Live blog tonight: De La Salle vs. James Logan for NCS Div. I title, 7 p.m.

Join our live blog during Saturday’s North Coast Section Division I championship between top-ranked De La Salle High and James Logan.

Jon Becker

  • The freshman that enter DLS are very similar to other freshmen. They develop small, slow and scared kids into machines. They learn to hit, block and tackle. They are coached. They follow a mission statement.
    Bye the time they are juniors and seniors they are calculated machines who understand the game close to a college level.

  • Prep Fan

    Just like all schools, there are some small, slow and scared kids that come out for football. But luckily for DLS, they also seem to get a whole lot of talented D1 athletes with lightening speed or big mature kids like Hooper or Wynn that have played football their whole lives and hit the ground running the day they set foot onto Winton. Must be nice. But the DLS coaching does do an excellent job of getting both the small scared kids as well as all the Hoopers and Wynns to play at their best. Can’t argue that. Good luck on Saturday in Sacto.

  • Voice of Reason

    The small, slow, scared kids don’t end up playing at De La Salle; at least not on varsity. I have taken the liberty of borrowing the post of one of the most passionate DLS bloggers on NorCal Preps (DLSPOP1314) who states in his post today that DLS has TEN D1 athletes currently starting on varsity:

    1. Hutchings (LB/ sr) — verbal to USC
    2. Egu (DE/ sr) — verbal to Cal
    3. Hooper (DE/ sr) — Oregon, Stanford, Notre Dame, Washington among top choices
    4. Moffitt (LB/ sr) — Arizona and Colorado among top choices
    5. Tualautausi (LB-SS/ jr) — I think this kid will be a 4* player next year. DLS has several 2-way guys, but none stay on the field as often as Daz and Daz is only the 3rd or 4th guy ever at DLS to start both ways 1st game of sophomore year (DJ Williams was another)
    6. Sumner Houston (DT/ jr) — Will be a 3-year starter on DL and 2-year on OL. At 6’3″, 245# (and growing), he has the size and athleticism (state ranked wrestler after one year’s experience and brother is a Big 10 QB) to be highly regarded at next level.
    7. Kevin Griffin (CB/ jr) — I think he’ll get at least FCS D1 offers next year, if not higher.
    8. Cameron Lissarague (LB/ soph) — He’s a starting ILB on maybe the best defense in the country as a sophomore. He’s on track.
    9. Xavier Banks (DT/ sr) — I mentioned on another thread I thought Wade Ogburn (OT/sr) might be the strongest kid on the team. I forgot about Banks. I think he’s playing his way to a D1 opportunity this year. He’s been very good this year.
    10. Andrew Buckley (FS/ sr.) — I’m stretching a little. He’s already signed a D1 baseball scholly to Cal, but if he didn’t, I think he’d be a candidate on the gridiron.

  • Junior

    Victim of Roman Catholic HS football: we know your formula for Spartan football success-99% open enrollment.

    Yet, your formula doesn’t apply a mere 90 miles away. Formula denied.

    What’s funnier, is your response to CV success. You immediately are looking for an “unfair” advantage! That says it all.

    Watch the Green Machine Saturday, DVR, rinse and repeat. You might learn something.

  • Junior

    If talent was the only (or top) predictor of success, the OAL would kick everyone’s behind.

  • Junior

    Pitt and Logan both had more speed than the Green Machine. football is the ultimate team game. Don’t watch the ball Saturday-focus on the LOS. You might learn something.

  • hoops

    My post #50 got no comments but it is very obvious it is the reason for DLS winning.It is funny how once a coach is deified at any level the teams no longer have great talent.I have the utmost respect for coach Lad but the reality is if he was coaching at Ygnacio Valley next door for the same amount of years what do you think his record would be.It would be excellent,no doubt.Probably 5 or so NCS championships and no state titles.Probably around 100 losses.

  • I agree on Ladoceur coaching at YV. Murphy was there for a couple of months & left for a reason. Probably #50 reason’s 2-6. I think he’s found it at CV charter.

  • Hey Junior… why is DLS’s frosh team always so good?

  • You missed Vitale- your take on him? And yes, DLS gets their fair share of freshman that dont go on. However, when you make varsity , Lad doesnt cut.
    The no cut policy keeps these guys hungry and anticpated playing time. DLS does a good job getting 2nd and third teams in games with significant time.

  • Junior

    Observer, here is my formula that dictates HS football success:

    1. Leadership
    2. Coaching
    3. Strength/conditioning
    4. Talent
    5. Tradition
    In order of importance.

    #1 and #2 predict 75% of success

    DLS frosh have succeeded for many of the reasons the varsity and JV’s have. Interestingly enough, DLS Frosh typically lose a game or two (to EBAL schools usually). Why don’t those EBAL schools win when they reach varsity? Lad and crew are a notch above the lower level coaches.

