Our last league look centers around the Diablo Foothill Athletic League. Only one more day to go!
Campo shocked everyone and made it to Carson last year. What’s in store for the DFAL this year?
Lets start with the champs. Picked to finish last, Campolindo won the DFAL, NCS Division III title and played in the CIF Division III bowl game. Not bad, eh? First, the bad news. The Cougars lose a TON of good senior leaders and players. Griffin Piatt, Karl Thornton, Dan Fadelli, Connor Rosenbaum and Reiner Ebarle, to name a few. Not gonna be easy to replace. Now, the good news. Brett Stephens returns at QB, and he can be counted on to be good again. One name to watch: Mason Windatt. He made a few huge catches in the postseason, and I think he’s ready to take the lead receiver role this year. I wouldn’t expect Campo to fall off a cliff, and I’d still have them at the top to begin with.
Who will challenge? Start with Las Lomas. Adam Wood and Jackson Miller both return under center, but the thought is Wood will be the starter to begin the season. Derrick Stom will be a beast up front, and I think the Knights are again a force to be reckoned with. My guy to watch here will be Garrett McGoff. He steps in at running back and I’ve heard good things.
I think Dublin is poised to take another step forward this year. Yes, the Gaels have to replace QB Ed Achziger, but with an option like Ondre Rudolph at running back, I don’t see that being a huge problem. Also, with a new quarterback, expect the Gaels to keep building as the season goes along. Big men Spencer Hollie and Alex Cappa will be forces as well, and like I’ve said before, I’m a big John Wade fan. I think he gets these guys in the DFAL title hunt, no question.
Miramonte might surprise me, but I have to expect them to be much different without Ross Anderson at quarterback. The dude did everything. This year will be a big test for the Matadors, and it starts right away with a game against D-III power Marin Catholic.
Alhambra returns one of the guys I really want to see this year, RB Taylor Poyadue. Knowing what kind of kid his brother was and hearing how the Bulldogs coaches talk about him, I think Poyadue should be worth the price of admission this year. I’m told Leo Costa takes over at quarterback, and if they can stay stable at that position for an entire year, head coach Alan Hern will have the Dawgs ready to play every week.
Change is in the air at Acalanes and Dougherty Valley. In the Dons’ case, it’s a shift in offenses under coach Mike Ivankovich. As I understand it, a more pro-style attack is in line this year. I’m anxious to see how that works out. At Dougherty, coach Bob Spain is taking a leave of absence this year, and Nick Tisa steps in to coach the Wildcats. I’d expect them to do some learning along the way.
In total, I expect the DFAL to be improved this year because I think the top three teams are very solid. Can we expect a storybook run to Carson this time around? Well, I don’t know about that. But, as usual, I would expect good football from this league week in and week out.