East Bay high school football preview section

Our 2013 East Bay high school football preview season hit the web Thursday and the papers Friday. There are quite a few elements, so here are the links to everything in one spot:

A story on how social media is changing the recruiting game.

A story on Freedom’s Joe Mixon, one of the nation’s hottest recruits.

A story on how some coaches view the role of social media in recruiting.

Our 25 Players to Watch (with photos)

Five games to watch

Our East Bay preseason poll

And, of course, our league by league breakdowns with predicted order of finish. (We’ll add links for North Central II and the OAL later this week)

Bay Valley Athletic League: Mixon, Ross take center stage in run-heavy league

Diablo Foothill Athletic League: Campolindo looks for three-peat in balanced league

Diablo Valley Athletic League: Clayton Valley Charter looks to repeat

East Bay Athletic League: California may have slight edge in Year of the Lineman

Mission Valley Athletic League: Returning starters should keep Newark Memorial on top

TCAL-Rock: El Cerrito eyes another league title, and much more

WACC-Foothill: Berkeley’s defense will be tough to beat

WACC-Shoreline: Ground game should power Tennyson’s offense

James Logan not backing down

De La Salle well-stocked for new coach Justin Alumbaugh




De La Salle High football well-stocked for new coach Justin Alumbaugh

It may have been just a coincidence, or — more likely — a calculated decision.

When Bob Ladouceur announced in January that he was stepping down as De La Salle High’s head football coach after 34 seasons, he left successor Justin Alumbaugh with plenty of talent remaining.

After going 15-0 and winning a fourth consecutive state championship last fall, De La Salle won’t have too many giant holes to fill in Alumbaugh’s first year on the job. The Spartans are especially loaded on offense, with a massive but athletic offensive line leading the way.

In fact, the Spartans look so good on paper that MaxPreps.com tabbed them as the No. 1 team in the nation in its preseason rankings.

To read the rest of this story, click here.


Young Concord High football team focuses on growing up

In his 10 years as Concord High’s football coach, Brian Hamilton has never experienced this much roster turnover.

It’s challenging, sure, but also refreshing and energizing, he says. There are no preseason rankings to worry about, no star players feeling pressure to live up to expectations or carry the team.

“I love us,” Hamilton said. “I think it’s a group of guys that recognize how hard they have to work.”

The Minutemen graduated 20 starters from their 2012 roster of 27 players. The entire defense will be replaced with new faces and the only offensive starters back are quarterback Mitchell Daniels and offensive lineman Robert Liu. Both are juniors.

To read the rest of this story, click here.


College Park High football team optimistic this year will be better

The College Park High football team is out to prove that last year was a fluke.

The injury-plagued season ended with the Falcons posting a losing record and not qualifying for the North Coast Section playoffs, something that doesn’t happen too often for a program that’s been consistently strong under veteran coach Bill Kepler.

This year, enough talent and experience returns that the Falcons have a chance to improve on last season’s fourth-place finish in the Diablo Valley Athletic League.

“We’re a little more athletic this year and are understanding our jobs better,” Kepler said. “The kids are buying in better… We have kids back that understand the schemes better.”

To read the rest of this story, click here.


High expectations for El Cerrito High football team

By Curtis Pashelka

EL CERRITO — The El Cerrito High football team is trying not to look too far into the future. The Gauchos’ goal is simply to get better every day and to maximize their potential.

But the expectations for this year’s El Cerrito team are as high as they’ve ever been. The Gauchos are not only pegged as heavy favorites to repeat as Tri-County Athletic League Rock Division champions, but they’re presently the No. 1 team in Northern California in Division III, according to Cal-Hi Sports.

To read the rest of this story, visit http://www.insidebayarea.com/high-school-sports/ci_23966318/lofty-expectations-surround-el-cerrito-high-football-team


Expectations continue to grow for Northgate football team

Goals and expectations for the Northgate High football program continue to grow under sixth-year coach Justin Lowell.

It wasn’t too long ago that simply making the North Coast Section playoffs seemed like a lofty goal for a program mired in losing seasons.

But now, after reaching the postseason in two of the last three years, the Broncos are making a habit of winning. The goal isn’t simply to just earn a spot in the playoffs anymore, they want to make a deeper run.

“We’re at the point where the program is consistent and the mindset and expectations of the kids have changed,” Lowell said. “That’s the biggest thing — it’s expected (that they’ll win) and that’s their goal.”

To read the rest of this story, click here.


Many new faces for Las Lomas football team, including coach

When the Las Lomas High football team opens its season Friday, a familiar presence will be absent from the sideline.

Doug Longero, who turned the Knights into a perennial contender in the Diablo Foothill Athletic League and won four North Coast Section championships in 14 seasons, stepped down as the program’s head coach last December.

But his mark on the program lives on.

Mike Downing, the Knights’ new head coach, learned a good chunk of what he knows about football from Longero. Downing played for Longero, graduating from Las Lomas in 1999, and immediately hooked on as an assistant coach at his alma mater after finishing college.

To read the rest of this story, click here.



Encinal football team aims for success

ALAMEDA — Encinal High football coach Joe Tenorio gets right to the point when he talks about last season.

“It was a total rebuilding year,” said Tenorio about the Jets’ 7-6 campaign last year, in which his varsity squad included three freshmen and was hit hard by injuries. “Last year was so much about going out there and learning how to play varsity football. … This year, I want results.”

The Jets did win three of their last four games last season, with its offense averaging 26.3 points per game in the victories. Encinal returns junior quarterback Taivale Tautalatasi, who has been impressive this preseason, Tenorio said. The Jets also have junior quarterback Isaac Tapia, a transfer from Arroyo.

Encinal has three running backs who have looked great in practice this year — sophomore Jordan Parker, senior Tyrell Carrigan and senior Isaiah Hunter. Wide receiver is a question mark for the squad, but tight end Kealii Pedro has been playing well this preseason. Left guard Matt Ferrer anchors the line.

To read the rest of this story, visit http://www.contracostatimes.com/high-school-sports/ci_23965723/rebuilding-done-encinal-football


St. Mary’s High football team expects to contend

By Damin Esper

BERKELEY — A team that loses players the caliber of quarterback Kevin Flemer and wide receiver Caleb Coleman might be expected to slip a little, at least at the start of the season.

No so at St. Mary’s High School.

The Panthers always expect to contend for league championships and playoff berths.

“It’s about winning in December and November,” fifth-year coach Keith Minor said. “Success for us is winning in the playoffs and doing well. Every year we’ve been here, we’ve made the playoffs and last year we won in the playoffs for the first time.”

To read the rest of this story, visit http://www.insidebayarea.com/high-school-sports/ci_23966322/st-marys-high-football-team-reloads