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De La Salle could be without two key players for season opener

Injuries will likely keep two of De La Salle’s top players out of action for at least next Friday’s season opener against Jesuit-Carmichael, if not longer.

Starting quarterback Anthony Sweeney suffered a knee injury and Northwestern-bound linebacker Simba Short hurt his shoulder at yesterday’s Pittsburg Jamboree, an annual four-team scrimmage. Both players are team captains.

De La Salle coach Justin Alumbaugh texted on Saturday morning that both players are still being evaluated and though the team is hoping for a quick recovery for both, they are unlikely to play next week.

The bad news came the same day De La Salle learned that it won’t play Jesuit at the 49ers’ Levi’s Stadium, as originally planned. Issues with the sod at the new facility forced the 49ers to cancel the event. De La Salle will instead play Logan at Levi’s on Oct. 11.

A new venue for the De La Salle-Jesuit game has yet to be determined.

Chris Vanderklugt will start at quarterback if Sweeney can’t play. Vanderklugt was the junior varsity starter last year.

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High school doubleheader at Levi’s Stadium cancelled

De La Salle High’s football team will not be opening the season at Levi’s Stadium next week, but the Spartans are expected to play at the 49ers brand new facility at some point this season.

The Spartans’ Aug. 29 game with Jesuit-Carmichael was supposed to be part of a prep doubleheader to help open the shiny new stadium, but a problem with the turf has forced the 49ers to call off the event.

There’s no word yet on where De La Salle and Jesuit will play next week in a game scheduled to be televised by ESPN2, but all four of the involved high school teams are expected to play at the new stadium later in the season instead.

Wilcox-Santa Clara and Manteca made up the other half of the doubleheader.

Here’s a Q and A our 49ers beat reporter, Cam Inman, did with 49ers COO Al Guido.

Q: What is the status for the Aug. 29 high school games?

A: “We are looking into rescheduling the high school games. I can confirm they will not be played next Friday. We are talking to the (athletics directors) at the schools and we feel real good we’ll be able to reschedule these for later in the year. The good news on that front is if we’re able to get them rescheduled, we have dates in mind, and we’re waiting on final confirmation. We’ll play four high school games which would make it so eight football teams will be able to play on our field, over the course of a Friday-Saturday in between a good break for the 49ers.”

Q: The other two games?

A: “I can’t confirm yet. What I will tell you is we had four teams playing on Friday. They can’t reschedule those games so they’ll occur (elsewhere). The teams they’d be playing regularly on those weekends would be the participants in those games. We wanted to make sure the four teams that were playing (next Friday) would have the opportunity to play at Levi’s. To do that, you have to play additional games now since they’re not playing each other.”

Q: So those two originally schedule games still will happen, just not at Levi’s?

A: “They will absolutely happen. They may happen at other locations, not at the high schools, but they will happen.”

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Countdown to Kickoff Question #4: Can the TCAL-Rock Division have multiple NCS champions once again?

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Today we continue our look at the East Bay high school football scene as the season inches closer. Here’s the fourth of 10 daily posts.

For this one, we head to West Contra Costa/Northern Alameda counties to check in with what may be the best small school league in Northern California.

Q: Will the TCAL-Rock Division have multiple section champions once again in 2014?

Few leagues around Northern California could claim the type of postseason success the Tri-County Athletic League-Rock Division enjoyed in football last season.
For the first time in each school’s history, El Cerrito won the Division III title and St. Mary’s won the Division IV crown. In the Division V championship game, Salesian beat Valley Christian-Dublin for its fourth section title since 2005.
“It was like a perfect storm,” Salesian coach Chad Nightingale said after last season. “To get all the teams into the playoffs that we did, and then to perform as well as we did, well that’s pretty exciting for our league.”
Could the league have multiple section champions again? Definitely.

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Countdown to Kickoff: Enough with the movie, how is the real De La Salle football team looking this year?

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If you’ve watched much TV over the last couple months, you’ve seen plenty of the De La Salle football team coached by Jim Caviezel and Michael Chiklis. You can find out Friday what happens to the movie version of the Spartans. That’s the release date for “When the Game Stands Tall,” a Hollywood film based on the end of the Spartans’ 151-game winning streak and the 2004 season.

