Army All-American tour to visit Clayton Valley Charter

CTR-DVALPREV-0829-03The Army All-American Bowl selection tour is coming to Clayton Valley Charter next week to honor defensive lineman Kahlil McKenzie. The Tennessee commit was selected for the prestigious all-star game, which will be played Jan. 3 at the Alamodome, earlier this year.

McKenzie will be honored in a ceremony on Oct. 10 at the school. He’ll receive his honorary jersey for the game in front of family, friends, teammates and classmates.

McKenzie hasn’t played a down of football yet this season after the North Coast Section ruled him ineligible following his transfer from De La Salle. McKenzie has appealed the decision and recently met with the CIF’s appeals committee. The committee’s decision is expected within the next couple weeks.


Early CIF bowl game rankings favor East Bay teams

Could the East Bay have four teams to cheer on at the CIF state bowl games in December? Quite possibly.

Cal-Hi Sports has released its latest bowl game rankings and De La Salle, Clayton Valley Charter and Campolindo all hold down the No. 1 spot in Northern California in their respective divisions while McClymonds is No. 2 in the small school division. All four of those teams are unbeaten halfway through the regular season.

Of course, rankings in October don’t mean much in December. Last year at this time, De La Salle and Clayton Valley Charter were ranked No. 1 in their respective divisions while Campolindo and McClymonds held down No. 2 spots. Of those teams, only De La Salle made the trip to Carson. McClymonds reached the small school NorCal regional game, but lost and didn’t advance to state. Clayton Valley and Campolindo were eliminated weeks before by losing in the North Coast Section semifinals.

Other local teams with high NorCal rankings this week include Foothill (No. 5 in Div. I), Concord (No. 3 in Div. II), St. Mary’s (No. 5 in Div. III) and Salesian (No. 5 in Div. IV).


Five East Bay high school football games to watch: Week 5

A bit of a slow week for the East Bay with several teams on a bye before starting league play next week. But there are still some games worth watching. And with the DFAL moving all their games to Thursday this week for Yom Kippur, the opportunity is there to catch multiple games in one weekend. Here are picks for the top games of the week.

Acalanes (3-1) at Alhambra (5-0), Thursday, 7 p.m. — Can Alhambra continue its turnaround season against a solid Acalanes team coming off a bye? It’s going to be tough. Last week, the Bulldogs survived a scare from a young Miramonte team in their DFAL opener, needing to rally from a 20-point halftime deficit to win 43-40. Grant Hill continued to be Alhambra’s top playmaker, catching a 49-yard touchdown pass with 2:21 to play for the go-ahead score. But Alhambra was burned by Miramonte’s passing game, allowing QB Ryan Anderson to throw for 372 yards (though Alhambra did pick off four passes). Slowing Acalanes QB Casey Harrington will also be a challenge. The Dons can run the ball, too, and they’ll be well-rested. Acalanes has won three straight since dropping its season opener 30-28 to Antioch. Don’t be surprised if  this one is wild and high scoring.

Miramonte (1-4) at Las Lomas (4-1), Thursday, 7 p.m. — The Matadors have just one win to their name this year after winning last season’s North Coast Section Division II title, but they can be dangerous in the DFAL. Just ask Alhambra. Miramonte piled up over 500 yards of offense in a heartbreaker of a 43-40 loss to the unbeaten Bulldogs last week. If they can limit the mistakes, they could be capable of ending Las Lomas’ winning streak at four games. The Knights have played well since opening the season with a loss to San Ramon Valley. Zack Fulks has been the catalyst on both sides of the ball in recent weeks. He’s intercepted three passes and rushed for close to 300 yards total in wins over Northgate and Dougherty Valley the last two weeks. Ben Wood, Las Lomas’ QB, is a threat with his arm and legs.

James Logan (3-1) at Bishop O’Dowd (2-2), Friday, 7 p.m. — In its final tuneup before WACC-Foothill play starts, O’Dowd will face likely its biggest test yet in Logan. The Dragons have had mixed results so far in their first few games under new coach Napoleon Kaufman, winning a close one against Terra Nova but falling to St. Mary’s and Will C. Wood after holding second-half leads. After playing a series of close games, Logan is coming off a dominant win over Castro Valley. QB Christian Leota and the Colts had 565 yards of offense in the 43-0 win. Logan, which plays a freelance schedule, will use the O’Dowd game to gear up for its Oct. 11 date against De La Salle at Levis’ Stadium.

De La Salle (5-0) at San Ramon Valley (2-2), Friday, 7 p.m. — The Spartans look like their usual dominant selves as they begin the local part of their schedule. Only in-section teams are left to face De La Salle in the regular season, beginning with San Ramon Valley. While the Wolves have had their ups and downs to start the season — a thrilling double OT win over Pittsburg but disappointing losses to James Logan and Foothill — they typically play De La Salle tougher than many East Bay teams. Last year, the Wolves even held a brief lead on the Spartans’ home field before eventually losing 47-21. San Ramon Valley will be tasked with slowing the Spartans’ stout rushing attack, led by Antoine Custer. The junior rushed for 257 yards and three touchdowns in a 47-24 win over Servite-Anaheim last week.

