30Q-2-KICKOFF (No. 18): Who’s on a Mission?

Let’s continue our run through through our East Bay leagues by taking a glance at the wide-open Mission Valley Athletic League.

So who’s going to win the MVAL? For the first time in recent memory, I have no idea. James Logan is out of the league, now officially playing this season as an independent. The Colts will play four games against MVAL teams, but that’s just to fill out the schedule. They won’t be in contention for the league title. That makes this a completely wide open league.

Newark Memorial and American tied for second in the league last year, followed by usual contender Washington in fourth. Irvington was a team that showed flashes at times as well. Coming in to this year, you’d have to figure just about anybody in the league is in contention.

It could even be the league’s newcomer Moreau Catholic, a team that has shown steady improvement over the last few years and made a significant addition to the staff with the hiring of Rob Gatrell as an assistant. Gatrell, a former high school teammate of head coach Andrew Cotter, was Windsor’s head coach last year when it beat Concord for the NCS Division II title. He’ll be the offensive coordinator for the Mariners. I’ve liked what Moreau’s been doing for several years now and I think the Mariners are well positioned to succeed in the new MVAL.

Obviously, steady programs like Newark Memorial and Washington should be expected to be in the mix. Washington had what it would consider to be a down year last year, going 3-8. Despite the success it’s had in the past decade, the Huskies have struggled with numbers. They still tend to have a few outstanding athletes. Newark also tends to always have a few standouts that ensure the team is competitive.

Who’s the favorite? At this point, I’m not sure. But I can guarantee the league should be fun to watch this year. With Logan, which would’ve been a very heavy favorite, not factored in, most of the league can enter the season feeling like it can be a contender.

Jimmy Durkin

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

  • MVAL Watcher

    I’m not sure if Moreau will win the MVAL, but I will say that they will be in contention for sure. Adding coach Gatrell will automatically put their offense ahead of most of the league. Since the removing go Logan no other team really has more athletes than Moreau and thats what has beaten in the past. I expect them to be in contention for the MVAL title by week 7.

    I guess the Admin is buying in over there, major upgrade in football/basketball programs at Moreau. That might be the new place to go in the next few years!

  • Mission Blvd Fan

    MSJ has new coaching staff. The program has no where to go but up. Will they have a competitive team?

  • DJ

    Moreau shoulda rejoined the leagues in hayward, cowards.

  • moreaufan2

    Hey Dj, no need for name calling sir, very childish. We are moving into a league where we will play d1 and d2 schools every week. plus we were not invited back to the new hayward league. this will be a great move for us, so stop the hating, its a new season! No matter the league every team has to put in work to compete! I am looking forward to seeing teams compete this year! I do now that We are working hard just like all the other great programs, from our avrsity to our freshman team. it will be an adjustment for moreau in football with a new OC, but things are looking up. Have alot of talent!

  • MVALFremont

    Moreau’s toughest competition will come from Newark American and Washington. I don’t see the Mariners winning league in their first year but they will finish somewhere between first and fourth

  • High IQ

    The only cowardice act was when Moreau decided to leave the HAAL in football only, yet still participate in all of the other sports. It’s no wonder that Moreau wasn’t invited back to join the new league. They might quit again. I also find it ironic that they join the MVAL just as Logan is leaving.

  • ncsmval

    Washington will be the favorite to win MVAL! Plenty of experience on offense. Look for the Washington defense it will be tough with a new d coordinator.

  • redandblue2

    Moreau will have a tough game right out of the chute, hosting D3 NCS Champion Campolindo 11 days from now. It sounds as if Moreau may be on the upswing and certainly Campo has lost a lot from last year’s team. Campo defeated Moreau 37-7 in last season’s opener.

    Good test for each team to assess what they have after the first week of the year.

  • moreaufan2

    High IQ, Logan left after we had joined the league. They didn’t want to play another lower div team, which made since, they were looking to compete on a higher level, they have ruled the MVAL for the past few years so it made sense, they want to play top teams so after this season they will be totally independent, this year they have to play a few MVAL games! Anyway Not sure why u take Us leaving the HAAL as Cowardice! but whatever not important enough to argue about it!

  • moreaufan2

    No we didn’t lose 37-7, we lost 37-14. Not a big difference but i saw someone else say that we lost 37-7 and i was like where did that score come from. Campo will be a very tough rough game, they are a very good team.

  • Pawn Star

    MaxPreps has last year’s score 37-7 which is wrong. It was 37-14 as Moreaufan2 points out.

  • DJ

    moreaufan, my post was more of a joking nature. I do remember them intending to join the MVAL before logan was going Independent.

  • MoreauFan

    VERY excited to be joining the MVAL and for this year to begin. I’m loving the potential for this team, the new offense should be fun to watch. Program hopefully remains on the upswing. The Campo game to start will be rough but I think we can compete for the MVAL title immediately.

    Big things I’m excited to see: the new men coming up from JV and the new offensive style. Gatrell ran a pro-style, will he bring it to Moreau? Or will he keep the veer alive?

    MVAL Watcher, the administration has definitely bought into the sports program. They have been more committed since the change in AD. The low admissions (our student population has been dropping at a steady rate) has definitely lit a fire under them to try to bring in more students. I’m loving it because it’s palpable the excitement for the sports programs now.

    DJ and High IQ, Is it truly fair to ask Moreau to compete in the HAAL? Wanting to have a chance at success in another league is acceptable in my opinion. You are entitled to your opinions as well, but getting routinely smashed by teams that had double the number of students in the schools (which matters more for football than non-football sports) while their admissions were dropping, is hard to justify. Also, they were in the MVAL after the Catholic Athletic League, so we’re returning to our roots per se.

    Ride the Wave!


  • RipManDowm

    Do anyone know where is Newark , American And Irvington Scrimmaging at this week?

  • ManDown

    RipManDowm, Who wants to see those teams scrimmage? Sounds boring!

  • MVALFremont

    I think American is scrimaging Irvington at Irvington this Thursday

  • Tri-City Dude

    Sort of off topic, but does anyone know where Deshane Hines of American is this year? I know that he already graduated, but I wanted to know if he was able to hook on with a college. It would be a shame if he wasn’t.

  • MVALFremont

    DeShane is playing junior college I think at Chabot but I’m not sure

  • TheBay79

    Does anyone know if, as rumor has it, if the Moreau Catholic/Campo game this Friday will be televised? I heard it might be on Comcast Bay Area?

  • Pawn Star

    TheBay79 – I haven’t heard about CSN Bay Area. But supposedly you will be able to watch the Moreau/Campo game live here: