De La Salle drops to 24th in MaxPreps national rankings

De La Salle dropped from first to 24th in MaxPreps.com’s national top 25 high school football rankings released Monday, reflecting the Spartans’ 26-21 loss to Trinity-Euless of Texas on Saturday night.

Trinity-Euless entered the rankings at 21st after not making the preseason list, which had De La Salle at No. 1 following its CIF State Open Division championship season.

The Spartans suit up against Bay Area rival Serra this Friday in San Mateo.

Bishop Gorman-Las Vegas took over the top spot while Centennial-Corona (No. 3) and St. John Bosco-Bellflower (No. 10) were the other California schools in what MaxPreps calls its “Xcellent 25.” De La Salle is the only team with a loss in the rankings.


Cal announces Brian Hamilton hiring; a look back at his Concord years

Brian Hamilton’s hiring was announced Wednesday by Cal as quality control coach for offense under head coach Sonny Dykes. Read more about this on Cal beat writer Jeff Faraudo’s BearTalk blog here.

Hamilton had a very successful run at Concord High, where Mark Bywater takes over as head coach.

Here’s a year-by-year look at Hamilton’s Concord years, with a few highlights:

2004: 1-9

2005: 4-6 (most wins since 2000)

2006: 5-6 (made first NCS appearance since 1998, lights installed at renovated stadium)

2007: 3-7

2008: 7-3-1 (reach NCS playoffs)

2009: 8-3 (reached NCS D2 quarterfinals)

2010: 13-1 (won first NCS fb title in school history with 40-37 win over Rancho Cotate in D 2 final; played for NCS title for first time since 1989; QB Ricky Lloyd set Northern California record for passing yards with 4,451).

2011: 10-4 (reached NCS D2 final; RB Olito Thompson carried 54 times for 285 yards. He set Northern California record for rushing yards in a season with 3,488, which broke mark of 3,224 set in 13 games by Jahvid Best at Salesian  in 2006)

2012: 10-3 (reached NCS D2 semifinals)

2013: 8-4 (reached NCS D2 quarterfinals)

2014: 12-2 (reached NCS D2 championship game)

Concord Head Coach Brian Hamilton hugs quarterback Ricky Lloyd after defeating Rancho Cotate in the North Coast Section Division II Championship on Saturday, Dec. 11, 2010 at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum in Oakland, Calif. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Staff)

Concord Head Coach Brian Hamilton hugs quarterback Ricky Lloyd after defeating Rancho Cotate in the North Coast Section Division II Championship on Saturday, Dec. 11, 2010 at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum in Oakland, Calif. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Staff)


Concord High has new football coach

Concord High has a new football coach for the first time in 11 years. Mark Bywater is the new Minutemen head coach, with longtime coach Brian Hamilton leaving last week for an offensive quality control coaching position at Cal. Cal has not announced the hiring, but sources have confirmed the move.
First reported by prep2prep.com’s Nate Smith, the news marks the end of Hamilton’s 11-year run at Concord High. The entire Concord coaching staff is remaining, said Randy Coddington, in his 11th year as Concord’s defensive coordinator.
In Hamilton’s time as head coach, Concord went 81-48-1. The Minutemen won the school’s first and only NCS football championship in 2010 with a 40-37 win over Rancho Cotate in the Division II final. Concord also reached title games in 2011 and 2014. The Minutemen made the NCS playoffs eight times, including each of the past seven seasons.
Bywater spent last season as Concord’s linebackers and wide receivers coach.
“They’ve done a great job and I’ m smart enough not to change what works,” Bywater said of the staff, which has three members who have been with the program for at least a decade. “We have good rapport and the staff’s very cohesive.”
Prior to coming to Concord, Bywater spent three years at Dublin and five at Miramonte as defensive coordinator. He spent a year as Las Lomas head coach in the late 1980s and was Clayton Valley’s head coach from 1992-96, where he coached Coddington as a player. An Oakland native, Bywater taught in the Antioch Unified School District for 22 years prior to retiring.
Concord opens the season Aug. 28 at Benicia High.


De La Salle football ranked No. 1 in nation

De La Salle High is ranked No. 1 in the nation in MaxPreps.com’s preseason top 25 high school football rankings, which were announced Monday.
The Spartans, who have an impressive array of returnees from their 2014 state Open Division championship team, were ranked ahead of Central-Miami and Bishop Gorman-Las Vegas for the top spot. Other California schools in the top 25 are Centennial-Corona — which De La Salle beat 63-42 in last year’s state title game — at No. 6, St. John Bosco-Bellflower at No. 15 and Bishop Amat-La Puente at No. 24
The Spartans also received a No. 1 national preseason ranking from highschoolfootballamerica.com.
De La Salle opens the 2015 season with a high-profile road game on Aug. 29 in Texas, playing Trinity-Euless.

De La Salle's Antoine Custer (28) scores a touchdown past Centennial's Chacho Ulloa) in the third quarter of their 2014 CIF State Football Bowl Championship Open Division game at the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif., on Saturday, Dec. 20, 2014. De La Salle defeated Centennial 63-42. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)

De La Salle’s Antoine Custer (28) scores a touchdown past Centennial’s Chacho Ulloa in the third quarter of their 2014 CIF State Football Bowl Championship Open Division game at the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif., on Saturday, Dec. 20, 2014. De La Salle defeated Centennial 63-42. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)


Signing Day: Where East Bay football players are headed

These athletes have, or are expected to, sign a national letter of intent during the signing period that began today. Email us additions, corrections or photos at prepscores@bayareanewsgroup.com.

