Live updates tonight from East Bay prep football games

Castlemont quarterback Joe Feao (1) is pressured by Castlemont's Ramone Sanders (25) and Jayshaun Thomas (86) in the first half of their Oakland Athletic League game at McClymonds High School in Oakland, Calif., on Friday, Oct. 9, 2015. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group)

Castlemont quarterback Joe Feao (1) is pressured by Castlemont’s Ramone Sanders (25) and Jayshaun Thomas (86) in the first half of their Oakland Athletic League game at McClymonds High School in Oakland, Calif., on Friday, Oct. 9, 2015. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group)

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Improved Monte Vista High football hosts EBAL co-leader Foothill

Foothill's Isaiah Floyd (22) celebrates a touchdown with Ruben Mercado (1) in the second quarter of their high school football game against San Leandro in Pleasanton, Calif., on Friday, Aug. 28, 2015. (Anda Chu/Bay Area News Group File)

Foothill’s Isaiah Floyd (22) celebrates a touchdown with Ruben Mercado (1) in the second quarter of their high school football game against San Leandro in Pleasanton, Calif., on Friday, Aug. 28, 2015. (Anda Chu/Bay Area News Group File)

The last two football matchups between Monte Vista and Foothill have been one-sided in favor of the Falcons, but this year may be different. Backed by a high-powered, pass-happy offense, the Mustangs (5-1, 2-0 East Bay Athletic League) welcome Foothill (7-0, 3-0) on Oct. 16 in a 7 p.m. game that could wind up deciding the league title.

Quarterback Jake Haener bounced back from Monte Vista’s lone loss, a 21-17 defeat at the hands of Clayton Valley Charter, by connecting repeatedly with receiver Noah Sol in a 34-12 win over Amador Valley last week. Twelve of his 18 completions were to Sol, who finished with 164 yards and a touchdown. That combination, along with fellow senior receiver Traehone Banda, should threaten unbeaten Foothill.

The Falcons feature a more run-oriented offense behind running back Isaiah Floyd, whose statistics on MaxPreps are listed at 1,100 yards and 16 touchdowns. But their defense is just as important. In three EBAL games this season, Foothill has allowed 14 total points. Its closest margin of victory is a 28-14 non-league win over Freedom, a rematch of last season’s North Coast Section Division 1 semifinal won by Foothill.

Monte Vista and Foothill have two common opponents this season. Both teams planted 42 points on Castro Valley, though the Mustangs allowed fewer points (14) than the Falcons (19). Monte Vista downed Livermore 48-17 while Foothill prevailed 42-7 against the Cowboys.

Even with a win, either the Mustangs or Falcons would have another roadblock en route to an undisputed EBAL crown: California High (5-1, 3-0). Foothill visits the Grizzlies on Oct. 16 and Monte Vista hosts them Oct. 23.

This week California plays Amador Valley (4-2, 1-1) and San Ramon Valley (1-5, 0-2) hosts Livermore (3-4, 0-3).



East Bay girls volleyball rankings, with comments

  1. Campolindo (13-8) — The Cougars went 4-1 at Notre Dame Belmont’s Tiger Cup tournament, including a win over a Pitman program that was runner-up in the CIF Division 1 state playoffs last year, plus swept Las Lomas and Dublin, so they stay where they were..
  2. Monte Vista (17-3) — The Mustangs pulled out wins over No. 15 Carondelet, in four games, and crosstown rival No. 5 San Ramon Valley, in five games, to remain at this spot.
  3. Bishop O’Dowd (13-8) — In two non-league matches, the Dragons swept Arroyo and lost in four games to Presentation of San Jose, a wash to keep just ahead of Head-Royce.
  4. Head-Royce (21-0) — The Jayhawks easily defeated University for a measure of revenge in a rematch of last year’s North Coast Section Division 5 semifinals, staying unbeaten at here.
  5. San Ramon Valley (13-5) — Though the Wolves took No. 2 Monte Vista to five games and couldn’t topple their crosstown rival, they swept No. 7 Foothill to move up a few spots.
  6. Albany (19-6) — Along with sweeps of then-ranked Saint Joseph Notre Dame and Salesian, the Cougars went 3-0 at the NorCal Invitational at Mare Island to go up three places. 
  7. Foothill (15-5) — After suffering a sweep to No. 5 San Ramon Valley, the Falcons beat No. 13 Amador Valley to only drop two places. 
  8. James Logan (17-4) — Sweeping then-ranked Irvington as well as Newark netted the Colts a better ranking by two.
  9. California (14-7) — The Grizzlies swept Livermore and downed No. 15 Carondelet in four games to continue an upswing after dropping earlier this season, moving up three.
  10. Granada 15 — (12-8) — The Matadors made it past No. 13 Amador Valley in five games and swept Livermore to jump up five spots.
  11. Acalanes NR — (8-4) — From the bubble to this spot go the Dons, who swept Miramonte and bubble team Alhambra.
  12. Miramonte (13-6) — Being swept by No. 11 Acalanes dropped the Matadors down six spots.
  13. Amador Valley (11-7) — Though the Dons lost twice, it was in five sets to No. 10 Granada and four to No. 7 Foothill, keeping them in the rankings.
  14. Liberty (17-8) — The Lions continued their BVAL dominance by sweeping Freedom and Pittsburg to return to the rankings.
  15. Carondelet (11-9) — The Cougars are on the fringe after four-set losses to No. 2 Monte Vista and No. 9 California.

