De La Salle football will have more EBAL opponents next season

The De La Salle High football team will have more games against East Bay Athletic League teams next season.
EBAL commissioner Don Nelson confirmed today that at the EBAL Board of Governors meeting last month, it was decided that De La Salle would have five mandatory EBAL opponents and four EBAL teams will have the option to opt-out. The mandatory opponents are Monte Vista, California, San Ramon Valley, Amador Valley and Foothill. This format will be evaluated after two years, Nelson said. Dougherty Valley and Dublin will be joining the East Bay Athletic League in the 2016-17 school year. The EBAL will be one league, not two divisions, for football, Nelson said.
This season, De La Salle only has two regular-season games against EBAL teams: San Ramon Valley on Oct. 9 and California on Nov. 6. Also on its 2015 schedule is three Southern Section teams (Servite-Anaheim. Orange Lutheran, Long Beach Poly), two Sacramento-area powers (Granite Bay and Del Oro-Loomis), one Central Coast Section team (Serra-San Mateo), one out-of-state team (Trinity-Euless, Texas) and three North Coast Section squads (San Ramon Valley, California, James Logan).


Shurod Thompson commits to Oregon State

Shurod Thompson, a highly-recruited Liberty High defensive back, announced via Twitter tonight that he has committed to Oregon State.

“It’s Official #BEAVERNATION.” Thompson wrote. “After Talking Over It With Family, I Can Finally Say I’m an Oregon State Commit!”

Thompson is rated as a four-star safety by rivals.com, which also ranks him as the No. 2 safety in California and No. 9 nationally for the 2016 class. The 6-foot-2, 205-pounder had offers from Oklahoma, USC, UCLA, and Cal, among other colleges, according to espn.com. He committed to Cal in April, but de-committed in June.

Thompson is the second highly-recruited Bay Valley Athletic League defensive back in a week to orally commit to a major Division I program. On Oct. 3, Pittsburg’s Jordan Parker committed to Oklahoma.


Live updates tonight from East Bay prep football games

Antioch's Omari Harris (28) breaks away from Pinole Valley's John Moore (99) for a gain in the second quarter of their high school football game in Pinole, Calif., on Friday, Sept. 25, 2015. (Anda Chu/Bay Area News Group)

Antioch’s Omari Harris (28) breaks away from Pinole Valley’s John Moore (99) for a gain in the second quarter of their high school football game in Pinole, Calif., on Friday, Sept. 25, 2015. (Anda Chu/Bay Area News Group)

Follow the live prep football action from around the East Bay and beyond Friday with in-game updates and scores beginning at 6:45 p.m.

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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.

Oakland Raiders’ Roy Helu Jr. to be inducted into San Ramon Valley High hall of fame

Roy Helu Jr. is among four inductees into the San Ramon Valley High’s Athletic Hall of Fame who will be honored Oct. 15  at Crow Canyon Country Club in Danville.

The current Oakland Raiders running back graduated from San Ramon Valley in 2007 after earning All-East Bay Athlete League accolades three times and his team’s offensive MVP award as a junior and senior.

He’ll be joined in this induction class by soccer and track athlete Karen Peterson Huether (1985), basketball standout Erin Kellar-Hill (1999) and soccer star Christopher Rodd (2003). The ceremony is set to start at 6 p.m.

Helu gained 1,085 yards on the ground and 300 more receiving in his senior campaign, when the Wolves went 10-2 and reached the semifinals of the North Coast Section 4A playoffs with the help of his 11 touchdowns.

As a junior he ran for 1,526 yards and 19 scores while tallying 500 yards receiving as San Ramon Valley finished 6-6 and lost in the NCS East Bay semfinals.

After high school Helu accounted for 3,404 yards at University of Nebraska, fourth in school history, and twice rushed for more than 1,000 yards in a season. He was named All-Big 12 Conference three times and holds the school record for rushing yards in a single game (307 vs. Missouri).

Helu was selected in the fourth round of the 2011 NFL draft by Washington, where he played for four seasons before signing with Oakland last offseason. In 2011 he accounted for 1,019 total yards including 640 on the ground and was named to the All-Rookie team by the Pro Football Writers Association.

Peterson Huether played four years of soccer, four of track and a season of tennis. As a senior captain she led the Wolves’ girls soccer team to a North Coast Section title. She then played four years at UC Berkeley, which went to the Final Four in her junior and senior seasons, and played semipro soccer until age 35.