    DLS excels at #1-3. There are no peers in CA in that area. DLS is nationally elite due to #4.

    #1-3 can be duplicated at other schools. It ain’t easy, but it can be done. Look what Murphy did in one year. Without an offseason either. Sanchez took Cal from the cellar to the top of one of the best leagues in CA. Who heard of Folsom before Richardson took over. Etc, etc

  • Chalk- yur take on the Logan game. No HUSH Puppies please. That’s for Friday nite team dinner. Hope yur rootin’ for the NCS champion this weekend.

  • Voice of Reason

    Junior, you are blinded by your denial of the most basic of truths regarding the success of DLS football. I have no argument whatsoever of your formula for HS football success, ONCE THE STUDENT ATHLETES HAVE WALKED THRU THE DOOR!

    Yet the open enrollment policy is not even addressed in your post. Laughable…Ridiculous…100% pure denial!

    By inference you are stating Coach Lad and his staff could walk into any public high school and dupllicate what they have accomplished at DLS, including the win streak, the consecutive NCS championships, the State Bowl games; all of it.

    Just for kicks Junior, how many of the 10 student athletes I mention above would be in a hypothetical DLS district boundary (approx. 50,000 population)? The answer as we all know may very well be ZERO. More denial eh Junior?

    The cold, hard truth is obvious to all of us who don’t invoke Bob Ladauceur and his coaching methods as the reason for all they have accomplished the past 21 years. Would Coach Lad win with a public school team? Absolutely! Would Coach Lad win an NCS championship with a public school team? Certainly! Would Coach Lad win a SBG with a public school team? Yes. Would a Coach Lad team win consecutive NCS championships? Two or three, perhaps; more than three (21!), not on your life! Win 151 in a row? Never in a million years…….Unless, of course, you have an established program at a private school that draws the top student athletes from a population base of 1.5 million people, courtesy of open enrollment. Yes, Junior, DLS doesn’t get those 10 D1 athletes mentioned in my earlie post, nor do they win 151 in a row or 21 consecutive NCS championships without the open enrollment policy they enjoy. But keep going with the denial, it suits you very well.

  • Junior

    Victim Of Roman catholic HS football: read my formula again. Slowly. Digest it. Rinse. Repeat.

    VOR Formula for success:
    99% open enrollment
    1% secret sauce

    Slight problem with VOR formula- why doesn’t an open enrollment school dominate SJS or central section? After all, 99% is related to open enrollment (his words and formula).

    VOR formula denied, rejected, and refuted.

  • Junior
  • Mudhen

    I just have one question here; if you are a top flight football prospect, will DLS provide scholarship assistance if needed? Where I come from (Tennessee) all of the large private christian schools will pay your tuition and I was wondering if the same goes here. No axes to grind, just an honest question.

  • Sprtndad

    Mudhen, the answer is no. Take a look at the Lasallian mission. John Baptist de La Salle sought to educate the poor. DLS has money available for the purpose of educating kids that cannot afford an education. They come from all walks of life and most of the tuition assistand from DLS goes to kids not playing a sport. God Bless them for their work.

  • Sprtndad

    My son played football at DLS. He didn’t play a down of football in his life before DLS. He never saw the inside of a weight room. When he was finished with the program he could leg press close to a 1,000 pounds and bench over 250.

    I submit that none of the public high schools in this area put in the level of work that DLS football puts in. DLS kids are just flat out stronger and better conditioned than the teams they play. Combine that with the veer, HOURS of track work, film, chapel and all the other work and they are just unbeatable.

    The assertion that somehow open territories makes a difference presupposes that kids can self select talent at 14 years old. Right. I understand a 14 year old can think he’s great and will play football at DLS. But it ain’t up to them. A lot of kids thought that and sat on the bench or quit. Many kids that didn’t play a down went on to greatness. You see, it’s what DLS DOES with kids that makes them great.

  • Mudhen, the answer in no. DLS has financial assistance for anyone who qualifies, if you happen to play football and need financial aid and qualify, you get it.
    Bart Houston was an all American pre-season and he did not receive money.