Alumni coaches College Park girls water polo to resurgence

Almost a decade after leading the College Park High girls water polo team to the playoffs as a player, Lauren Seidemann is trying to bring the program back to prominence.

“It’s fun to bring this program back up to where it was,” said Seidemann, a 2006 graduate and second-year head coach. “We had a pretty decent program when I was there and it sort of fell off a bit. I have a lot of kids who know what they’re doing.”

Last year the Falcons reached the North Coast Section Division 1 playoffs for the first time since Seidemann’s sister, Melissa, graduated in 2008.

“I think it was a really big ego booster,” the coach said. “They were like, ‘Oh we can actually do this, because we made this game.’ It’s one of those experiences as a player that you don’t forget.”

College Park seems bound for the postseason again this season, with a 4-0 Diablo Valley Athletic League record heading into this week. The Falcons were 13-5 overall including a 3-0 run through the Trisha Tsukamoto Tournament on Sept. 26 and a 2-2 finish at the Foothill Tournament on Oct. 2-3.

Seniors Beverly Kurk and Gabriella Garcia-Roy are key pieces for the Falcons, as are juniors Becca Monroe and Alyssa Mikesell and sophomore Jaime Pitcher.

Those five “pretty much don’t come out of the game at all,” said Seidemann, who played for UC Davis and coached JV at Campolindo for two seasons.

Kurk, a goalkeeper, is “one of the most coachable players that I’ve ever had,” Seidemann said.

Of Garcia-Roy, the coach said, “She just really knows what she’s doing and is able to stay in front. She’s a big reason why we can do what we do on offense.”

That’s where top scorers Monroe and Pitcher come in, with 47 and 42 goals, respectively, through Sunday.

“I do demand a lot, and they really show up,” Seidemann said. “It’s pretty impressive actually, to see where the program was and where it’s progressed to because of how hard the kids work.”


Pittsburg High football Victor Galli becomes all-time win leader in school’s long history

Pittsburg head coach Victor Galli speaks to Jordan Parker (2) while playing against Freedom in the first quarter of their game at Freedom High School in Oakley, Calif., on Friday, Oct. 9, 2015. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)

Pittsburg head coach Victor Galli speaks to Jordan Parker (2) while playing against Freedom in the first quarter of their game at Freedom High School in Oakley, Calif., on Friday, Oct. 9, 2015. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)

Alan Jobb wrapped his arms around Victor Galli, who had just become the winningest coach in Pittsburg High football history, and delivered a simple message: “I’m proud of you, man.”

Fourteen year ago, when Galli got the top Pirates job, his lone assistant was Jobb. Now, 114 victories later, Jobb is among 16 guys on Galli’s crew.

“He’s great at bringing people together,” Jobb said.

That sentiment was echoed by Herc Pardi, chairman of the Pittsburg High Hall of Fame committee.

“Vic’s strength is being able to put together an outstanding coaching staff,” said Pardi, whose 27 years with Pittsburg football included helming the program from 1991-1995. “They have some coaches that really have a passion for the game.”

Pardi is an ideal person to comment on Galli’s accomplishment, considering his dad, Herk Pardi, played for the man Galli passed on the all-time wins list at Pittsburg. Pat Bryant coached the Pirates from 1927-1943 and went 113-40-15, according to Bob Lewis, former Pittsburg mayor and unofficial historian of Pirates football.

