30Q-2-KICKOFF (No. 24): Diablo Football

I’m back! Got a good tan, but it’s time for football. With scrimmages looming this weekend, today’s installment of 30Q looks at the Diablo Foothill Athletic League.

First, I’ll look backwards. Miramonte took the league title in 2010, beating Alhambra in late-season game to lock it up. As a whole, I would classify 2010 as a down year for the DFAL, with only Miramonte making major noise in the playoffs.

So, that brings us to this year and we’ve got to start with the Matadors. Back for his senior season is Ross Anderson, and just his return gives the Mats a leg up on the competition. Yes, Jack Schram is in as the new coach and we don’t yet know how that will affect things. My sense is not a whole lot. Who will fill the shoes left by talented players like John Coupin, Ross Dolbec and Anthony Piganelli? We shall see.

Las Lomas should be in line for a bounce back year despite the loss of talented RB Marquis Waters. Jackson Miller returns under center with a year under his belt, so I think he gets better. Plus, I’m thinking the Knights are going to be good in the trenches. Jake Villa projects as the new lead running back. If the defense can improve (21 points per game allowed last year) a little, I think Lomas can take a step back up.

The rest of the league is the great unknown. I like Alhambra to continue its recent success, based largely on the return of QB John Miller. They lose three studs in Davis, Leaf and Poyadue, but I really like the coaching staff there and I think Miller gives them some great flexibility to do good things on offense. I like Alhambra to be in it again.

I also like Acalanes to take a step forward this year. They welcome in a new QB, Spencer Henderson, and we already know he’s a gamer from his success on the diamond. Drew Gaylord is a Division I prospect at LB, and another year under Mike Ivankovich only solidifies the system more. I think the Dons are competitive this year.

What impact will John Wade have at Dublin? Tough to say at this point. A junior last year, I would think that Ed Achziger returns at QB for the Gaels. Can Wade turn it around quickly? We’ll see.

Dougherty Valley is a bit of a wild card for me. The Wildcats took a good step forward last year, getting wins over Las Lomas and Acalanes and making the NCS playoffs. The school just keeps getting bigger, and I’m guessing that the pool of football players is expanding as well. If the numbers continue to go up, and the talent continues to come in, I think DV continues to trend upwards.

Campo won its first four games last year and then dropped six of its last seven. The Cougars made the playoffs, and QB Brett Stephens is back to lead the offense, but we’ll be in a wait and see mode with them, I think. They’re always well coached, and they’re not far removed from being title contenders.

Altogether, I think the DFAL is improved from one year ago. I don’t think you can say there’s a slam-dunk favorite. But, that’s almost always the case in this league. Will the coaching transition go well at Miramonte? Will Las Lomas bounce back? Which other teams will get in the mix? All good questions yet to be answered.

Ben Enos

  • ManDown

    1.) Las Lomas – I think this is a rebound season for the Knights. I like both sides of the line and the QB to lead them to a league title.
    2.) Acalanes – On the rise! I like what Ivankovich has done with his team and I think running the double wing and Pistol will hurt teams in this league.
    3.) Miramonte – With a new HC can make this team drop to 4 or 5th IMO. I like the QB Anderson but they don’t have much after him. They will struggle this year
    4.) Dublin – Wade will have this team competing with the athletes they have at Dublin. If he can get these kids going early watch out DFAL.
    5.) Dougherty Valley – They had a young team last year. Lets see what they can do with the success they had last year.
    6.) Alhambra – Going to take the biggest drop this year. I can see them losing 6 to 7 games in ’11
    7.) Campo – After Stephans there is nothing else that impresses me with this squad

  • Mandown…I will stick with Miramonte,Acalanes,Alhambra,
    Las Lomas,Dougherty Valley,Dublin
    Campolindo…..The team I think is the most dangerous is Acalanes…Ivankovich is busy building a machine..he is inheriting a good JV team, but so is Miramonte and Dublin….The order above will be totally different by the end of the season…I still think the DFAL will be the Black and Blue division or a war zone….

  • Biggcoug65

    Dublin, Las Lomas, and Acalanes will battle for the league title. Miramonte is an unknown, with a new Head Coach brings a possible new offense better for Anderson or not remains to be unseen. Alhambra always seems to compete, but they will lose a few, then you have Dougherty Valley and Campo competing for the cellar dweller.

  • mandown…..You could be right about Alhambra…I watched them scrimmage Hayward and there offense was lack luster…but their defense was way ahead….with Miller out for a while..Acosta has come up from the JV. But he throws passes that are easy to catch but also easy to pickoff…..In the case of Miller…he won’t know what his future looks like until Monday when they review the MRI….In the case of Miramonte…Antioch took care of them a week again in scrimmage and also beat Rodiquez,Casa Grande and one other…

  • HAAL c/o2000

    George Manley: whats your opinion of the way hayward looked against alhambra

  • BVAL Expert

    Las Lomas did terrible at there scrimage

  • nfl

    how did campo look at there scrimmage with alameda? will they be ready for the much hyped mariners from moreau?

  • avdon05

    Agree with big coug…Dub, LL, AHS will be in the hunt for the title.

    You’ve got to figure nobody opened up the playbook during the scrimmages. Things will get a little more clear after this week. Should be a great season.