  • Really


    How many private schools does DLS have to compete with for the athletes they get? I dont care how many games DLS wins. I am happy for them and Ladecour is a class act. He would be the first one to tell you how much he respects some of the public school coaches that he competes against. If your own coach can respect the plight of the public schools,why cant you? Its a perfect storm, they really have no private school competion for the athletes they get. They are located perfectly in Contra costa county where they get a great balance of athletes. Here is a great example, Pleasanton lost arguably their best 8th grader to DLS this season, He would have started both ways on a Foothill Freshman team that went 9-1 with their only loss to the DLS freshman. This kid didnt even start on DLS’s freshman. Enough already about the level playing field. When the best kid in Pleasnton goes to DLS and doesnt start, can you really argue that they dont get the cream of the crop every year. Can you really explain that they have not lost to anyone in a gazillon years just because its better coaching. If the talent level was not lopsided they would have lost at least 10 times over that period. its football, upsets happen no matter the coaching advantages. If the talent level is compreable. then losses happen, the ball bounces the wrong way, turnovers hapen. Heck DLS has had many games where they turned it over multile times yet they still win that game against any of the publics around here because they are so much better athletically. The only times they have lost was in fact when the talent level was compreable. But unfortunately, the only schools that have been been able to matcth their talent level have been from out of the area. I mean i can play my 10 year old son in one on one everyday and he will never win no matter how much he works out or practices. No one has ever argued that Lad isnt a great coach, what they have accomplished isnt amazing. Just asking you to admit once that its not a level playing field. Not even close!

  • hoops

    A coach can only do so much and once you are competing against other quality coaches,the advantage is minimal.DLS has everything from great coaching to great talent and I think the team unity that Lad is able to create is the secret sauce and the tipping point that makes them able to win 21 straight and avoid a couple upset losses.

  • Really

    #67 Big Joe

    Not entirely true, you can work in one the offered school programs at DLS as a student athletle or student, and have part of your admission fees waived. SO there is no scholarship offered but admission fees can be reduced for hardhsips or work assignments.

  • Mudhen

    Just like the old tale says”it takes gold to make gold”, winning begets winning.DLS has all of the pieces in place for a dynasty and there is no reason for it to stop.It’s simple really, if you think you’re hot stuff as a player,you go where you can maybe get your chance to shine, and around here, it’s DLS.
    But they’re not invincible (they do lose sometimes)and sooner or later, some local team will win against them.
    And thanks Big Joe, question answered.

  • Really

    Bart Houston was a San Ramon High kid by the way. He should have attended San Ramon where his dad attended and grandfather coached a while back. His dad was a councilman, very successful, no need for assistance, he could afford the admission.

  • Did Bart’s father play college football locally?

  • Prep Fan

    BigJoe, I’m sure you know Bart’s father played QB for St. Mary’s College after SRV. His mother attended Carondelet though and that may be one of the reasons they chose to send him to a Catholic school. Catholic school + Football school = DLS. Money not an issue. No brainer for the Houston boys.

  • hoops

    Great post by Really #74.That is the one often overlooked element in DLS’s success.Location.No other Catholic schools in the area.
    When all is said and done it comes down to talent.The coach can make the most of the talent given him but you cannot squeeze blood out of a turnip.
    You cannot explain NEVER losing a local game but geting soundly beaten by out of state teams with great talent and coaches any other way.No matter how much you want to believe.Lad has run the most successful program in bay Area history in any sport,but they can still get their butts kicked by the out of state teams.

  • hoops

    I forgot to add to my post….You cannot have it both ways.If DLS loses to the out of state teams because they have better talent,then it is crazy to say DLS wins every game here and does not have great talent.

  • Voice of Reason

    Having 10 potential D1 student athletes on one team runs contrary to one of the basic tenets of DLS supporters. They would rather have you believe DLS is the only program that can mentally & physically shape their football players into D1 football players. No question they have the best system in place for turning otherwise average football players into productive ones.

    To hear Junior tell it, none of the current 10 D1 prospects mentioned in post #53 would be D1 material in ANY OTHER PROGRAM but DLS.

    Regarding his assertion that “why doesn’t an open enrollment school dominate SJS or Central section”? I have answered that question time and again, but Junior keeps asking the question because he just can’t stomach the truth even as I praise DLS in doing so.

    The easiest way to answer that question is to say if Coach Lad and his Staff were at Jesuit, Christian Brothers or St. Francis and had developed the football program as they have at DLS, then prospective student athletes would flock to those schools as they have DLS. Even so, I don’t know if any of the 3 school mentioned has access to a population of over 1.5 million people within a 45 minute drive of the school as DLS has. And, of course, those 3 schools likely compete for student athletes today whereas DLS has no other D1 private school competition.

  • Junior

    Where I have said that Victim? Show me one time. One post. Anywhere.