Kellar-Hill was a four-year varsity starter and four-time All-EBAL selection. As a senior she scored 18.1 points a game and led the Wolves to a 22-6 record. Kellar-Hill set Point Loma University records for career points (2,330) and rebounds (972) and was named Golden State Athletic Conference Player of the Year as a freshman.

Rodd was a four-year varsity starter who earned All-EBAL honors and was an East Bay player of the year. His collegiate career was split between William & Mary in Virginia and University of San Francisco, where he graduated in 2007. He was signed by the Byrne Football Club of Norway and played until an injury in 2010. His rehab included a stint with the MLS’ New York Cosmos.

For further information and tickets, contact Brad Wilson at wilsonbrd@yahoo.com.


Girls volleyball: Monte Vista fends off Foothill in EBAL victory

DANVILLE — Senior Maclaine Fields made her presence known Thursday night at Monte Vista High School, blocking six shots and assisting on two others as the Mustangs’ girls volleyball team rallied from early first-set deficit to secure a 3-1 match victory over visiting Foothill.

“She had a lot of one-on-one blocks,” Monte Vista coach J.J. Utchen said. “The different of the match was, we took control of the net.”

Asked about memorable moments in the East Bay Athletic League match, Mustangs junior E’lan Riter said simply: “Mac’s blocks.”

Lots of credit goes to Riter, too, since she tallied team-highs of 13 kills, 24 digs and seven aces. Several of her swings added momentum for Monte Vista (12-3, 2-0 EBAL), which coasted in sets two through four but trailed big in No. 1.

Foothill (8-3, 1-1 EBAL) built first-set leads of 15-6 and 19-10 partly thanks to four of senior Erin Page’s six aces.

“They came out with all guns blazing, totally fearless,” Utchen said, lauding the Falcons.

A block by Fields edged Monte Vista within 19-14 and induced a timeout from Foothill coach Dusty Collins.

“They turned us on our heels very quickly,” Collins said. “And that’s what it felt like for the rest of the match.”

The Mustangs tied things up at 19 and 23 — boosted by another Fields block, two aces by Ava Patterson and a pair of kills by Morgan Burroughs — but Foothill prevailed on a service error and a block by sophomore Hana Okuhara (6 aces, 9 digs).

That first-set surge, though, spilled into the second set. Monte Vista pulled away midway through the second set and coasted to a 25-18 win.

In the third set, Monte Vista took an early lead largely because junior Alex Nickerson accomplished the volleyball version of a hat trick: ace, kill, block. And again the Mustangs galloped to a 25-18 win.

Foothill fought off a fourth-set deficit of 23-16 with the help of Andrea Paduraru, who totaled 16 kills two days after missing a match because of flu-like symptoms. Also integral was senior libero Taylor Campbell (15 digs).

The Falcons inched within 24-21, but Burroughs buried a swing to end the match.



Davis’ Fiona O’Keeffe sets course record at De La Salle Nike cross country invitational

Davis High’s Fiona O’Keeffe broke a 19-year-old Newhall Park-Concord 3.0 mile Invitational course record to highlight the De La Salle/Carondelet Nike Cross Country Invitational today.
O’Keeffe, a senior who is the two-time defending CIF Division I state champion, broke the previous girls course record by five seconds with a jaw-dropping time of 16:41. The previous record of 16:46 was set by Julia Stamps of Santa Rosa , and the next fastest time on the girls all-time invitational list before today was O’Keeffe’s (17:05).
Granada’s Megan McCandless, the runner-up, produced one of the top-five girls times ever at this invitational (17:36). Monte Vista’s Brooke Starn, who was third, had one of the top-10 girls times ever at this invitational (17:53).
Davis easily won the girls team title with a score of 64, followed by Monte Vista (140) and Granada (146).
In the boys race, Davis’ Michael Vernau prevailed to stay undefeated in this young cross country season. The junior won with a time of 15:22, 10 seconds ahead of Jesuit-Carmichael’s Sean Kurdy, the runner-up.
“It was all right. I didn’t quite get the time I wanted,” said Vernau, who was looking for a time between 14:30 and 15:00. “I just wanted to make sure I didn’t get on the backwards train, that I maintained my pace the whole way.”
Benjamin Holland was third (15:25), giving Jesuit an excellent top-two individual placings on its way to the team title (37 points). Davis placed second as a team 103, followed by Monte Vista (112). The top East Bay high school placer in the race was Acalanes’ Cameron Gaskell (fourth, 15:30).

