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)


East Bay high school football 2014: League previews

In case anyone missed these earlier, here are the links to our league previews, with analysis of each team and predicted finishes.

BVAL — Pittsburg looks favored again, but Antioch, Heritage and Liberty should all be improved.

De La Salle — Loss to St. John Bosco drives Spartans in 2014

DFAL — Campolindo aims for a fourth straight league title

DVAL — Clayton Valley Charter has questions to answer, so can Concord knock off the Uglies?

EBAL — California aims for repeat performance, but SRV, Foothill will also contend

James Logan — QB Leota has Colts thinking big in 2014

MVAL — Parity rules with no clear-cut favorite for league  title

OAL — McClymonds is head of the class once again

TCAL-Rock — Can St. Mary’s end El Cerrito’s recent dominance?

TCAL-Stone — Plenty of motivation for Kennedy-Richmond in 2014

WACC-Foothill — San Leandro looks primed to repeat

WACC-Shoreline — With Tennyson gone, which team will step up to take control?



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


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.

Continue Reading


De La Salle’s Kahlil McKenzie lists his top 12

De La Salle lineman Kahlil McKenzie, flooded with offers from some of the country’s most successful football programs, announced his list of top 12 schools on Wednesday. The 6-foot-4, 309-pound defensive tackle posted his top choices to his Twitter account. In order, McKenzie’s favorites at the moment are Tennessee, Arizona, USC, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, UCLA, Miami, Alabama, Ohio State, Florida, Oregon and Texas Tech.


The prized recruit is the son of Oakland Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie. Kahlil made a major impact in his first season with De La Salle last fall after moving to the East Bay from Wisconsin. He registered a team-high 12 sacks and was third with 74 tackles — including 18 tackles for a loss.


De La Salle football in final stages of moving season opener to Levi’s Stadium

De La Salle High is nearing an agreement to move its season opener against Jesuit-Carmichael to Levi’s Stadium, the San Francisco 49ers new billion-dollar home.
De La Salle coach Justin Alumbaugh confirmed Wednesday that the deal is in its final stages.
The game would likely be part of a doubleheader on Aug. 29 along with Wilcox-Santa Clara vs. Manteca. Wilcox cleared a big hurdle on Wednesday when the Central County Section’s Board of Managers granted the program a waiver to open the season a week early. That agreement is also close to being finalized, the Mercury News reports.
Interest in the De La Salle program should be intensified for a game at Levi’s with the release of “When the Game Stands Tall,” a movie focused on the Spartans program and its 151-game winning streak slated to be released the week before on Aug. 22.


All-DVAL football team

As selected by the coaches…

Jake Smith (Northgate)

Lineman of the Year
Jax Carter (Clayton Valley Charter) Jr.

First team offense
QB — Mitchell Daniels (Concord) Jr., Gabe Taylor (Clayton Valley Charter) Sr.; RB — Miles Harrison (CVC) Jr., Eric Haynes (N) Sr., Ray Jackson (College Park) So.; WR — Darneail Jenkins (Mt. Diablo) Sr., Mason Knight (Con) Jr.; TE — Dylan Jue (CVC) Sr.; OL — Justin Rogers (CVC) Sr., Brenden Crabble (CVC) Sr., Max Connor (CVC) Sr., Robert Liu (Con) Jr., Diego Lopez (Ygnacio Valley) Jr., Deven Michael (Con) Sr., Angel Moreno (CP) Sr., Chris Slininger (CP) Sr.

First team defense
DL — Quinten Casey (Con) Sr., Michael Ihejeto (N) Jr., Yemi Fashola (CVC) Sr., Angel Moreno (CP) Sr.; LB — Rich Peralta (CVC) Jr., Mark Rubio (Con) Sr., Will Rivas (YV) Jr.; DB — Nick Mastrelli (N) Sr., Timmy Jackson (CP) Sr., Dimitri Salido (CP) Sr., Tanner Wraa (CVC) Sr.; K — Sam Dale (N) Sr.

Second team offense
QB — Kyle Austin (N) Sr., Austin Hunt (MD) Sr.; RB — Malik Blackburn (Con) Jr.; Ben Davis (CVC) Sr., Ruben Vega (CVC) Sr., Trevor Sprung (CP) Sr.; WR — Ronnie Algood (Con) Sr., Jed Gwynn (Con) Jr., Michael Sabeti (CP) Sr.; OL — Sam Armstrong (CP) Sr., Julius Ioane (N) Sr., Paul Farr (CVC) Sr., Tyler Modlin (N) Sr., David Valenzuela (Con) Jr.

