Livermore hires Ryan Partridge as head football coach

Jim Harbaugh’s staff inspired Ryan Partridge to hunt for a high school head football coaching job, a mission he completed when Livermore hired him for that role in mid-March.

Partridge’s cousin Chris, Michigan’s linebackers and special teams coach, has invited Ryan to the Wolverine facilities in Ann Arbor numerous times, the new Cowboys coach said.

“I had dinner with Jay Harbaugh, Jim’s son, and my cousin Chris. They heard me talking football and my passion, and they just pushed me and pushed me to apply for head coaching positions,” Partridge said. “That was a huge part of me deciding to do that.”

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Joe Bautista to return as College Park football coach

College Park removed the interim tag for head football coach Joe Bautista, Falcons athletic director Lance Hurtado confirmed Monday.

Bautista started last season as an assistant coach and stepped to the helm after College Park fired first-year head coach Joe Tenorio in late September. Bautista had previously been an assistant under longtime head coach Bill Kepler, who retired in 2014 but returned in September to help Bautista.

“He’s an alumni, he’s been there for years, he coached as an assistant — so I think it’ll be good,” Hurtado said of Bautista staying on as head coach. “He got us to the end of last season, stepped up and filled the role for us.”

The Falcons opened last season 0-4 before Tenario was let go and went 2-4 the rest of the way, with wins over Ygnacio Valley and Mt. Diablo.

Bautista, who was not immediately available for comment, is a P.E. teacher on-campus.

“That’s definitely a plus,” Hurtado said. “Having that presence on the campus is huge.”


Danny Jones becomes head football coach at alma mater Amador Valley

Danny Jones was named head coach of the Amador Valley football team in late February, taking over a program he played in from 2000-04 and has coached for the last five seasons.

Of coaching his alma mater, which went 8-4 and reached the North Coast Section Division 1 playoffs last season, Jones said, “It’s really cool. There are still a lot of the same teachers that were there when I went there. It’s a different dynamic, but you can’t ask for a better situation.”

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Reaction to NCS Open Division, competitive equity changes

Today the North Coast Section Board of Managers voted in a four-team Open Division football playoff plan, and a competitive equity plan that moves some successful teams up a division in football, basketball, girls volleyball, water polo, baseball, softball and lacrosse. Read about it here.

Coaches are still absorbing what the changes will mean when they go into effect this fall. Here’s an early sampling of reaction from East Bay coaches:

Compiled by Phil Jensen and Daniel Mano

Campolindo football coach Kevin Macy:
(on competitive equity) “The variables that are thrown into this mix … I just want to stick to school size. … Who is the arbiter of competitive equity? I’m not a big believer in this. …. We are just fighting to keep football alive in our town. Our name has become much bigger than our kids.”

Clayton Valley Charter football coach Tim Murphy:
(On the Open Division) “Fired up about it. … I think everything that went down in the meeting is what I agree with. … The only negative thing is that a team that wins a section could be eliminated. … Now you are not allowing people to control their own destiny. That would be my only complaint. Everything else I agree with. Continue Reading


Valley Christian-Dublin dropping varsity football for 2016

Valley Christian High School in Dublin will not field a varsity football team in 2016 and will instead focus on its junior varsity squad, a change confirmed by athletic director Larry Lopez on Monday.

The Vikings reached the North Coast Section Division 5 semifinals last season, falling to eventual champion Berean Christian 31-28.

Valley Christian football coach Justin Lowell initiated the idea to drop varsity this fall, Lopez said, in an effort to rebuild the program. Lopez noted only nine returnees from last year, though the Valley Christian roster on MaxPreps.com lists 14 non-seniors on last year’s squad. NCS lists the school’s enrollment as 255 based on 2014-15 numbers.

Lowell did not immediately respond to a phone message.

While Lopez said any situation where a program goes from varsity to JV “frustrating” he expressed confidence that Lowell’s plan was the best move. This is not a permanent move, Lopez said.


Dublin’s Matt Gutwald signs to walk on at Stanford

Dublin High’s Matthew Gutwald signed a letter of intent Wednesday to be a preferred walk-on at Stanford, spurning other Pac-12 and Division 1 schools who offered scholarships.

“I had a lot of other offers to choose from, but … it came down to academics,” Gutwald said.

The 6-foot-5, 295-pound offensive lineman is a three-star recruit according to Rivals and Scout, the latter listing him as the eight-best guard in the state. Gutwald was selected to the All-East Bay First Team Offense this past season.

“He’s got the whole package,” said Dublin coach John Wade, who also praised his smarts.

Gutwald narrowed his options down to Stanford and Notre Dame before deciding Tuesday to aim at joining the Cardinal.


Bishop O’Dowd’s Camilo Eifler signs with Washington

Bishop O’Dowd High linebacker Camilo Eifler signed a letter of intent Wednesday afternoon to play for Washington, completing a verbal commitment he made in July.

Eifler, a consensus four-star recruit, is listed as the No. 6 linebacker nationally by Scout and No. 11 by Rivals. Scout has him as the No. 94 overall prospect, Rivals has him at No. 118 and ESPN at No. 280.