Both  O’Keeffe and Vernau held the lead by approximately 150 yards into their races. O’Keefe stretched that lead to approximately 15 seconds as she came down the major hill in the race starting the second mile, and she held a 30 second advantage over McCandless near the two-mile mark. Verdau crossed the two-mile mark in 9:56, nine seconds ahead of a small pack led by Gaskell.


Cross Country-B
De La Salle/Carondelet Nike Invitational
3 miles at Newhall Park, Concord
Team scores (top 20): Jesuit-Carmichael 37, Davis 103, Monte Vista 112, Long Beach Poly 167, Granada 213, Woodcreek-Roseville 223, Campolindo 238, Los Gatos 278, Clayton Valley Charter 293, Liberty 311, Dougherty Valley 317, Amador Valley 336, San Ramon Valley 359, Merced 399, Lowell-S.F. 403, Madera 442, Acalanes 464, College Park 471, Salinas 493, De La Salle 538.
Individual results (top 20): Vernau (Dav) 15:12, Kurdy (Jes) 15:22, Holland (Jes) 15:25, Gaskell (Aca) 15:30, Bouhassoun (Mission-S.F.) 15:42, Yabu (Cam) 15:47, Cummings (Jes) 15:53, Chrisman (MV) 15:53, Parker (Wood) 15:56, Singh (Mt. Eden) 15:56, Browning (Dav) 15:57, Ambriz (Mer) 16:00, Jones (Jes) 16:01, Braganza (DoughV) 16:04, Miller (MV) 16:04, Novoa (LBP) 16:05, Lackner (Jes) 16:07, Vomund (MV) 16:08, Hutchison (Newark Memorial) 16:08, Maneloveg (MV) 16:09.

Cross Country-G
De La Salle/Carondelet Nike Invitational
3.0 miles at Newhall Park, Concord
Team scores (top 20): Davis 64, Monte Vista 140, Granada 146, Redwood 154, St. Francis (Mountain View) 208, St. Francis-Sacramento 210, Liberty 232, Amador Valley 235, Woodcreek-Roseville 254, Bishop O’Dowd 317, Miramonte 357, Lowell-S.F. 364, Dougherty Valley 373, San Ramon Valley 377, Tamalpais 400, Campolindo 421, Roseville 437, Carondelet 446, Madera 456, Clayton Valley Charter 532.
Individual results (top 20): F. O’Keeffe (Dav) 16:41*, M. McCandless (Gra) 17:36, B. Starn (MV) 17:53, Castiglioni (Dav) 17:54, Leung (Lowe) 17:56, Haskell (Mira) 18:09, Taylor (BOD) 18:10, Corda (MV) 18:19, Fisk (Dav) 18:20, Brill (Lowe) 18:21, Vandegrift (SF-Sac) 18:23, Leroudier (AV) 18:23, O. O’Keeffe (Dav) 18:27, Arndt (SF-Sac) 18:33, Tucker (DoughV) 18:33, Bohannon (Lib) 18:34, Guo (DoughV) 18:36, Lawsen (Gra) 18:39, Murphy (Red) 18:40, Dipentino (Wood) 18:43.
* — course record


East Bay football rankings — 9/16

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

Team Record Last Week Up Next
1. De La Salle 1-1 1 vs. Orange Lutheran
2. Clayton Valley Charter 2-1 3 vs. James Logan
3. Foothill 3-0 4 @Castro Valley
4. Monte Vista 2-0 7 @Sacred Heart Cath.
5. Campolindo 3-0 5 @Napa
6. Pittsburg 2-1 2 BYE
7. California 1-1 6 @Liberty
8. Antioch 3-0 8 vs. Rancho Cotate
9. Freedom 2-1 9 @San Leandro
10. James Logan 3-0 11 @Clayton Vly. Charter
11. Moreau Catholic 2-0 14 vs. Skyline
12. San Ramon Valley 1-2 10 BYE
13. Amador Valley 1-1 14 @El Cerrito
14. Miramonte 3-0 NR vs. Alameda
15. Salesian 2-0 NR @Piedmont

On the bubble: Concord (2-1), Liberty (2-1), McClymonds (2-0), Piedmont (2-1). The East Bay rankings are compiled by the Bay Area News Group, selected from high schools in Alameda and Contra Costa counties.


