I’ve lauded much of the results of the NCS Bay Shore Conference realignment, which created the new Tri County Athletic League and Western Alameda Athletic Conference. But there was one casualty in the process that will make things a little strange for a few local teams.
After the realignment went down, among the big questions were: what would Salesian do? The Pride had been playing in the supplemental Bay Football League, rather than the Bay Shore Athletic League — the league all its other sports played in. That was answered when Salesian confirmed it would leave the BFL to participated in the TCAL, with it being slotted in the “A” Division, the Rock Division. With Salesian leaving the BFL, that left Berean Christian and Valley Christian obviously concerned about the quality of the league and both teams lept at the chance to also join the TCAL, as supplemental members. The TCAL was going to need at least one extra member, to make up for the fact that St. Joseph Notre Dame doesn’t field a football team. So with both Berean Christian and Valley Christian gone, that left a depleted BFL.
Only three members of the league remained in California School for the Deaf, Emery and St. Elizabeth, with Stellar Prep of Hayward set to join as a first-year program. A four-team league wasn’t going to work. So with a little creativity, the BFL has joined forces with the North Central League II, another league that only had four teams. (It has actually participated as a four-team league previously, with teams playing a double round robin against league opponents).
So now we’ve got the North Central II/Bay Football League. Strange. Very strange. It’s got the four East Bay teams, CSD, Emery, St. Elizabeth and Stellar Prep. And it also has Calistoga, Upper Lake, St. Vincent-Petaluma and Tomales. Who’s ready for some serious road trips?
A note about Stellar Prep, which makes its varsity debut after a successful JV season last year. They are coached by Desmond Gumbs, former head coach at Oakland High, Wilson Prep and Mt. Eden. He led Oakland to a three-way share of the regular season title in his year there and had some decent teams at Wilson Prep. It should be interesting to see what this new program looks like. If I recall, they won quite a few games as a JV team last year.