Eifler had 40 tackles (nine for a loss), an interception and a forced fumble his senior year. His coach the last two seasons was Washington alum Napoleon Kaufman, a former Oakland Raider.

Bishop O’Dowd standout Camilo Eifler, right, holds a Washington hat with his arm around former Huskies star and current Dragons coach Napoleon Kaufman after signing a letter of intent Wednesday to play at Washington. Photo courtesy of Lisa Coffey-Mahoney.




Liberty’s Shurod Thompson signs with Oregon State

Liberty High safety Shurod Thompson signed a letter of intent Wednesday with Oregon State.

Thompson, who transferred from Pittsburg for his senior year, is a consensus four-star recruit rated as a Top 10 safety in the nation by Rivals and ESPN. The former has Thompson as the No. 148 prospect overall and the latter lists him as No. 170 overall.

According to Rivals, Thompson received offers from nine other Pac-12 schools. He decommitted from Cal in June, according to SBNation, and joins an Oregon State recruiting class ranked No. 41 by Rivals.

Thompson had six touchdowns as a running back with Liberty last season (his defensive stats were not listed on MaxPreps). While at Pittsburg, the safety snagged six total interceptions in two seasons.

Most recently, Thompson played for Team USA in the International Bowl, fielding a punt blocked by friend and Oklahoma commit Jordan Parker and returning it for a touchdown.



Pittsburg’s Jordan Parker signs with Oklahoma

Pittsburg High cornerback Jordan Parker signed a letter of intent Wednesday morning with Oklahoma, which reached the College Football Playoff this past season. Soon after, Parker tweeted a picture of himself in Sooner gear and Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops tweeted “Welcome to the family!”

Parker is a four-star recruit according to Rivals and ESPN. Rivals has him as the 13th-best cornerback and 134th overall prospect this year while ESPN puts him at No. 290 overall. He’s part of a recruiting class that Rivals ranks No. 21 in the nation.

“Really an excellent athlete,” Stoops said of Parker at his press conference. “Just really excited about him. Great quickness, speed … a great player.”

Parker joins fellow former Bay Valley Athletic League standout Joe Mixon of Freedom at Oklahoma, which finished the season No. 4 in the College Football Playoff rankings.

Parker was the East Bay Defensive Player of the Year as a junior, when he had five interceptions and 10 pass break-ups. He had three picks and six break-ups as a senior, earning a second straight All-East Bay First Team honor, and added 12 total touchdowns on offense in four years at the varsity level. He helped Pittsburg reach back-to-back North Coast Section Division 1 title games.

Most recently, Parker played for Team USA in the International Bowl, blocking a punt that friend and Oregon State commit Shurod Thompson returned for a touchdown.


Photo courtesy of Pittsburg High assistant coach Charlie Ramirez Sr.





East Bay football commits on National Signing Day 2016

East Bay football players committing on National Signing Day include five to Pac-12 schools and two to other Power 5 schools. Here’s the full list:

DE Dante Abono (Alhambra) San Jose State
OT Jasaan Andrews (Skyline) Azusa Pacific
TE Devin Asiasi (De La Salle) Michigan
OL Meeko Barjona (Pittsburg) Humboldt State
K Matt Blair (Campolindo) UC Davis
ATH Antoine Custer (De La Salle) Eastern Washington
LS Johnny Den Bleyker (Moreau Catholic) UCLA
QB Kevin Davidson (San Ramon Valley) Princeton
OLB Camilo Eifler (Bishop O’Dowd) Washington
TE Giovanni Fauolo (Freedom) UNLV
OL Saia Fonongaloa (Pittsburg) Cal Poly
DL/OL Alex Glover (Saint Mary’s) Humboldt State
*OL Matthew Gutwald (Dublin) Stanford
DB Brooklyn Hardiman (De La Salle) Southern Oregon
WR Trey Hoskins (Dougherty Valley) Weber State
*DL Jake Javier (San Ramon Valley) Cal Poly
DB Miles Johnston (De La Salle) Southern Oregon
LB Nick Kane (San Ramon Valley) Brown
SS Scott Lewis (Berean Christian) University of San Diego
QB Troyante McConico (Pinole Valley) Wayne State
WR Marqel McCoy (Concord) UC Davis
CB Jordan Parker (Pittsburg) Oklahoma
RB Tamarick Pierce (Saint Mary’s) Eastern Washington
OLB Darius Powe (El Cerrito) Nevada
WR Noah Sol (Monte Vista) Northern Colorado
RB/LB Clayton Stehr (Miramonte) Brown
OL/DL Sterling Strother (Campolindo) Yale
QB Joey Sweeney (Freedom) Humboldt State
DT Boss Tagoloa (De La Salle) UCLA
CB Shurod Thompson (Liberty) Oregon State
OL/DL Eric Ting (Miramonte) Pomona-Pitzer
DL Seperini Togiai Aumua (Hayward) Sacramento State
WR/RB Ricky Walker III (San Leandro) Hawaii
WR Isaiah Williams (Freedom) University of St. Francis
WR Jairus Woodson (Valley Christian) Northern Arizona

*preferred walk-on