Q: But what about the De La Salle football team coached by Justin Alumbaugh, Terry Eidson, Bob Ladouceur and company? How does the 2014 version of the Spartans look? Are they feeling more scrutanized with the movie coming out? And can they win another Open Division state championship?

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Countdown to Kickoff Question #2: Is Campolindo still the team to beat in the DFAL?

Today we continue our look at the East Bay high school football scene as the season inches closer. Here’s the second of 10 daily posts. For this one, we head to central Contra Costa County to check in with a Division III power and its league foes.

Q: Is Campolindo still the team to beat in the Diablo Foothill Athletic League?

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De La Salle to hold benefit premiere of “When the Game Stands Tall”

Jim Caviezel;Michael Chiklis;Matthew Daddario

De La Salle High will host a special premiere of “When the Game Stands Tall” to benefit the Terrance Kelly `04 Endowed Memorial Fund for Financial Aid. The special event will be held at the Century Blackhawk Plaza in Danville on Aug. 17 — five days before the major motion picture about legendary coach Bob Ladouceur and the football program’s national record 151-game winning streak will be released nationwide. The movie is based on the book by Neil Hayes.

A red carpet premiere in Los Angeles is scheduled for early August, but the Blackhawk event will serve as the local premiere. The film will be shown on all seven screens at the theater with staggered 1 p.m, 1:20 and 1:40 start times and will be followed by a “5th Quarter” reception onsite.

Ladouceur (played by Jim Caviezel in the film) and De La Salle assistant coach Terry Eidson (played by Michael Chiklis) as well as current members of the Spartans team are expected to attend the local benefit premiere, though no actors have been confirmed as of now.

Tickets aren’t cheap — it’s $50 for the movie and another $45 for the reception — but $35 of the movie ticket and $20 of the reception charge will go directly to the financial aid fund in Terrance Kelly’s name. Kelly was a two-way standout for De La Salle who was murdered just before he was set to leave for Oregon to begin his college football career. His tragic death is a major storyline in the film.

Tickets to the showings and separate tickets to the reception may be purchased online only at the De La Salle High School website www.dlshs.org. Questions can be directed to Chief Advancement Officer Heather Pastorini at 925-288-8106 or by e-mail at pastorinih@dlshs.org.

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Kahlil McKenzie transferring from De La Salle

Kahlil McKenzie announced Monday night that he’s planning to transfer from De La Salle and enroll at Clayton Valley Charter for his senior year.

McKenzie couldn’t be reached for comment but posted to his Twitter account: “Transferring from De La Salle going to Clayton Valley Charter family decision not answering any questions about it but I’m a Ugly Eagle.”

De La Salle football coach Justin Alumbaugh confirmed that McKenzie, a 6-foot-4, 330 pound defensive tackle, is leaving the school.

“Kahlil has withdrawn from De La Salle,” Alumbaugh said. “And I do mean this — Kahlil is a really good kid and will have a great future. We wish him the best.”

The five-star recruit is the son of Oakland Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie and has offers from colleges from across the country. He recently said he has narrowed down his college decision to Tennessee or Arizona and will announce his pick at The Opening, a prestigious Nike football camp, on July 10.

McKenzie played only one season for De La Salle, registering 74 tackles and a team-high 12 sacks after moving to the Bay Area from Wisconsin before his junior year.

Clayton Valley Charter coach Tim Murphy couldn’t be reached for comment.

The Eagles have been one of the top Division II schools in the North Coast Section since Murphy took over before the 2012 season.

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Mixon, Houston, Pickett, Webster named to all-state team

The East Bay is well represented on the Cal-Hi Sports’ all-state first team with Freedom’s Joe Mixon, De La Salle’s Sumner Houston, El Cerrito’s Adarius Pickett and Deer Valley’s Nsimba Webster all receiving honors.

Mixon, one of the nation’s hottest college prospects and the MVP of the Army All-America game, was honored at running back. He will sign with Oklahoma on Wednesday when the signing period begins.

