SRV honors football, soccer, water polo commits

Excitement filled the air at the San Ramon Valley High cafeteria on Wednesday, when the school honored 11 senior athletes who have committed to colleges.

Three linemen off the Wolves’ North Coast Section Division I runner-up football team, tight end Sean Miller (Cornell), guard Matt Fisher (Cal Poly) and tackle Jake Simonich (Utah State), were the first ones introduced by athletic director John Raynor.

Wolves football coach Mark Kessler stood nearby soaking it all in on national signing day.

“You’re just proud and happy for them,” Kessler said. “They’ve worked real hard to get where they are, and it’s neat to see them being given the opportunity to pursue their goals.”

The Wolves’ water polo star Justin Roberto, who has orally committed to Stanford, and girls water polo standout Megan Rodriguez (Wagner College) were also honored. Roberto and Wagner were EBAL MVPs last fall.

Roberto proudly wore his Stanford shirt during the ceremony.

“My mom wanted me to wear black pants, but I didn’t wear black pants because that would be Monte Vista colors,” Roberto said. “Fortunately, Stanford’s not red and black, it’s just red. Actually it’s Cardinal, it’s not even red, so …”

In all seriousness, Roberto has maximized his time  academically and athletically at San Ramon Valley. The water polo program is outstanding.

“It’s phenomenal,” said Roberto, who amassed 86 goals last season, of the program. “Coach (Corey) Dolley, he knows what it’s like at the next level. He’s played at the highest level of water polo in the world, so to be able to learn from him has really helped me.

“San Ramon has always been one of the most competitive teams in the North Coast Section. It’s been a part of our history.”

SRV girls soccer players Reilly Parker (North Carolina), Shannon Hennessy (Pennsylvania), Amanda Davis (Pepperdine), and Beth Ritter (UCSB)  also took part on Wednesday, along with Sam Zarling, a club soccer player headed to Colorado College.

Parker, Davis, Hennessy and Ritter were also set to participate in another ceremony on Wednesday night at the Mustang Soccer Complex, among 22 college commits who are Mustang Soccer League players.

“The day is unreal,” Parker said. “I’ve been waiting for this my whole life. I’ve always wanted to go to Carolina, since I was 5 years old. After waiting two years after committing, it finally feels real. It’s the best feeling ever.”

Parker has a strong Tar Heels connection. She  lives near Courtney Jones and her family. Jones, the daughter of ex-San Francisco 49ers tight end Brent Jones, was co-captain of the 2011 North Carolina women’s squad.

“She’s like my older sister,” Parker said of Courtney Jones, a former Monte Vista and Mustang Select star. “She’s actually my neighbor. The Jones family has been so much help in this process. They have been there for support, friendship, all that. Courtney and her sister (Rachel) have been like sisters to me. They’re family to me.”

Parker also said she  feels “honored” to get a chance to play for legendary UNC coach Anson Dorrance.

Matt Schwab

  • Barbara Idso

    You mentioned 11 seniors but only listed 9 in the article? Who were the other two seniors?

  • junior

    I thought SRV was structually disadvantaged

    Nice work Wolves- good to see local talent moving on.

  • Prep Fan

    I’m sure Kline was one of the other 2 seniors not listed. Congrats to the Wolves moving on to the next level.

  • Matt Schwab

    Yeah, Kline couldn’t make it as he’s already enrolled at Cal. Another honoree requested not to be mentioned because he won’t be signing until March. I did inadvertantly leave out Beth Ritter’s name and will add it to the story ASAP. Nice catch. Apologies to to Beth.

  • FB Guru

    What about the FB players who have committed in LAX?

  • Prep Fan

    Simonich, Fisher & Kline all played youth football for the San Ramon Bears program.

  • Matt Schwab

    The LAX guys committed in the fall. We ran the list of early period signees around Nov. 10.

  • Voice of Reason


    As usual, you portray yourself to be a complete baffoon; nicely done. The only thing “structurally disadvantaged” is your logic.

  • Voice of Reason, Junior, me and all the other DeLa’s are against you- get it?
    Junior been on this blog for many years- you’re a new comer- get in the back of the line rookie.
    Going to school with Edison means nothing to us- get on the Logan -Moreau blog and try to help your former school.

