NCS softball playoffs: Seedings, brackets

NCS softball playoffs seedings and brackets and schedule for the first round have been announced.
In Division 1, Amador Valley got the No. 1 seed and is the only team in the bracket with a first-round bye. The Dons got the top seed over Foothill (No. 2), which shared the EBAL title with Amador Valley, but lost both meetings to the Dons.
Defending Division 2 champ Alhambra is the No. 1 seed there and has a bye, as does Pinole Valley, the No. 1 seed in Division 3.

Tuesday’s first round
No. 8 Liberty at No. 9 Clayton Valley Charter, 4 p.m.
No. 10 College Park at No. 7 James Logan, 6 p.m.
No. 11 Dougherty Valley at No. 6 San Ramon Valley, 4 p.m.
Wednesday’s first round
No. 1 Amador Valley, bye
No. 13 American at No. 4 Castro Valley, 4 p.m.
No. 12 San Leandro at No. 5 Freedom, 4 p.m.
No. 15 Dublin at No. 2 Foothill, 4 p.m.
No. 14 Berkeley at No. 3 Heritage, 4 p.m.
Tuesday’s first round
No. 12 Northgate at No. 5 Redwood, 4 p.m.
No. 7 Livermore at No. 10 Petaluma, 4 p.m.
Wednesday’s first round
No. 1 Alhambra, bye
No. 8 Concord at No. 9 Alameda, 4 p.m.
No. 13 Mt. Eden vs. No. 4 Carondelet, at Willow Pass Park, Concord, 4 p.m.
No. 2 Newark Memorial, bye
No. 3 Rancho Cotate, bye
No. 11 Las Lomas at No. 6 Montgomery, 4 p.m.
Tuesday’s first round
No. 8 El Cerrito at No. 9 Terra Linda, 4 p.m.
No. 11 Acalanes at No. 6 Sonoma Valley, 4 p.m.
Wednesday’s first round
No. 1 Pinole Valley, bye
No. 4 San Marin, bye
No. 12 De Anza vs. No. 5 Moreau Catholic, at Larry Standley Field, Hayward, 7 p.m.
No. 2 Bishop O’Dowd, bye
No. 10 Albany at No. 7 Tamalpais, 4 p.m.
No. 3 Analy, bye
Tuesday’s first round
No. 14 Livermore Valley Charter at No. 3 St. Patrick-St. Vincent, 4 p.m.
No. 11 Lower Lake at No. 6 Cardinal Newman, 4 p.m.
Wednesday’s first round
No. 1 Marin Catholic, bye
No. 9 Justin-Siena at No. 8 Del Norte
No. 13 Kelseyville vs. No. 4 Saint Mary’s, at Salesian HS, 4 p.m.
No. 12 McKinleyville vs. No. 5 Berean Christian, at Heather Farm Park, Walnut Creek, 4 p.m.
No. 2 Fortuna, bye
No. 10 Piedmont at No. 7 Clear Lake, 4 p.m.
Tuesday’s first round
No. 8 Hoopa Valley at No. 9 Calistoga, 4 p.m.
Wednesday’s first round
No. 1 Cloverdale, bye
No. 13 Making Waves at No. 4 St. Bernard’s, 4 p.m.
No. 12 University at No. 5 St. Vincent-Petaluma, 4 p.m.
No. 2 St. Joseph Notre Dame, bye
No. 10 Redwood at No. 7 Technology, 4 p.m.
No. 14 South Fork at No. 3 Head-Royce, 4 p.m.
No. 11 Oakland Military Institute at No. 6 Ferndale, 4 p.m.
Tuesday’s semifinals
No. 4 California School for the Deaf at No. 1 Laytonville, 4 p.m.
No. 3 Geyserville at No. 2 Rincon Valley Christian, 4 p.m.


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


Prep football: Berean Christian beat Salesian for first time since 2001

Berean Christian High football downed Salesian on Saturday for the first time since 2001 with a second-half surge powered by inserted quarterback Vince Guarisco and an interception returned for a score by Isaiah Hodgins in the 47-30 win.

Berean Christian coach James Hodgins said he prepares his team to treat all games with the same importance. “But the reality is,” he said, “it had some special meaning to us because we hadn’t beaten them in so long and because the rivalry has been so lopsided over the years.”

For example, Salesian has won the last four matchups by a combined score of 188-27. This time, Salesian took an early 8-0 advantage and led 8-7 at halftime, ceding only a 92-yard punt return for a score by Isaiah Hodgins — the coach’s son.

But the third quarter proved problematic for the Pride. Guarisco, who came into the game in the second quarter, found senior receiver Michael Fulton for a 28-yard score that put Berean Christian up 14-8. After Salesian tied the game at 14-all midway through the third quarter, Guarisco tossed a checkdown to Joshua Smith which the senior receiver ran 84 yards for a touchdown.

“He turned on the jets and took off,” James Hodgins said of the 6-foot-2-inch, 230-pound Smith. “I tell the colleges when they come around that he’s the biggest guy on the field, but he’s also the fastest.”

Then Isaiah Hodgins snagged his second interception of the game and returned it 46 yards for the pick-six for a three-score advantage. Salesian junior Alex Hutchison ran the kickoff back to edge Salesian within 34-22 before Berean Christian senior Joey Esco scored a 74-yard rushing touchdown. Salesian scored again but couldn’t convert an onside kick, ending its comeback attempt.

“Our guys just made plays,” James Hodgins said. “Those big plays gave us the momentum and gave us what we needed to put it past them.”


Dave Stewart Showcase cancelled

Too much rain forced De La Salle and the Oakland A’s to cancel today’s three-game event at the Coliseum. So, if you were packing your poncho and preparing to brave the weather, no need. There are currently no plans to make any of the game’s up. Unfortunately, we now must wait until May 30 to get our high school baseball fix at the Coliseum. That’s the day that NCS has scheduled to play four of its championship games at the venue.