    If open enrollment gets you talent and talent wins games (99% of success according to you) Jesuit and Christian brothers would be winning-regardless of the coach. That is your formula. If talent won games, OAL schools would whip EBAL schools. That’s your formula. Talent, talent, talent. There are examples all around proving that is not the case.

    DLS had open enrollment in the 70’s… not one winning season. Your formula is plain wrong.

  • Coach

    DeLaSalle changed administration, admission standards, and coaches all at the same time and bingo success.

  • Prep Fan

    In the 70s, very few people went to DLS who weren’t Catholics, and no one went there to play sports. It just wasn’t done in this area back then. Nowadays, people are converting, holding kids back and getting their kids into Catholic feeder schools early on to up their chances to play football for the Spartans. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone say that DLS didn’t have some of the best coaching in the country. There are many reasons for the Spartans’ continued dominance over area public schools, working hard and great coaching is just part of the equation.

  • Junior

    Private schools DLS competes with:
    Valley Christian
    ST Marys

    Not to mention all public schools are competition. Serious competition: no tuition, no entrance exam, no commute, peer familiarity.

    Post 70-I do respect the public coaches, no posts where I don’t. They are not as good as Lad.

    Public school “plight”? Are you serious? Tell me the “plight” the HS’s on 680 have. Yea, They have it really tough. Plight needs to be used for the OAL schools, not the EBAL. Speaking of that, who has suggestions to help “level the playing field” for the inner city schools? Were is the outcry?

  • EBfootball

    All this DeLa talk on this thread and no one seems to be talking about Lad leaving. He’s quoted in The CC Times and Chronicle. What do you DeLa fans think is going to happen there without him? Assistants taking over or going with him to another program? Is it the end of an era there?

  • Prep Fan

    Which post referenced public school “plight”?

    When did Athenian and Bently establish football programs?

  • Junior

    @#85. They don’t have football. Just like DLS did not have football. Great thing is, as Victim points out- open enrollment is 99% of HS football success, so once Bently flips the switch… Boom, section championships will start falling.

  • CandyCrowley

    Prep fan is correct in stating admission standards morphed from admitting only the most academically talented Catholics (and some spots to the poor a la LS principles) to selectively allowing in some pedigreed athletes, bumping some very faithful servants. Mckenzie’s son won’t get in to counter this not-so-equitable recent history.

    Speaking of D1 recruits, Kline versus Goff with the Dykes spread coming to Memorial Stadium; _____ (feel free to fill in any UC Berkeley AD poor taste reference.)

  • hoops

    Junior….I do not believe anyone has said Lad and his staff are not great.The reality in any sport is it takes talent to win championships and exceptional talent to win 21 in a row.My post #50 I believe is pretty spot on why DLS has done what it has done.
    I coached for 27 years and I will tell you that a coach makes a difference in winning and losing.I will also tell you that when you are coaching against another coach who is sound and very competent in their approach,the difference is marginal depending on a lot of factors like how players and systems match up.
    An average competent coach with great talent will beat a great coach with average talent.A great coach with great talent might just win 21 section titles in a row.
    When DLS has lost to out of state teams or almost lost a couple games here to some WCAL schools,those were all well coached teams with equal or better talent than DLS.
    Lad has entered the mythological zone where people think he has mystical powers to take someone with no athletic ability and make him into a stud.
    Location location location.DLS has a unique location and lots of 14 year olds dreaming to play football there and a lot of parents who want to be winners.

  • chalktalk

    AND TECHNIQUES and DLS is better at teaching it
    Better at programming a machine
    Try teaching a kid how 2 actually make a play
    so stop with the lap dancing!!!!

  • Logan Fan

    Chalktalk, you know so much. Why aren’t you coaching in the nfl? Why don’t we know your name? How many offers do you have to coach? I’ll tell you who you really are. You are some high school bench warmer who didn’t make it and blamed your high school coach for all of your shortcomings. I wish you would have opened your mouth at the game and made yourself known. I would have loved to have shook your hand & then teach you some fundamentals. I’ll be at Friday’s in Union City tonight watching the Raider game. Come down and pay a visit.

  • hoops

    chalk talk….Actually the reality is everyone does not teach the same thing.Fundamentals and the way they are taught are going to be different from every program.Fundamentals are actually very difficult to teach and along with attention to detail make or break a team.DLS has great players who excel at both.Besides teaching well it helps if you practice more and have many more repetitions than most teams which is a key ingredient in the secret sauce for DLS.
    It is amazing what the average parent thinks their level of knowledge is and what it really is.I have known and worked with a lot of excellent coaches and the common thread is attention to detail and discipline.