El Cerrito (2-2) at St. Mary’s (5-0), Friday, 7 p.m. — This TCAL-Rock matchup is one St. Mary’s probably circled on the calendar months ago. Last season, behind a once-in-a-generation group of seniors, El Cerrito knocked off the Panthers 43-7 on its way to the league and NCS Division III section titles. But this year, St. Mary’s has its sight set on upending the defending champs and taking the TCAL-Rock title for itself. An experienced and talented defense, led by Ben Schrider, Aaron Mercadel and Ron Smith, have the Panthers 5-0. El Cerrito, on the other hand, is young and still trying to find its way. The Gauchos have been on both ends of blowouts in a 2-2 start to the year. Both teams handily won their TCAL-Rock openers last week.


East Bay football poll — 9/30

Here’s our latest East Bay prep football poll. Quite a bit of shuffling near the top.

Team Record Points Last week
1. De La Salle (6) 5-0 90 1
2. Foothill 4-0 83 5
3. California 3-1 77 3
4. Clayton Valley Charter 5-0 71 6
5. Pittsburg 3-2 64 2
6. San Ramon Valley 2-2 63 4
7. Campolindo 5-0 56 7
8. McClymonds 4-0 46 8
9. James Logan 3-1 44 9
10. Concord 5-0 36 10
11. Amador Valley 4-0 29 11
12. Liberty 5-0 25 12
13. St. Mary’s 5-0 18 13
14. Alhambra 5-0 9 14
15. Freedom 3-2 6 15

Also receiving votes:  Las Lomas (4-1, 1 vote), Kennedy-Fremont (5-0, 1), Antioch (4-1, 1).  The East Bay Football Poll is voted on by the prep sports staff of Bay Area News Group East Bay. Records are through Saturday.


Campolindo’s Petite presented with All-American jersey

Tyler Petite has been a big part of the great run Campolindo High’s football team has put together over the last few years, and on Tuesday the senior tight end was honored for his talent.

Petite, a Duke commit, was presented with his honorary jersey for the Under Armour All-American game in a ceremony at school. He is one of 90 players from across the country selected to play in the Jan. 2 game held at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla.

“You’re talking about the best of the best in this game, and I’m putting my skills against theirs,” Petite said at the ceremony.  “It will be a great way to see where I am and see what I need to work on.  As much fun as it’s going to be, I’m going to get down to business and try to get better as a player.”


Five East Bay high school football games to watch in Week 4

League play begins in some areas but there are also quite a few nonleague games of significance. Here are our picks for the top five games of the week (though several other could also have made this list):San Leandro vs Foothill Pleasanton High School Football

San Ramon Valley (2-1) at Foothill (3-0), Friday, 7 p.m.: East Bay Athletic League play gets started with what could be one of the games of the year in the competitive conference. Foothill, behind SMU-bound QB Kyle Kearns and USC-bound Isaiah Langley, is off to a fantastic start. San Ramon Valley had a hiccup against James Logan, but has an excellent win in double OT over Pittsburg. Foothill is looking for its first EBAL championship since 2006, but hasn’t fared well against bigger, more physical teams in recent years and haven’t defeated SRV since 2008.

Continue Reading


East Bay football poll — 9/23

Here’s our latest East Bay prep football poll. The top 10 stays the same, but there’s some movement after that.

Team Record Points Last week
1. De La Salle (6) 4-0 90 1
2. Pittsburg 3-1 84 2
3. California 2-1 77 3
4. San Ramon Valley 2-1 72 4
5. Foothill 3-0 65 5
6. Clayton Valley Charter 4-0 62 6
7. Campolindo 4-0 54 7
8. McClymonds 3-0 46 8
9. James Logan 2-1 43 9
10. Concord 4-0 37 10
11. Amador Valley 3-0 30 11
12. Liberty 4-0 24 13
13. St. Mary’s 4-0 17 14
14. Alhambra 4-0 11 NR
15. Freedom 2-2 6 NR

Also receiving votes:  Las Lomas (3-1, 1 vote), Kennedy-Fremont (4-0, 1).  The East Bay Football Poll is voted on by the prep sports staff of Bay Area News Group East Bay. Records are through Saturday.


Campolindo’s Tyler Petite gets Under Armour All-America honor

Washington vs Campolindo High School Football Fremont MoragaCampolindo High’s Tyler Petite has been selected for the Under Armour All-American high school football all-star game and will be presented with his jersey during a ceremony at his school’s gym next Tuesday, Sept. 30.

Petite is a heavily recruited tight end who gave a verbal commitment to Duke over the summer. He has helped Campolindo open the season with a 4-0 record, catching 11 passes for 352 yards and four touchdowns. He also plays defense and has contributed an interception, sack and fumble recovery from his linebacker spot.

