NCS 2-A finals, double header at Acalanes, 5 and 7 p.m. Not bad…..


Girls 7 p.m. at Dublin High

 Boys — 7 p.m. at Freedom High 

In 16 years, this may be the biggest display of ignorance by NCS. Freedom????? Are you kidding me??? What was Atwater High’s field taken?? It’s bad enough we’ll have crappy weather Saturday night, let’s send everyone up Vasco Rd. to the game. You want to have neutral field for the game, somewhere close to Pittsburg — what about De La Salle – at least it’s more centrally located.

NCS has no problem playing six NCS basketball finals at the same spot, starting at like 11 a.m. Yet try and rationalize four soccer games at the same location and you beat your head against the wall until it bleeds. You would think after 16 years I would be numb to their moronic decisions, but you know, it just keeps coming back.

Soccer people are way more passionate than any other fans and there would be a good number of people who would watch all four games. It would also allow the very few writers who understand soccer, to see more than one game, thus providing our readers with at least a decent story. Now we are forced to choose one game — Bravo. 

 Just classic. Thank goodness this is my last NCS soccer campaign. I won’t have to deal with this garbage any more.  I turn it over to all of you……..

OK, got that off my chest.

Have a good night.


Matt Sweeney to return at Foothill High

We have learned and are writing a story to run tomorrow in the paper, that long time Foothill coach Matt Sweeney will return to guide the Falcons. John Mannion, who did a wonderful job in his one year coaching the team, made the decision to step down so as to make room for Sweeney to return.

Mannion will remain on the staff and as Sweeney said, “He will be a co-head coach as far as I am concerned.”

Congrats to Mannion for guiding the Falcons to the playoffs in his first year running the show,  and welcome back to Sweeney. 

 More later…



Hey all,

 Instead of running on another thread, I decided to start a soccer discussion thread right here. Below are some answers to some questions left on other threads, as well as some other comments… check it out and thanks for reading the soccer poll…. 

 1) First off, I talk with coaches each and every week about teams throughout the East Bay. In leagues I do not cover, I ask coaches from those leagues what they think about certain teams. Honestly, it’s not just me throwing out what I think without consulting with other people. I’ve covered prep soccer for 16 years and think I have a pretty good handle on the respective leagues and quality of teams. Having other people vote on a poll is not always a good thing as evidenced by some of the horribly inaccurate votes we get on the football and basketball polls. Believe me when I say you are better off having one informed person who actually knows the game making the poll. Outside of Kyle Bonagura and myself, very few reporters understand soccer they way we do. And believe me, I have e-mailed with Kyle about MVAL teams.
The fact of the matter is, some leagues are just way better than others, plain and simple. I am not going to rank a team because they are 13-0-1 and play a weak schedule. Not going to fall into the same trap people do during football season.

2) I will make sure to change it to East Bay Winter Soccer Poll. No worries.

3) As for De La Salle, believe me, when I do not think they are the best team in the area, they will not be No. 1. I have never been a big DLS person, but when you’re good, you’re good. Does anyone really think they won’t win the BVAL? There is no doubt next year, the Spartans will have their hands full in the EBAL, with way fewer gimme games, but the BVAL is solid as well.

3) Ricky Villa – thanks for the update on your record. Matt Sills sent me the records for all the teams in the league which was really helpful. The problem I have with running down MVAL teams is the Argus very seldom runs overall records. I figured run the first poll with what I have, then people will start sending me information. heard nothing but good things about your team this year.

4) HAAL — last year I was putting Hayward in the poll throughout the year, along with Castro Valley. I am sure the Farmers will be looking in for a spot as well next week. Makre sure to always report overall records as well to the Review — it makes it easier for me to run things down. I know there are some good teams in the HAAL, but don’t forget Hayward was pretty good last year, then got dumped in NCS by a middle of the road EBAL team…

5) DFAL — tough 1-0 loss for Miramonte to Alhambra yesterday – ouch, that had to hurt.

6) On the boys side, I missed Pittsburg this week and will make sure they are in the poll next week..

7) As far as an “others considered” part of the poll, I have already started putting that together…

Any other soccer questions, please e-mail me at drmiller@angnewspapers or call (925) 847-2167 — I will always respond or call back. Discussion is what makes the world go round and makes this fun!!




Here’s a question I have for the Northern California prep football fan base – Will you root for De La Salle or against De La Salle this Saturday night in the State Bowl game.

People in NCS are always tired of De La Salle winning every year, but when the represent all of Northern California to you put aside your feelings and root for the NorCal team.

My take — we have to rally behind the Spartans and pull for Northern California. We constantly get looked down upon by our water-stealing neighbors to the south. It does us no favors if DLS goes down there and gets beat.

Let me know what you think….

The Whistle 


Daily De La Salle question….