Brady Aiello (Acalanes) Oregon
Dominic Fredrickson (Freedom) San Jose State
Bomani Hairston-Bassette (McClymonds) San Jose State
Tim Harris (Livermore) Benedictine
Stephen Johnson (San Leandro) UCLA
Kyle Kearns (Foothill) Wake Forest
JJ Koski (San Ramon Valley) Cal Poly
Isaiah Langley (Foothill) USC
Kieffer Longson (Dougherty Valley) BYU
David Lui (Pittsburg) BYU
Adam Mayer (De La Salle) Minnesota
Gabe McCoy (Pittsburg) UNLV
Kahlil McKenzie (Clayton Valley Charter) Tennessee
Namane Modise (Castro Valley) Minot State
Noah Myers (Las Lomas) Washington State
Zach Nelson (San Ramon Valley) University of San Diego
Roland Ocansey (Tennyson) UC Davis
Tyler Petite (Campolindo) USC
Ben Schrider (Saint Mary’s) Richmond
Simba Short (De La Salle) Northwestern
Ron Smith (Saint Mary’s) San Diego State
Matt Snyder (California) Nebraska
Xavier Thibodeaux (Tennyson) Western Oregon
Ernie Timoteo (Kennedy-Richmond) Sacramento State
Tyler Whisenhunt (California) Cal Poly
Javin White (McClymonds) UNLV


Football: CIF to decide on state bowl game expansion this weekend

The California Interscholastic Federation will vote whether to expand the state football playoffs to include all section champions at its Federated Council meeting in San Jose tomorrow and Saturday, and the decision looks like it won’t be quite so easy to predict after all.

With the Southern Section, by far the state’s largest, voting against the proposal to expand state bowl games from five to 13 divisions, the chances of it passing took a bit of a hit. According to the OC Register, the proposal is failing 63-57 with 19 votes undeclared as of Thursday afternoon.

The proposal needs 69 votes to pass, so there’s still a good chance it will. Twelve of the undeclared votes do not belong to an individual section. Instead, they are “allied” votes, and go these groups or individuals: Cal Coaches Assoc. (CCA), Ca. Assoc. of Private School Organization (CAPSO), California State A.D. Association (CSADA), Calif. School Boards Assoc (CSBA), Association of Ca. School Administrators (ACSA), Superintendents Representative, Ca. Department of Education, Ca. Assoc. of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, Ca. Assoc. of Directors of Activities (CADA), State CIF President, State CIF Past President, State CIF President-Elect.

The vote could also hinge on whether the CIF agrees to revise language allowing non section champions from sections with an Open Division to advance. According to colleague Darren Sabedra of the San Jose Mercury News, the CCS’ delegates will vote yes on the proposal if the language is changed. The OC Register’s latest vote tally accounted for the CCS voting no.

Last week, the North Coast Section was the first to decide to vote no on the expansion, which would go into effect this fall if passed. The reasoning from the NCS (as well as the SS) included safety concerns about the length of the season. Delegates from both sections brought up the point that it seems contradictory to be expanding the season when at the same time they are voting to limit contact in practice.


De La Salle announces 2015 football schedule

De La Salle will travel to Texas for the first time as part of its 2015 football schedule. The Spartans will also host three Southern California squads.

De La Salle’s opponent and other details for game in Texas, scheduled for the final weekend in August, will be determined by ESPN within the next few months. De La Salle has also scheduled home games with Long Beach Poly, Servite-Anaheim and Orange Lutheran.

Six Northern California teams — Serra-San Mateo, Granite Bay, Del Oro, San Ramon Valley, California and James Logan — round out the schedule. The Spartans have played each of those NorCal teams, with the exception of GraniteBay, the last two seasons.

Here’s the full schedule.

Week 0: At Texas opponent TBA

Week 1: At Serra-San Mateo

Week 2: BYE



Week 5: At GraniteBay



Week 8: DEL ORO


Week 10: CAL HIGH

De La Salle is expected to challenge for the preseason national No. 1 ranking with several key players back from its 14-0 team that won the Open Division state championship over Centennial-Corona in December. Among the returners are running backs Antoine Custer and Andrew Hernandez, as well as OL/DL Boss Tagaloa, TE/DE Devin Asiasi and QB Anthony Sweeney.


Campolindo state football champions to be honored

The community is invited to celebrate the players and coaches who brought Campolindo High its first state football championship last month. The event is planned for Sunday, Jan. 25 at 12:30 p.m. in the Campolindo gym. Food, t-shirts and DVDs will be for sale. Kids can get autographs and a screening of the game — a 35-28 win over El Capitan-Lakeside in one of the greatest comebacks in state championship game history — will be played at 2 p.m.


Final 2014 East Bay football poll

Here’s our final East Bay football poll of what turned out to be an outstanding season.

Team Record Points Last week
1. De La Salle (5) 14-0 75 1
2. Campolindo 16-0 69 6
3. Pittsburg 10-3 64 3
4. Clayton Valley Charter 15-1 62 5
5. California 9-4 53 4
6. Foothill 9-3 52 2
7. Concord 12-2 44 9
t8. Liberty 9-3 37 12
t8. Salesian 12-1 37 13
10. McClymonds 8-4 28 8
11. San Ramon Valley 7-5 27 10
12. James Logan 8-3 19 7
13. St. Mary’s 11-2 9 NR
14. Las Lomas 9-3 8 14
15. Freedom 7-5 6 11

Also receiving votes:  Kennedy-Fremont (10-1, 4 votes), Piedmont (12-1, 4), Antioch (7-5, 2).  The East Bay Football Poll is voted on by the prep sports staff of Bay Area News Group East Bay. Records are final.