The Under Armour All-American game will be played Jan. 2 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg (Fla.) and will be televised by ESPN2. The Under Armour selection tour visits different high schools over a three-month period to present official jerseys in front of the selected players’ family and friends.


East Bay high school football: Week 3 recap

In Week 3 — the final week of nonleague play for teams in the EBAL and DFAL (and some in the TCAL and MVAL) — close games were hard to come by. Even ones that looked like they could be good ones on paper, like the Battle of the Creek game between Northgate and Las Lomas, were one-sided. Here’s a breakdown of the action.

– I headed to Danville to see Liberty play Monte Vista. The Lions won 34-7 and start the season 4-0 for the first time since 1967. Liberty certainly has a good thing going since Jeff Walters took over as head coach before last season. It was interesting to hear him address the team afterwards. The win was a good one, but the Lions are thinking bigger. Next week’s game with San Leandro will be a fun one for sure.

– De La Salle went to Loomis, but Del Oro’s rowdy crowd was silenced by the Spartans. Antoine Custer rushed for 143 yards and two touchdowns in the first half as De La Salle won 52-0. A matchup with SoCal power Servite-Anaheim comes next week for De La Salle.

– Two other teams are a somewhat surprising 4-0: Alhambra and Kennedy-Fremont. I wrote about both teams in our football notebook earlier in the week. Alhambra put up monster offensive numbers again in a 62-20 win over Washington as QB Mark Azevedo passed for 252 yards and accounted for six touchdowns. Kennedy dominated Hercules 62-0.

– In the Battle of the Creek, Zack Fulks score on the first play from scrimmage and Las Lomas never looked back. The Knights won 38-8 to break a tw0-game losing streak against their Walnut Creek rival, Northgate.

– El Cerrito vs. Amador Valley was another one that looked interesting on paper, but ended up being a one-sided game. The Gauchos scored first, but Amador Valley scored the next 39 to win 39-7. The Dons are undefeated at 3-0 and face Granada next week in their EBAL opener.

Continue Reading


Five East Bay high school football games to watch this weekend (Sept. 19)

Here are our top picks for games to check out during the weekend of Sept. 19San Leandro vs Foothill Pleasanton High School Football

El Cerrito (1-1) at AmadorValley (2-0), Friday, 7 p.m. – Coming off a bye, El Cerrito will take on an East Bay Athletic League opponent for the second straight game. The Gauchos took a step forward with a 54-14 drubbing of Livermore after opening the season with a loss to Northern Section power Sutter. But AmadorValley will be a stiffer challenge. The Dons are unbeaten and are also coming off a bye. AmadorValley is averaging 387 rushing yards per game but will need to tighten up its defense a bit against an inexperienced El Cerrito team that is getting better from week to week.

San Leandro (1-2) at Freedom (1-2), Friday, 7 p.m. – Both teams’ records are a little misleading as both have faced some very strong nonleague competition. They had similar results last week. San Leandro played one of the CCS’ top programs, Bellarmine, tough while Freedom couldn’t hold on to an early lead against SJS power Granite Bay as late turnovers made the difference.  San Leandro’s win over James Logan last week is looking even better after the Colts upended SanRamonValley last week. The Pirates hope to get standout senior QB Stephen Johnson back soon from a fractured foot.

Northgate (3-0) at Las Lomas (2-1), Friady, 7 p.m. – Northgate is going for a third straight win over its Walnut Creek neighbor in the annual “Battle of the Creek” rivalry game. Las Lomas owned the matchup for many years, but an improved Broncos program has had the upper hand recently. This game should be a good indicator for both teams. Northgate’s defense has been especially good early in the season, allowing just 21 total points in three wins under new head coach Ben Ballard, who was previously the team’s defensive coordinator. Las Lomas owns a two-game winning streak behind dual-threat QB Ben Wood.

Liberty (3-0) at Monte Vista (1-2), Friday, 7 p.m. – Liberty continues to turn heads with its strong start to follow up last year’s breakout season and is eyeing its first win over an East Bay Athletic League team since knocking off Livermore in 2009. Quarterback Joseph Tolentino has played well in the Lions’ first three games, throwing six TDs without an interception. Riley Condon and Dylan Gilfoy have made big defensive plays for Liberty. A young Monte Vista team will try to rebound from being shut out last week by Pittsburg. It’s been a tough couple of seasons for the Mustangs, who missed the playoffs last year. Monte Vista’s sophomore quarterback, Jake Haener, has thrown for 663 yards.

Bishop O’Dowd (1-1) at St. Mary’s (3-0), Saturday, 1:30 p.m. – Defense has powered St. Mary’s, the defending NCS Division IV champion, in the early part of the season. Defensive end Ben Schrider has been especially disruptive with seven sacks, three forced fumbles and a blocked punt. But O’Dowd might be the Panthers’ strongest opponent yet. O’Dowd suffered a last-minute loss last week against Wood-Vacaville to fall to 1-1 under new head coach Napoleon Kaufman.