  • There’s structural disadvantage at SRV if the QB is the player of the year and 3 lineman sign to Div1 football. That’s horse manure.
    They plain got whipped in that NCS and season game, period, by a smaller line.
    They’re going to get qwhipped again next season.
    Reason, you need to get whipped behind the woodshead with a wet noodle.
    My hounds stand ready to assist you.

  • Prep Fan

    This isn’t an article about DLS. I know it is hard to believe, but how about just applauding the hard work and accomplishments of all the SRV athletes who are moving on to bigger and better things.

  • Voice of Reason

    Hardly a rookie BigJoe, but that makes no difference. I only rail at the DLS supporters who just don’t seem to get it; like you YoMama, Junior, etc.

    For the rest of the intelligent people who read these blogs, credit DLS for leveraging the structural advantage they have (access to a population base of nearly 1.5 million people and being geographically located right in the center of Contra Costa County; no other D1 Catholic School rivals in NCS, to name the biggest advantages).

    However, only two sports, basketball and football (soccer is gaining), have been able to capitalize on this advantage; again, a credit to Ladouceur & Allocco. One need only look at the DLS baseball program, without an established Coach, to see they haven’t been able to attract the top talent in the east bay.

    Yet, some of the DLS posters you see on these blogs just can’t stand to have someone tell the truth about the fact they are able to get superior football athletes from all over the east bay. They like to say “their line is smaller than everyone they play” or “its all about the brotherhood”; nevermind the fact that 11 DLS football players were named to the all east bay team, more than any other school. YoMama, Junior, BigJoe, et al, will tell you with a straight face that none of these 11 would have made all east bay had they played for their local public school high school. Those 21 straight NCS D1 championships are proof enough the system is out of balance.

    But I will celebrate the dynasty that DLS football is, as I have for more than 20 years, becasue it is so compelling and Lad & Eidson are such great coaches. No coaching staff gets more out of their players than those two. Just don’t insult my intelligence and other non DLS faithful by telling me they don’t enjoy even the slightest of advantages over every other football program in the EBAL.

  • junior

    You have to have some intelligence first, in order to insult it.
    Apparantly the structural advantage is measured in athletes:
    2011 SRV football: 6 D1 athletes
    2011 DLS football: 5 D1 athletes (one who missed over half of the season and never played at more than 70%of his full health)

    Puts a a bit of a hole in that lame theory.

  • Prep Fan

    Junior, just let the SRV kids who are going to the next level have their day in the sun without comparing them to the Spartan way of life. They may not measure up to the DLS kids, but they are doing just fine for having gone to a public school.

  • junior

    ^^^^Dummy- see post #2 before you pop off.

  • Voice of Reason

    Very good Junior! Cherry pick one year one year and you feel you made your point. You must have slept well last night. Just for kicks, how ’bout you compare from 1991-2001 all the “All East Bay,” All League selections, and all the student athletes who went on to play college, and compare DLS to any other D1 NCS school. I think we all know what the outcome would be.

    So enjoy, as I do, the juggernaut that is DLS sports; acknowledge the advantages they have, compliment other programs when they have a good year (think Cal High 2010 football) and be humble that you are a fan of such a well respected institution.

  • junior

    cherry picking is changing the criteria for your unproven theory from athletes to post season awards.

    Point the acknowledge finger at yourself- don’t make false theories to explain greatness, it’s intellectually lazy.

    Also, dont confuse humbleness with setting the record straight.

  • Prep Fan

    Had you not started post #2 with “I thought SRV was structually disadvantaged”, it would have been a nice post. Instead it became a post about DLS, and an insensitive dig into the SRV kids, most who aren’t even football players. Had this article been abut DLS kids that succeeded, and someone else came in trying to slight them, you might then understand where you went wrong here.

  • The EBAL has put at least 10 QB’s in college at a high level the last decade. I don’t think DLS has done anywhere close to that.
    The EBAL consistantly puts wide receivers and offensive lineman in college over the years.
    They normally don’t put many defensive players in college, usually lack overall team speed for defense.
    Nobody was slighting SRV football players for their awards.
    Junior made a point and it hits true.
    Don’t even mention other sports. The EBAL has sent so many kids to college for soceer, aquatics and baseball, it’s not even funny. Let’s see, how many SRV baseball players recently in the majors and minors?

  • junior

    Preppy- your obsession with The Green Machine clouds your judgement.

    The “dig” was not directed at the Wolves at all- as my second sentence clearly demonstrates.