  • Junior

    Hoops- were are probably not very far apart. It is a matter of degree. I believe the lower the level, coaching dictates winning more so than talent. It is like a scale- better coachng in HS offsets less talent i have never said talent is not important in HS-never i just dont believe it dictates winning as much as in higher levels of football. Both are important at every level, just to a different degree.

    look the a key to DLS ‘ s dominace: LOS play. Spartans rarely have D1 talent on the LOS and yet they dominate on both sides of the ball. Often replacing 4/5’s of the o line. This year is unusual, but typically DLS has small lines too. Technique, strength, and conditioning can help a HS lineman dominate players 50 or 60 pounds heavier. That’s coaching. The open enrollment crowd can scream all they want, but the type of DLS lineman that Develops into a great lineman, enter the other schools every year. DLS builds them much better than anyone else. what was the difference in the Pitt and Logan games? Both of those teams had plenty of athletes (as many as DLS and they both actually had more team speed) and yet they could not control the LOS. Pitt did great for a half. Then got tired. What happened in the second half? Same players, same scheme (mostly).

    We agree, and I have posted before ( in this thread in fact), that to be elite you need talent. I am on record and have been several times that DLS would not be elite without a certain amount of talent. That being said, they beat teams with more talent more frequently than any team I have seen. On paper, 2008 DLS should have been destroyed by CC. If you were at the game, you could not help but shake your head at the difference in athleticism between the two schools. but again, DLS did a fantastic job on the LOS and the kids play 4 quarters like no other team. They lost obviously but they should not have been in that game to the extent they were based on talent They just don’t quit.

    I have not said people don’t respect Lad.

  • chalktalk

    logan fan
    im PERFECT between the lines
    i teach kids how to be perfect

    u thimk organized movements makes u good but it really make u common average mediocore

  • chalktalk

    lets take the concept 4 points of pressure

    but not fumbling the ball doesn’t make u run faster
    doesn’t make u more elusive

    doesn’t make u balanced

    may prevent u from protecting yourself

    u cant switch hands

    causes u to take more blows


    unless ur just a power back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Candy, Did you take the DLS entrance exam? Have your kids taken it? Relatives taken it? No rumors or others- personal experiences. I suggest it’s a lot more to get into DLS than x’s and O’s. Are you the expert?

  • Prep Fan

    Is Mckenzie’s son playing at DLS next season? I haven’t heard anything recently. Not coming from a Catholic school currently, it would seem to be nearly impossible if you take into account the DLS entrance requirements you read about on these blogs. If so, he can join Larry Allen’s son in the trenches. 2 skinny, slow scared kids that will be molded into greatness. If not, they should still be able to find enough guys to field a competitive team.

  • hoops

    Junior…I agree the lower the level the more influence a coach has.
    I believe that there s probably is not a coach in the country who could have matched what DLS has done over the many years.That being said,the one thing that bugs me about DLS is the time that is demanded and all the rules that are rationalized away.
    The last year I coached hoops I was told by my AD that I was not allowed to have any contact with my players until baseball season was over.In open gym,in the times they were permitted, I was not allowed to work with more than one player at a time.
    I would love to see how different DLS’s football and basketball teams would execute under those conditions.If I tried in anyway to discourage a student from playing another sport because it interfered with hoops because of seasons overlapping,I would be in serious trouble.Try even missing a summer league basketball game at DLS because you want to play Legion baseball….it will not happen.
    That is my one and only knock on DLS.They have always demanded so much time and obliterated any concept of NCS rules regarding practice,even if by some technicality they can rationalize getting around the rules.I ,of course am very familiar with the hoops side,and I am speculating about the football side.I do know that god could not get a team to execute like DLS football does putting in only the hours allowed by historical NCS rules.Although I do know that football is allowed spring practice and maybe that does provide enough time but I doubt it.

  • renegades10

    Prep, all the other stuff aside, McKenzie Sr. has been seen at several DLS home games this year so I’m assuming yes it’s still the plan that he is applying to DLS.

  • concrete17

    @ #98 Renegades10….Work at the DLS games and had a chance to have a short conversation with Mr McKenzie at the Monte Vista game. When asked about his son’s intentions his response was that he would love to have his family together here and said it would depend on how the test went(he did not elaborate). One interesting note about Mr McKenzie was that he got pretty emotional about the game….said some of the most special memories for him was when he, himself played high school football.

  • colt fan

    Wow just when I thought it was safe to read the blogs again! chalk are you a coach or personal trainer? Would love to see your program. One side note, Bruce Lee was the best what ? Actor, dancer,or teacher or fighter, please clairify. Good luck to DLS tonight.