In two fewer seasons that Bryant, Galli is 114-50-1 and has taken Pittsburg to four North Coast Section title games. The Pirates edged host Freedom 33-29 in a wild Bay Valley Athletic League opener Friday, a game with three lead changes in the last three minutes.

“That was a gutty performance,” Galli said. “I’ve been a part of a lot of big wins, and that ranks right up there with them. Awesome stuff.”

The coach said it was particularly powerful because Pittsburg prevailed over a Falcons team coached by Kevin Hartwig, also in his 14th year in the BVAL.

The way Galli sees it, he said, coaching for that long is an accomplishment in and of itself.

“When I first started the job, I had no gray hair,” Galli said. “I was a young, fresh-faced kid. It’s a hell of a milestone. I sure didn’t get here by myself. All the coaches and people that have been part of my crew. I’m humbled by it.”


East Bay football rankings — 10/8

Here’s our East Bay rankings after the sixth week of play.

Team Record Last Week Up Next
1. De La Salle 4-1 1 vs. San Ramon Valley
2. Clayton Valley Charter 4-1 2 @Mt. Diablo
3. Foothill 6-0 3 vs. Livermore
4. Monte Vista 4-1 4 @Amador Valley
5. Pittsburg 4-1 5 @Freedom
6. California 4-1 6 vs. Granada
7. Antioch 5-0 7 @Heritage
8. Campolindo 5-1 8 vs. Alhambra
9. James Logan 5-1 11 @Atascadero
10. Freedom 3-2 10 vs. Pittsburg
11. Amador Valley 4-1 12 vs. Monte Vista
12. Miramonte 6-0 13 @Dougherty Valley
13. McClymonds 5-0 14 vs. Castlemont
14. American 5-1 NR @Washington
15. Swett 5-0 NR vs. Berean Christian

On the bubble: Dublin (4-1), Moreau Catholic (5-1), Piedmont (3-2). The East Bay rankings are compiled by the Bay Area News Group, selected from high schools in Alameda and Contra Costa counties.




Prep football: Amador Valley edged Granada in EBAL showdown

Ledre McCullough rushed for three touchdowns in the second half and, as Amador Valley coach Rick Sira put it, the Dons “held on for dear life” in a 29-22 EBAL win over host Granada on Oct. 1.

“It was just a great high school football game,” Sira said.

Amador Valley ruined the Matadors’ homecoming game by collecting itself at halftime, when it trailed 16-7.

“Early in the game we turned the ball over and they took advantage of that,” said Sira, noting a 10-0 deficit. “We had not played to the best of our ability. Granada did a good job, not to take away from them. We needed to do the things we were capable of and play at the level we knew we could.”

The Dons (4-1, 1-0 EBAL) did so behind McCullough, who rushed for 229 yards on 29 carries. Along with a 20-yard touchdown that proved to be the game winner, he senior scored on runs of 44 and 3 yards.

The latter, which gave Amador Valley its first lead, was set up by a 31-yard toss from senior quarterback Ronnie Jones to senior wide receiver Grant Huggins.

“It was a really gigantic play on a broken play to keep us in that situation,” Sira said. “If we don’t score there, it gets dark quickly.”
McCullough finished off that drive and, after he scored again, the teams traded punts until Granada (3-3, 0-2 EBAL) got in gear. The Matadors made it to the 30-yard line with a 14-yard drive in the waning minutes, but couldn’t complete the comeback.

Throws into the end zone on third and fourth down were broken up, the latter by senior cornerback Vincent Ruso.

Sira praised the play of senior safety Matthew Mahurni, junior lineman Mason Bartolo and senior linebacker/tailback Patrick Loughnane — who scored on a 14-yard run in the first half.