    Setting the record straight…again.

  • Prep Fan

    Nice try, no one’s buying it. Try to keep this about the Wolves. You can debate comments made by the SRV coach or your favorite team on other threads.

  • junior

    wasn’t selling anything- as if I care what you think.

    for the weak minds: if you don’t like it, ignore it.

  • Voice of Reason

    I’ve been consistent with my remarks about DLS from the beginning Junior; offering point after point about the inequities they enjoy over other public school D1 teams. Your insecurity over anyone who dares to provide a credible argument as to how a team like DLS can do what they have done would be laughable if it wasn’t so downright pathetic.

    Keep ripping me Junior; you obviously love to quote me. I suppose I should feel flattered. I must say it certainly is entertaining to see you keep digging yourself a deeper hole.

  • junior

    The record shows who goes to personal attacks first- it aint junior.

    Your theory has been disproved (just reread this post) so many times it is comical.

    You can’t explain the SJS public domination, the other private school weak teams, the DLS teams who do not dominate, etc. You have proved nothing.

    You are yet another of the anti-private school biggots who make excuses. It is a sad commentary (abeit small) on the decline of the American culture. You need to man up son.

  • Prep Fan

    Way to take the high road and hijack a thread about another school’s athletes. This has nothing to do with private schools or DLS. I’m sure the parents and relatives of these fine athletes, as well as the athletes themselves appreciate all your thoughtful comments.

  • junior

    Right back at you preppy. You certainly are one for the high road.

  • Voice of Reason

    As usual Junior, you have no idea of what you are talking about. I went to Moreau HS in the 70’s. No one values a parochial school eduaction more than I do. I sent my kids to Catholic schools for their educatiion. I don’t begrudge anyone for sending their kids to a private high school, even DLS, for athletics. What I can’t stand are people like yourself, who can’t seem to acknowledge even the slightest advantage a school like DLS has over schools like SRV.

    I don’t offer theories, only cold hard facts. Your sad attempts at discrediting me just further your arrogance and ignorance of the facts.

    I’ll finish by saying congratulations to all the SRV athletes who are continuing their academic and athletic careers in college. There is no sense in continuing a fruitless dialogue on this thread with a myopic synchophant such as Junior.

  • junior

    Your attendance at Moreau has zero bearing on this lame theory you post. It does not give you any credibility.

    I have listed advantages and disadvantages for both public and private schools- an exercise you have yet to do. My stance can pass any and all fact tests- yours has been disproven over and over. You continue to ignore the facts that disprove your theory.

    It is common for the person in the wrong to call the other arrogant- I am simply setting the record straight. I have faith that someday you will see the light.

  • Voice of Reason

    I have to apologize to everyone on this thread. I didn’t realize, until now, that “Junior” is in fact JuniorPJ on the CCTimes high school forum.

    I encourage all of you to read the thread “The De La Salle football conundrum.” There you will find “Junior” in all his glory. Be sure to read his back and forth with “001” and especially “epcthree.” Their arguments are exactly the same as mine, only much more eloquent. In fact, epcthree is a football coach who has a personal relationship with coach Lad, yet Junior foolishly challenged him anyways.

    Had I known and read this thread, I would never have engaged him here. I now feel very sorry for Junior, and perhaps the rest of you will too if you read that thread.

  • junior

    be sure and read the part about “coach’s” use of heart monitors- that’s an eye opener.

    this is quite the research for a guy who claims I’m ignorant… wonder why you would spend all that time.

    other places I post: Paul-johnson884 @ NorCal preps and DLSHS at Spartanhood… all feedback is welcome and encouraged. Enjoy the reading.

  • epcthree

    I hesitate to come back into this discussion as it is truly an ad nauseam topic – much discussed and little or nothing is resolved. What most posters here claim as fact is truly their own opinion – to which they have every right, but still is opinion.

    In the eyes of those who believe that De La Salle possesses advantages in obtaining players; they most often site supposed recruiting, etc. Those who support De La Salle will point out that there are indeed advantages held by public schools on which attention should be focused.

    My belief (opinion – NOT fact) is now and has always been that the “advantage” that De La Salle possesses is two-fold. The first advantage is Bob Ladouceur. Bottom line, Coach Lad is special. He has the ability to pull kids in and they buy into what he puts forth. If Coach Lad does not take over at De La Salle in 1979 then none of this discussion takes place. The second “advantage” that De La Salle possesses is tied directly to Coach Lad; that success breeds success. De La Salle doesn’t recruit because De La Salle doesn’t have to recruit. Kids (and their parents) want to attend De La Salle because of what De La Salle represents.