Second team defense
DL — Floyd Armenta (N) Jr., Griffin Bently (CVC) Jr.; LB — Jesse Escobar (Con) Sr., Dominic Buscaglia (CP) Sr., Ryan Cooper (CVC) Jr., Gage Messier (CP) Jr., Justin Zapanta (CVC) Jr.; DB — Cesar Medina (Con) Sr., Steven Cuneo (N) Sr., Zach Dominguez (CVC) Sr., Shane Morris (CVC) Sr.; K — Gil Cisneros (Con) Sr.

Honorable mention
QB — Hodari Cooper (YV) Sr.; OL — Xavier Sheehan (MD) Jr., Alex Vargas (C) Jr., Jeremy Lee (C) Jr.; WR — Davail Jenkins (MD) Jr.; DL — Jose Rivera (C) So., Alim Margiyev (N) Sr.; LB — Kyle Muller (N) Sr.; RB  Michael Nocerino (CVC); K   Daniel Ferrell (CVC); TE  Brandon Estrada (CVC).


All-BVAL football selections

Deer Valley QB Nsimba Webster was named Bay Valley Athletic League MVP and his twin brother, WR/DB Nzuzi Webster, was one of just two players to earn first-team accolades on both sides of the ball. Pittsburg lineman Larry Serna-Cruz is the other. Below is the complete list. We’ll post other leagues as they are released.

Nsimba Webster (Deer Valley) Sr.

First team offense

QB — Nsimba Webster* (DV) Sr.; RB — Harris Ross* (Pittsburg) Sr., Joe Mixon* (Freedom) Sr., Kyle McDonald (DV) Sr., Jaylyn Morgan (Pitt) Jr.; WR — Nick Garcia* (Free) Sr., Mike Hamilton* (DV) Sr., Nzuzi Webster (DV) Sr.; TE — Marcus Franks* (Pitt) Sr.; OL — Larry Serna-Cruz* (Pitt) Sr., Cranberry Gato* (Antioch) Sr., Mesake Afu* (DV) Sr., Jacob Smith* (Heritage) Sr., Shane Goodwin (Liberty) Jr., Rene Cardona (Pitt) Sr.; UT — Ivan Oseguera* (Liberty) Sr.

First team defense

DL — Patrick Choudja* (Free) Sr., Chibueze Onyeukwu (DV) Sr., David Letuligasenoa (Her) So., Larry Serna-Cruz (Pitt) Sr., David Lui (Pitt) Jr.; LB — Malik Hutchings* (DV) Sr., Cole Caligari* (Her) Sr., Noah Palega* (Pitt) Jr.; Kobie Beltram (Ant) So., Steven Costello (Free) Jr.; DB — Shurod Thompson* (Pitt) So., Daniel Sheppard* (Pitt) Sr., Kyle Trego (Lib) Jr., Nzuzi Webster (DV) Sr.; K — Anthony Martinez* (Lib) Sr.

Second team offense

QB — Joe Sweeney (Free) So.; RB — Nick Perry (Ant) So., Noah Thompson (Free) Jr., Jeff Robinson (DV) Sr.; WR — Alex Hull (Lib) Jr., Scotty Sanders (Free) Jr.; TE — Brian Taatalale (DV) Sr.; OL — Antonio Baldazo (Pitt) Sr., Leonard Grillo (Ant) Sr., Dylan Goodwin (Free) Sr., Dominic Fredrickson (Free) Jr., De’Angelo Powell (Pitt) Sr., Fernando Nunez (Pitt) Sr.; UT — Sam Hinn (Her) Jr.

Second team defense

DL — Erin Austin (Her) Sr., Shane Goodwin (Lib) Jr., Tyler Bergen (Free) Sr., Cranberry Gato (Ant) Sr., John Woodruff (Her) Sr.; LB — Alex Espinoza (Lib) Jr., Matt Gavello (DV) Sr., Isaiah Lopez (Pitt) Jr., Leonard Grillo (Ant) Sr., Kristian Simmons (Free) Sr., Tyell Bell (DV) Sr.; DB — Robert Taylor (DV) Sr., Aaron Mullins (Free) Sr., Jimmie Smith (Lib) Sr., Deante Fortenberry (Pitt) Jr.; K — Christian Quintanilla (DV) Sr.

Honorable mention

DL — Dylan Gilfoy (Lib) Jr., Addison Hughes (Her) Sr., Manny Lopez (Lib) Sr.; DB — Coltin Selin (Her) Sr., Kenya Edner (Pitt) Sr.

*indicates unanimous selection