Here’s todays question for debate on the De La Salle football team. Are the Spartans the cleanest football team ever, you do the officials just cave in when they’re assigned to a Spartan game?

My take – I have no doubt DLS is as disciplined as any team out there, but at the same time, over the years, I have seen some consistently poor officiating in De La games. For instance, the offensive line seems to jump every time, but the officials seem to think that because it’s DLS, they must know what they’re doing.

One final point – and an important one – there has never been a case where I think the officiating has helped DLS win a game. But boy, has there been some horrible efforts by the zebras.

 Have fun all,

The Whistle


How do you beat De La Salle??????

Hey all,

As writers, we have from time to time, taken to task the question as to how you beat De La Salle. Obviously we don’t have the answer, or the people in the area don’t listen to what we have to say, as no one has done it in a long time.

But I am curious what you fans think — the ones who are out there on Friday night and live for prep football. Forgot about locking the team out of the field, or flattening the tires on their bus, let’s get some serious answers from people about what you think a team needs to do to beat the Spartans.

 Yes, I realize score more points is a starting point, but try and go a little deeper.


The Whistle



Hey, just got done sending in my story for the game tonight and thought I would throw out some quick thoughts on this game.

Pretty much went as expected. At the end of the day, when you get a team in a 2-A league taking on a team from a 4-A league, this is what’s going to happen. Of course, throughout the years, there’s been exceptions, but not too often.

The offense of College Park is a good one within their league, but when you run into a team with as many athletes as San Ramon, the same holes which are there in league, are suddenly gone.

Great job by the SRV backers – Cummings, Bruno, Callaway and Goodman – in shutting down the Falcons offense. Once it was 21-0, it was long over, as there was no way College Park could play catchup with it offense.

It was the same issues which has plagued Ygnacio Valley over the years. Fall behind and it’s over.

Southwick was efficient, but it was that middle screen which just destroyed College Park. Great job by the line, as well as the receivers turning the ball up the field. Who knows what happens next week – we’ll have to wait and see the outcome of Pinole and Washington – but SRV looks very good.

Say what you want about the the Wolves draw – American was weak – but there were plenty of people out there trying to sell College Park as a bracket-buster. Now what?

 Thanks for checking in and we’ll post more during the week.


So Mike, you really think Cal doesn’t have a chance? You’re wrong!

You’re using the same old and tired “(Fill in the EBAL team), doesn’t have the team speed to stop Logan (other BVAL/MVAL/HAAL team).”

That’s been out for a couple years now. We heard the same crap last year with Foothill, then they went out and beat Logan and Pitt back to back weeks. I heard the same garbage about Cal and Pitt this year and the Grizzlies came through.

 There were some people who broke out the lack of speed card with Monte Vista and San Leandro last week, which was also proven wrong.

How do you all not look at Cal-Pitt. I think there is plenty of team speed at Pitt and Cal seemed to handle it pretty darn well, but I guess that game escaped the attention of everyone. You mention they had trouble wit San Leandro’s speed, but they gave up all of 13 points — where was the trouble?

 Cal may not be as fast as Logan, but they are not turtles out there. Don’t overlook the ability of the Grizzlies to avoid giving up the big play throughout the year. One way to beat speed is to hammer it. Cal’s defense hits hard and that takes it toll on a team over the course of a game — speedy players don’t like contact and when you get hammered a few times, you lose a step here and a step there.

Is Logan a sensational team and going in as the favorite in this game? You bet?

Does Cal have a chance in this game? Once again, you bet and it would be a huge mistake to overlook the Grizzlies.

Don’t pencil in the Colts into the NCS finals just yet people.  Expect a great game this week!



Congrats to all the winners on the first night.

 Logan looked every bit the No. 2 team in the East Bay, beating up on a Foothill team which had been playing solid recently. Before you talk about Foothill being down this year, remember, the Falcons beat a pretty strong Lincoln-Stockton team and nearly took down unbeaten Novato in week one. Give Logan their props for being every bit as legit as their ranking.

As for Heritage getting their heads handed to them by Campo, I was certainly suprised, as I had Heritage winning the 2-A. Guess I bought into Lad’s hype about how powerful the BVAL is – fool me once……..

After seeing how easily San Ramon beat American, a team who played Newark right down to the end, I was hardly suprised Washington beat the Cougars. All I’ve heard this year is Newark can’t stop the pass and evidently, it was true tonight. Lucky for them they won’t have to face San Ramon.

What’s that silence? I guess it’s the people whining about Newark not getting the top seed in the 3-A playoffs — what, nothing to say now?

San Ramon looks ready to make a run to the title game, turning in their best rushing performance of the season to go with a solid passing game.

 The defense, as usual, was solid and will be the key for this team this year.

 Good luck to all teams playing Saturday!!!!!!