    Ironically though, it seems that some of the posters who support De La Salle, like Junior, seem to be VERY quick to fight for their position and do so with vitriol which seems excessive. I don’t know why this is as it represents exactly the opposite of what Coach Lad puts forth in what he expects from his athletes. Outwardly it appears like bunker mentality, but I honestly don’t know why they are as angry or at least as pointed as they appear.

    On the statistical side of the ledger, recently the CC Times listed ALL of their Cream of the Crop players every selected (they began in 1984). Looking at school representation, to me, was very interesting. Not surprisingly DLS led the way with 60 selections. That being the case though, one school was VERY close with 51. Before I provide the school below, take a guess. See how many of you get it right.

    Bottom line there were 5 additional schools with 20+ selections and another dozen with 10 or more. To me this actually speaks to the argument that most DLS supporters use in that DLS is not an all-star team made up of the very best kids in the Bay Area. Given their dominance, one might expect DLS numbers to be much higher on this list. To be fair, the more recent the list, the more De La Salle’s numbers jump above the pack. But regardless, there are plenty of DLS kids who are not the “cream of the crop” and that speaks to the teamwork that Coach Lad instills in his program.

    Finally, and this is directed to Junior – I have stated in my previous discussions with you that you are arguing with someone who essentially supports your argument. I don’t understand why you are so ready to fight anyone who doesn’t agree with your position unless they do so at 100%. You took shots at my use of heart monitors as a tool and all I can ask is why? It is just that, a tool. It provides additional (as you like to claim) hard factual data on which I can base judgment. I don’t see why you consider this a “bad” thing.

    Lastly, Skyline is the school with 51 kids on Cream of the Crop. Only proves the point that individual talent alone doesn’t always mean team success.

  • Epcthree, just to point one thing out, just about all of those Skyline players on Cream of the Crop are from the era in which Skyline was basically second only to DLS in terms of East Bay football. In some of those years, Skyline was pretty close to equal or better than DLS. In 1984, for example, Skyline went 10-0 and was ranked No. 1 in the East Bay, beating No. 2 DLS and No. 4 Miramonte. So in Skyline’s case, their talent (along with a great coach in John Beam) did lead to a lot of team success.

  • junior

    Epcthree- that is as good a post as I have read on this blog in years. I have no problem with a high percentage of it.

    When others post as you just did- they will get no retort from me.

  • S1lverngreen

    Man! What a great post!

  • epcthree

    @ #32 – Jimmy, thanks for the lesson… I actually have been out of the Bay Area since the early 80’s and was not really cognizant of Skyline’s success during that time frame.

    I think you might agree though that the OAL historically has had more than their fair share of individual athletes without necessarily having the team success that might be expected. It is a fact of life we see here in the Denver Metro area as well. 4-5 great players on teams surrounded by kids of lesser ability. It’s the cross of inner-city football across America I’m afraid.

    By the way, for those DLS fans; next year you play Denver Mullen HS – for those unaware, they recently fired their head coach in what has been one of the strangest and most poorly handled situations around Colorado High School athletics in years. Chances are quite good that this game will end up being much less of a challenge for DLS than originally anticipated.

    If DLS wants to strap it up, they need to look into a new school here; Valor Christian. The school is 4-5 years old and just won their 3rd consecutive State Championship, winning 63-0. They have made it clear that they intend to be a nationally regarded program and have already been refused admission into any league in or around Denver. I think it would be an interesting match up to say the least!

  • Yeah Epcthree, it’s certainly true that often the OAL has some better individual talent that team success. The Skyline teams and some of the McClymonds teams have been the exceptions. The Skyline teams from the 80s up through the early 2000s played as tough a schedule as anybody. Their schedules were loaded with EBAL and WCAL schools. They had wins over Serra, St. Francis, Foothill, Monte Vista, Logan, Dorsey from LA, etc. Those were the days when basically all the top players in Oakland went to Skyline (thanks to open enrollment). The talented players are a lot more spread out now, not just between all the Oakland schools but also with those leaving the city for other schools.

