was just us friends,Dads and coaches having fun sharing and talking crap between us. We like to think these are solely opinions of individuals and were all entitled to share them with no harm intended PLEASE never take them to heart because most of us on here are just giving OUR VIEWS of things the way we see it if were blind than so be it but were just voicing our thoughts

    Go BayArea High School Football..

  • fatman

    Sim, knew what he was getting into when he took the job they are treating him the same way they did “Carter”, except Carter kept his kids eligible.

  • BVAL Expert

    Berkley has black helmets this year? very interesting..

    might want to consider that maybe the coaches did that on purpose to not give things away to the team they are playing in Week 1.

    On maxpreps it counts 31 players.. they barely have any depth on the O-line position. They are starting a Sophmore QB which could go bad.

    But why is it that Berkeley isnt producing the same number in size of rosters over the years? and what is causing this to happen? This is a very interesting topic to follow right now.. What do you guys think about this?

  • pirate football

    bval expert where did u hear that berkeley is starting a soph at qb, what happened to the senior the stole from oakland tech.

  • BVAL Expert

    I dont know if hes starting .. but hes on the roster as a SOPH QB… The other guy that is listed is AKIL BORDELON who is 5-5. Im pretty sure they are not going to start a 5-5 QB with knowing berkley having Huge lineman over the years.. Probably would be difficult to throw over those lineman.. All the info is on maxpreps

  • pirate football

    looks like b high is n trouble, i say they start off with a loss friday

  • pirate football

    i wonder what happened to the qb they took from tech, did he not make grade or not cleared by ncs?


    Its official, Fred Sims in 1-1/2 years has transformed a very good D-1 program and turned it into a version of his own St. Elizabeth’s. Instead of stepping up his game and maintaining a good program, he brought the program down to his level-Small yet JANKY! No respcet to St. Elizabeth’s this is not an insult to you or your team. But for Berkeley to only suit 24 players for their first game is ridiculous. He has whittled the program to a nub. I hope the Berkeley kids don’t as much as I think they will this season. Its really sad!

  • ManDown

    Damn 24 players suited up for Berkeley? Sims is going to have a long year.

  • pirate football

    thats unbelieveable big as that school is only 24-30 kids on varsity and i hear that they have lots of 10th graders on varsity, not lookin good for sims, maybe coach barnes is waiting for another opp if sims cant cut it