Houston (defensive tackle) and Pickett (defensive back) were honored for their defensive prowess, even though both were major contributors on the offensive side of the ball, as well. Pickett, who is headed to UCLA, was the East Bay Player of the Year while Houston (Oregon State) was the East Bay Defensive Player of the Year.

Webster made the team as a multi-purpose pick. The dual-threat quarterback earned East Bay Offensive Player of the Year honors after registering more than 3,500 total yards in his senior year. He’s expected to announce his college decision on Wednesday.

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De La Salle announces 2014 football schedule

De La Salle High’s 2014 football schedule could be highlighted by a Sept. 12 home game against South Carolina power Byrnes of Duncan. The Rebels have won 11 state championships and were 12-2 last year, ending their season in the Class AAA I state semifinals. The schools are in discussions about a Sept. 12 game, but a deal has not yet been finalized.

The rest of the Spartans’ schedule was announced Sunday and includes many of Northern California’s top programs. They will have rematches with several of their 2013 opponents, but have also added Jesuit-Carmichael as their season opener, replacing Clayton Valley Charter. The Marauders are coached by Marlon Blanton, a 1991 De La Salle graduate.

Serra-San Mateo, Del Oro-Loomis and Servite-Anaheim will also play De La Salle early on in the season. Serra gave De La Salle its closest regular season game last year, losing 21-14 on a late touchdown run. Del Oro reached the Division I state final in December while Servite is expected to be one of Southern California’s top teams next season.

Here’s the full schedule:

Aug. 29 — JESUIT

Sept. 5 — SERRA-SAN MATEO

Sept. 12 — TBD

Sept. 19 — at Del Oro-Loomis

Sept. 27 — SERVITE-ANAHEIM

Oct. 3 — at San Ramon Valley

Oct. 10 — JAMES LOGAN

Oct. 17 — Bye

Oct. 24 — FOOTHILL (senior night)

Nov. 1 — at Amador Valley

Nov. 8 — at California

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East Bay all-stars to play in Literacy Classic football game

A collection of top East Bay high school seniors will get the chance to show off their football skills while also raising money for a worthy cause at Saturday’s Literacy Classic All-Star game.
The East Bay all-stars, led by quarterbacks Nsimba Webster of Deer Valley and Drew Anderson of Miramonte, will take on their counterparts from the West Bay (San Jose to San Francisco) at 7 p.m. at San Jose City College.
The game was organized by Charles Nash and Competitive Elite Sports to help raise money for a literacy program that works with students in grades 6-9 on improving their reading, writing and public speaking skills.
Liberty’s Jeff Walters will coach the East Bay squad, and he will have an abundance of talent to work with, especially at the skill positions.
Besides Webster, the East Bay Offensive Player of the Year, and Anderson, who passed for 4,074 yards and 47 touchdowns while leading Miramonte to the North Coast Section Division II title, the East Bay squad also includes some of the area’s most productive receivers and running backs as well as some hard-nosed defenders.
“It’s almost an embarrassment of riches,” Walters said of his quarterback situation. “With Nsimba, we want to put his athleticism to work, so there will be time when (he and Anderson) are both in the game at the same time. We want to give Nsimba a couple of reps at receiver.”
The receiving corps also includes Miramonte’s Dominic Paoletti, St. Mary’s Liam Godfrey, Deer Valley’s Nzuzi Webster (Nsimba’s twin brother) and Northgate tight end Jake Smith, the Diablo Valley Athletic League MVP. Northgate running back Eric Haynes (2,058 rushing yards, 36 TDs) will also help the offense.
De La Salle’s Larry Ross and Deer Valley’s Chibueze Onyeukwu anchor the defense.
Opposing the East Bay team on Saturday will be a group of Central Coast Section all-stars coached by Earl Hansen. After a 26-year career over two stints at Palo Alto, including a state title run in 2010, Hansen is retiring.
Walters, a first-year coach who guided Liberty to the NCS Division I playoffs for the first time in 10 years, spent time with Hansen at a banquet for the literacy program over the weekend.
“What an interesting juxtaposition of having me in my first year and him in his final game,” Walters said. “He’s an awesome guy and I drank in the moment of getting to sit next to a legend in bay area football.”
Tickets to the game are $10 for adults and $6 for students and kids under 13.