  • Voice of Reason

    Right on the money Epcthree and I, unlike Junior, am in 100% lockstep with everthing you state. I agree it is a tired subject that gets resurrected from time to time.

    My angle on all of this has always been, now that DLS has won 20 NCS D1 titles in a row, given their advantages, it doesn’t appear that any one of the other D1 public schools in NCS will dethrone them any time soon. When the day comes that DLS loses to a northern California team, it will likely be to another private school team.

    Just my opinion, but I believe DLS will never lose to a northern California public school team until coach Lad retires.

  • djgaucho

    While I do believe de la salle definetly has some advantages I do believe the key is great coaching and they play great team ball they dont always have the best individual athletes like alot of the other schools.I dont know for certain that they recruit kids but I do know that just like anything else once the train starts moving everybody rushes to jump on like with Skyline in the 90’s and when there is no geographical limitations in place you have kids coming not just from concord but oakland,richmond, berekeley as well in other ebal areas and you have a dynasty but who can blame the kids you know going to de la your going to win,your going to get exposed to one of if not the best coach in the nation,you get national exposure and play some very good competition…….by the way i didnt hear what the SRV coach said about DLS that caused such an uproar can someone run that back what he said please?

  • Inthekey

    Does anybody remember the glory days at St Joe’s in Alameda 69-74..Piolts used to come out to DLS and beat-down the Spartans…It was great coaching just as it is now at De La Salle and the Brotherhood.
    Here’s to the glory day’s: Marven Vitatoe, Andre Hill,Henderson McDaniels, Vernon Willams,Steve Martinez,Jerry Lankford, Ed Lankford,Jim Eyen,John O’Donnel, Manulas Martin, Tom Kidwell,David Ratto,John Holstein,Mark Connley,John Smith.Ken Giannotti, Tom Curran, and one of the best ever HS coaches Mike Phelps.


    Thanks for noting the history of the Cream of the Crop. Looking at the lists dating back to 1984 brought back some great memories as well as some great names of high school kids who excelled at a very high level in football.

    The lists also provided a glimpse at who some of the great coaches were/are. It was intriguing to me to read about what schools produced the most cream of the crop players. It was also very interesting to identify the eras that these athletes played in at their respective schools and to note the coaches who prepared these players so well. Lad, of course, at DLS. John Beam at Skyline. But the one that really jumped out at me was the number of players from Bishop O’Dowd HS named to the list. Quietly, over his two plus decades at O’Dowd, Coach Paul Perenon not only had a high number of his players named to the cream of the crop list, he also (like Lad and Beam) found a way to win 200+ games along with multiple league and NCS championships. And Perenon did it at a school that had no noteworthy history or tradition in the sport of football. Also took note of the FOUR players from O’Dowd to make the NFL list (Bjornson, Glenn, Walker and Morrison). Not to shabby for a school mostly known for a sport other than football. Good work, Coach Perenon and to all of the coaches and players named to the cream of the crop lists.

  • post 39, st.joe’s, don’t forget Ken Gillard, forward with Vitatoe that went on to St. Mary’s, a big scorer at st.joe’s, I beleive averaged more than Vitatoe. Vitatoe ended up at ucla but then transfered to Hawaii.
    Also, it wasn’t all Mike Phelps. Coach Higgins who came from Sacred Heart in SF was at the helm during the Vitatoe years. The CAL had St. Mary’s, St. Joe’s, O’Dowd, DLS, St. Liz and Salesian, all ranked in the EB and NC. The amount of local talent that came out of that league was outstanding. The only leagues to give them a run was the OAL and the ACAL. The players
    who went on to college ball,
    Harper (SM), Monnihan(BO), Tersherra(BO), Will(BO), Webb(Sal), McDonald(SE), Gillard(SJ), Vitaote(SJ), Canepa(Sal), Vierra(DLS), etc. Saw them all.

  • Harper and Vierra ended up on the same colege team at St. Mary’s – the super six. can anyone remember the six?
    Harper(SM), Vierra(DLS), Roskinski(Liberty), Herman Brown(Mack), Craig Casult(Sturgis, Michigan), Ralph ” the Rocket” Walker(Chicago). Beat Cal that year with Vierra lighting it up for 20, played UNLV with Tark, Pepperdine with ” the Bird”, of course rivals Santa Clara and USF with Smith, Restani, Snake Jones, Eric Feinstein, and the rest.