Countdown to Kickoff Question #8: Can Washington defend its Mission Valley Athletic League title?

With the opening East Bay high school football weekend right upon us, we travel to Southern Alameda County for our next question.
Q: Can Washington defend its Mission Valley Athletic League title?
A: Quite possibly. Washington and coach Ken Wittmer’s track record over the past six seasons show that the Huskies are a consistent league contender. In the past six seasons, Washington has finished lower than second place in the MVAL only once (when it was 3-3 in 2011) and won two MVAL titles.

This season, Wittmer has a rebuilding job on his hands with his offense. Washington graduated quarterback Tylan Vinson, (last year’s MVAL Offensive Player of the Year), running back Nate Woudstra, and three starting receivers.
But senior quarterback Jordan Montoya has some varsity experience, and look for senior Emory Simmons to be used in a variety of different ways. Running backs Mark Colbert and Julian Nava will also see a number of carries this season.
Washington also continues its usual tough nonleague schedule. After opening at Amador Valley on Friday, the Huskies host Campolindo on Sept. 12, then face another Diablo Foothill Athletic League team (Alhambra) on Sept. 19.
I’m not saying that Washington is a clear favorite for the MVAL title. Newark Memorial, American and Moreau Catholic are among the teams who could claim that banner. But Washington has the track record to suggest that it will be right in the thick of the MVAL title chase.

Phil Jensen

  • Tri-City Dude

    Just saw the preview and predictions from BANG about the MVAL. Pretty much agree with everything except for switching Moreau and American.

    1) Washington- Graduated most of the offense from last year, including MVAL Offensive Player of the Year Tylan Vinson. Wittmer has a tough job trying to replace most of his offense, but he always seems to churn out great QBs and receivers. Plus it helps that the Huskies always schedule tough non-league schedules to prepare them. In the end, I feel that Washington will be able to repeat as MVAL champs even with a new crop of players on this team.

    2) Newark Memorial- Brings back a lot of experience and talent on the trenches. King Slocum, Murrell Anderson, Kevin Mamea, and Anthony Barajas will anchor one of the best O-lines and D-lines in the league. Will need to sort out the offense, including choosing a QB.

    3) Moreau Catholic- Huge loss with Jason Hinton being out for a good chunk of the season, but they still have strong armed Lucas O’Rourke and a lot of returning starters on offense that can put up a lot of points and yards in a hurry. If they can get off to a strong start, they may be in a good position to win MVAL when Hinton comes back.

    4) American- They are coming off one of their best seasons in recent years, and continue to have a strong running game with Jared Luty and Treyvon Jones as running backs. Their defense will need a lot of work though because they graduated the majority of an accomplished defensive front 7, so it may be sort of a rebuilding year for the Eagles.

    5) John F. Kennedy- Like Newark, the Titans have a talented and experienced O-line and D-line. Kaleem Abubukari, Joey Romero, and Jacob Murrieta provide good offensive weapons for Kennedy. They return quite a few starters from last year and bring in a lot of new, talented players, so I think this is a team to watch out for.

    6) Irvington- I’m never too confident in any team that brings in a new coach, but the job will be much tougher for Ross Eddings because the Vikings graduated a lot of players from last year’s team. Austin Walker, who is only a sophmore, will have to learn quickly as the new quarterback. Overall, too much turnover and a new coach will make this a tough year for the Vikings. On a side note, a player to watch out for is Dejuan Smith, a very fast athlete who can play both on both sides of the ball. He’ll be a playmaker for Irvington the next few years.

    7) Mission San Jose- Hate to offend anyone, but it will probably be the same story for MSJ as it has been the past decade or so. If they have any chance to win thier first MVAL game in over ten years, they will need a much more stout defense. Their passing offense is pretty good, with Adil Bari and Deion Sirwet leading the receiving core.

  • Tony Gonsalez

    Tri-City Dude: I was going back and forth between American and MC, what it came down to with my deciding factor was how MC plays until Hinton comes back. If you look at the teams, MC is the only one who has their returning QB back from last year. All in all I’m looking forward to a good year.

  • Tri-City Dude

    It looks like most of the MVAL teams lost a lot of their offense to graduation. Moreau returns a large part of their offense, including O’Rourke and Hinton (when he comes back). Washington, Newark, and American have to replace their QB, RB, and some receivers. Your right though; it will be a very competitive year for the MVAL.

  • Troy Lambert

    How’s that analysis looking now? You wasted all your ink on the pretenders and missed the team rolling through the MVAL

  • Tony Gonsalez

    Troy. This is why they play the games.
    Trust me, after the first week of league play I was already looking at my predictions. You look at Kennedy, they are in rare company, not many teams can overcome from losing key players at key positions from last year, but to the players and coaches credit, they have don that and then some. It’s almost impossible to predict how a team will be when they are hit hard with graduation. Difference between this year’s Kennedy team and previous teams are they have a good passing game as well.
    American, difference with them this year is they are winning games they may normally have lost in the past. Moreau is playing like I had expected after their 0-3 start. Especially playing the entire season without Hinton and playing the last two games without Ison while making a change at QB. Washington has a good running tandem of Nava and Colbert, but Montoya is running for his life every single pass play.
    All in all, personally I think its great to see teams prove me wrong like Kennedy has done this year.