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30Q-2-KICKOFF (No. 3): ROCKing the STONE

Following up on the theme of yesterday’s post about the new Western Alameda County Conference, it’s time to talk about our other new league: the Tri-County Athletic League.

The TCAL (couldn’t get more original with the name, eh?) essentially blends the former Alameda Contra Costa Athletic League with the Bay Shore Athletic League. So those two league are gone and the TCAL is the new product. Four schools (Alameda, Berkeley, Encinal, Piedmont) left those leagues to join the new WACC, leaving 12 full-time TCAL members. However, St. Joseph Notre Dame doesn’t field a football team. That would’ve dropped the TCAL to 11, but Berean Christian and Valley Christian-Dublin joined the fold to make the TCAL a 13-team commodity for football.

The Rock Division, which is the A Division, has seven teams: Berean Christian, El Cerrito, Pinole Valley, Salesian, St. Mary’s, St. Patrick-St. Vincent, Valley Christian. Pretty interesting league if you ask me. For Salesian, it’s an obvious step up from playing in and dominating the Bay Football League. We’ll see how they handle the likes of El Cerrito and Pinole Valley. I think they are still capable of doing very well. El Cerrito could prove to be the favorite. Marcellus Pippins is a stud with a lot of college interest. The rest of the league should all be pretty solid.

The Stone Division features Albany, De Anza, Hercules, John Swett, Kennedy and Richmond. On paper, there’s not a ton to get excited about there to be perfectly honest. But it’s definitely a league that should be competitive. You’re going to see a team win a league title that hasn’t generally been competitive in the old league configurations. And competitive equity is one of the key aspects of this realignment and I believe that will be achieved.

Jimmy Durkin

I cover mostly San Jose State football for the San Jose Mercury News/Bay Area News Group, but also fill in from time to time with the 49ers, Warriors, A's and Giants.

  • 617lemon

    Stone divison has to be the worst league ever. with all these new b leagues playn crap schedules how will we know if a b league program has turned the corner or r they just beatn garbage? I hope richmond wins there league n someone like las lomas or clayton valley fans have to go to richmond on a friday nite theyll complain n gil lemon will change the host rule.

  • ManDown

    617lemon, I hear you on that lol! Great point! Thats another problem with these B leagues.

  • DJ

    1.el cerrito
    2.Pinole Valley
    3.salesian
    4.Valley Christian
    5.st.marys
    6.berean Christian
    7.st.Pats

    Pv,ec ,Salesian or valley could all make a run at league title…….but getting a little ahead the tcal in basketball is goin be a real challenge Salesian ec st.pat s.marys and st joes wow

  • http://www.ibabuzz.com New League Expert

    The TCAL is El Cerritos to lose.

    Salesian and PV are on heading into down seasons.

    St. Pats is on the way back up.

    1. EC
    2. VC
    3. SP/SV
    4. PV
    5. Sal
    6. BC
    7. SM

    Salesion’s non -league schedule is a joke. Coach Chad ” I am to scared to play D III ” Nightingale should be given the rubber chicken award for the coach coming off of a 13-0 season who picks on teams with loosing records.

  • ManDown

    1. EC- Loaded with talent and this is the year they win league.
    2. PV- defense and the new coaching staff seems to have those guys organized. Could end up finishing first.
    3. Salesian- Big in the trenches and have some very good athletes to match both EC and Pinole. I think they lose both game though.
    4. Saint Marys- Don’t sleep on this team.
    5. VC- Could very well end up finishing fourth
    6. BC- Won’t match up athleticly with the top teams in this division
    7. SPSV- Blanton gone hurts this program

  • mvalfan

    Hey I am not sure if Salesian is ready to play these types of games week in and week out, it will be much different from playing Emery and CSD and St liz. So they are a team that I will most likely keep an eye on throughout the season! I have EC winning it this year and honestly feel torn on who will come in second and third.

  • http://aol BigDog

    Blanton got a sweet deal going to Jesuit. I heard he’s got 18 coaches so far on all levels and a new 5 million dollar field with potential light is going to be built.

  • http://aol BigJoe

    Barefoot- sorry to insult your SRV last year’s team. If this year is better, so be it. You are right, DLS team is very humble, I am not. Most of the DLS bloggers are aggresive, but I don’t speak for them. Too many slams and accusations over the years against DLS doesn’t help. Obviously, with your comments you seem to respect their program. I can count on you rooting for them, then when they move to the playoffs.

  • BayAreaSection

    How come Pinole Valley did not move up? I am surprised their even in this league. Perhaps thse teams cud schedule intersectional games?

  • ManDown

    Blanton recieved a sweet deal to coach Jesuit. He will have three levels to oversee and a pop warner program. Can’t get any better than that. Lets see what Blanton does with this program because he is a very good coach.

    http://www.jesuithighschool.org/news/marlon-blanton-named-head-varsity-football-coach

  • PValum

    This not EC’s league to lose, great raw talent but lack discipline and have poor qb play with senior leaving last year.pv is on the uprise and will challenge both salesian and ec. Salesian did lose key people but have always reloaded well, I watched two of there playoff games last year and #24 Trever Thomas is a BEAST and he returns to lead the D and dynamic RB Michael page will do well also.
    It will be a good race for these three teams, I will be in attendance when salesian and EC face off.

  • VC Fan

    VC-Big up front with 2 lineman playing on the US Team and D1 prospects McHone 6’3″ 275 Flynn 6’4″ 275 and running back Harris a beast 6’0″ 225 Wilke the speadster. Coach by a 12 year NFL Vet Parrella this team is Disciplined and Well Coached. The best matchup of the league will be EC vs. VC winner of this game should be league champs…

  • Spartan83

    In my opinion, EC or Salesians will win the Rock title this season. Pinole is going through big changes with Coach Alameda retiring.

    As for the Stone division … I can’t see anything to get excited about. But, I believe Hercules is the best of this sad division. Kennedy who has a tuff non-league schedule might surprise, at least within the Stone division.