East Bay girls volleyball rankings, with comments

  1. Campolindo (6-7) — The Cougars took care of business against Acalanes and Dougherty Valley, both teams that have been ranked this season, and attended another stacked tournament, the Presentation Panther Challenge, where they went to three sets with three teams that have a combined 41-9 record.
  2. Monte Vista (13-3) — After falling behind early in the first set against Foothill on Thursday, the Mustangs raced to a 3-1 win over the then No. 3 Falcons before sweeping No. 9 Granada.
  3. Bishop O’Dowd (7-3) — A quiet week for the Dragons included only a sweep of Berkeley, but they’ve clearly faced tougher opponents than Head-Royce.
  4. Head-Royce (16-0) — The Jayhawks, who have only dropped two sets all season, kept their undefeated streak going with three sweeps in league play.
  5. Foothill (12-5) — The Falcons lost on the road to Monte Vista but came back to sweep California.
  6. Miramonte (11-5) — The Mustangs beat No,. 7 San Ramon Valley and No. 12 Alhambra, impressive enough to bump them up eight spots.
  7. San Ramon Valley (10-4) — Though the Wolves lost to No. 6 Miramonte, they defeated No. 8 Carondelet and No. 10 Amador Valley.
  8. Carondelet (11-5) — A win over Granada offsets a loss to No. 7 San Ramon Valley, pushing the Dons into the rankings from the bubble.
  9. Granada (10-6) — In a pair of five-set thrillers this week, the Matadors beat No. 11 California and lost to No. 8 Carondelet.
  10. Amador Valley (9-5) — After sweeping No. 11 California, the Dons were swept by No. 7 San Ramon valley and St. Francis, ranked No. 3 by the San Jose Mercury News.
  11. California (12-5) — Four straight losses, including to No. 10 Amador Valley and No. 5 Foothill, drops the Grizzlies four spots.
  12. Alhambra (14-4) — The Bulldogs had a tough week, not only suffering their first, second, third and fourth defeats but also losing their libero to a concussion.
  13. Albany (12-5) — The Cougars edged No. 15 Saint Joseph Notre Dame in five sets before a 2-2 trip to the St. Ignatius Golden Gate Challenge, where they beat defending NCS D4 champ Marin Catholic.
  14. James Logan (13-4) — Winning seven times this week extended the Colts streak to nine victories and vaulted them into the rankings despite not being on the bubble last week.
  15. Saint Joseph Notre Dame (12-4) — The Pilots fell to No. 13 Albany in five sets but beat St. Patrick-St. Vincent, a NCS D4 semifinalist last year.

Girls volleyball: Alhambra aiming at NCS playoffs after extended absence

A year after registering its first Diablo Foothill Athletic League win since 2007, the Alhambra High girls volleyball team is taking aim at North Coast Section Division 3 playoffs.

The Bulldogs’ 14-match win streak to start the season sure seems like reason to believe it could happen for the first time in, well, a while.

“Nobody knows exactly when but everybody thinks it’s been at least 20 years” since Alhambra made the postseason, coach Willie Marchesano said. “The girls have put a lot of work. I’ve got to give them props.”

Eleven players returned from last year’s 12-18 squad, which graduated only senior libero Glenna Herbert, and Marchesano said all eleven elected to participate in open gym sessions this summer.

“In the past we’ve been pretty good hitting-wise, but people weren’t playing defense,” said Marchesano, a Northgate alum whose twin brother Andrew is an assistant at Alhambra. “They’re really buying into the fact that they need to be good at defense.”

The change was immediately obvious, with road sweeps of Mt. Diablo, Ygnacio Valley and Antioch to start the season. Five more wins later, including a 3-2 victory over Freedom, the Bulldogs won all five of their matches in the third tier of the East County Invitational, even beating Freedom 2-0.

“I’m very impressed by the work they put it and how much better they are in four years,” Marchesano said. “Before, teams couldn’t wait to play us, but now they’re like, this team is a real challenge.”

Alhambra ran into its second challenge of the season in its Sept. 24 league opener at Miramonte. Senior libero Emma Farr sustained a concussion during a match that the Matadors won 3-1. “She got blasted in the face,” Marchesano said of Farr, who will be out at least another week.

That didn’t bode well for the Concord Varsity Tournament last weekend, when the Bulldogs went 2-3. “We lost we couple matches we definitely would have won with her,” Marchesano said. But even then Alhambra pushed Benicia, which was 29-2 and a Sac-Joaquin Section semifinalist last year, to a third set before falling.

That’s because Farr is far from the only skilled Bulldog. Senior captains Haley Jones and Lexy Swenson, middle blocker and setter respectively, lead the way with senior middle blocker Lexi Hammer also integral. Marchesano also mentioned junior outside hitter Ainise Taimani, a returning starter who missed the first few weeks while recovering from a leg fracture, and freshman middle blocker Sterling Parker, who stands 6-foot-1-inches.

“The cool thing is, this is the deepest team we’ve ever had, so it makes practices much better,” said Marchesano, who is in his fourth year with the program and third at the helm. “When they play each other at practice, everybody is just about equal.”