East Bay girls volleyball rankings, with comments

1. Campolindo (1-1): A sweep of top-ranked Monte Vista last Thursday merits movement upward from No. 3 and is impressive enough for the Cougars’ loss Tuesday to defending CIF Division 3 champion Sacred Heart Cathedral to not matter much.

2. San Ramon Valley (1-0): The Wolves rallied from a 1-0 set deficit to defeat then-No. 8 Northgate in their only match, which is surprising considering how good they usually are so they don’t merit going ahead of Campolindo.

3. Monte Vista (6-2): Though the Mustangs rolled in their first four matches of the Albany Cougar Challenge last weekend, their loss to Campolindo coupled with a Challenge title-match defeat at the hands of red-hot Head-Royce slides them down from No. 1.

4. Bishop O’Dowd (3-3): Record doesn’t reflect the Dragons’ strength, since all three losses were to defending CIF champions at Milpitas Spikefest (twice to Sacred Heart Cathedral, once to Archbishop Mitty of Division 2), so they remain at No. 4.

5. Foothill (3-0): The Falcons have lost just one set in three matches, which includes a sweep of No. 6 Liberty, but need more quality opponents to change from No. 5. A chance: Sept. 24 at Monte Vista.

6. Liberty (9-2): The Lions lost twice since six wins at the San Lorenzo Tournament, including over No. 7 California, but those defeats were to Monte Vista and Foothill. They also also proceeded to sweep then-No. 10 Granada, keeping them at No. 6.

7. California (7-1): Lone loss for the Grizzlies was to No. 6 Liberty in the San Lorenzo tourney, a 2-1 defeat that will be rematched in best-of-5 format Thursday. They remain at No. 7 but likely moving soon.

8. Head-Royce (8-0): Under our radar before this season (a.k.a. unranked), the Jayhawks have yet to lose — including against then-No. 1 Monte Vista and then-No. 15 St. Joseph Notre Dame. That bodes well for a team that reached NCS Division 5 semis in 2014.

9. Miramonte (4-0): The Matadors move up a spot mostly behind a victory over then-No. 10 Granada, though three other easy victories help the senior-heavy team that was under .500 last season.
10. Alhambra (8-0): Being unbeaten in so many matches, albeit all against unranked opponents, makes us bullish on the Bulldogs, who were 13th and start league play at No. 9 Miramonte on Sept. 24.
11. Acalanes (2-0) We’re told they’ll surprise some people this year, and so far they’ve just obliterated opponents — the Dons have yet to win a set by less than double digits, including an impressive 25-5 victory over College Park in its opening match of the season.

12. Granada (8-4) A couple losses in Milpitas Spikefest and a few more to ranked teams (Liberty and Miramonte) move it down three spots, though the Matadors bounced back with a win after each one.

13. Amador Valley (8-2): Another team that we’re told might be more relevant this season, the Dons recently registered road wins over two .500-plus teams and thus advance a spot in the rankings.

14. St. Joseph Notre Dame (6-2): The Pilots were felled by then-No. 1 Monte Vista, but their only other loss (to Marin Academy) was avenged a few days later — so they’re boosted up a spot this week.

15. Albany (6-3): The Cougars drew a decent crowd of quality teams to their tournament last weekend and wound up winning four of six matches, but nearly took then-No. 1 Monte Vista to three sets.

On the bubble: Moreau Catholic (4-3), Newark Memorial (1-1), Northgate (1-2).


Granada swimmer Maxime Rooney selected to National Junior team in four events

Granada High’s Maxime Rooney was selected for the USA Swimming Men’s National Junior Team in four events, USA Swimming announced today.
Rooney, who also competes for the Pleasanton Seahawks, was picked for the U.S. team in the 50-meter freestyle, 100 freestyle, 200 freestyle and 100 butterfly.
“It’s always an honor to be on a USA National team,” said Rooney, who was named to the USA National Team in the 200 freestyle earlier this month. “I had a good feeling that I would be on the team based on my placing in the junior national meet and national meet in August.”
Rooney swam the 50 freestyle in 22.99 seconds and the 100 butterfly in 53.40 at the Speedo Junior Nationals earlier this summer. He also produced a top U.S. Junior time of 48.87 in the 100 freestyle at the FINA World Junior Championships, and swam 1:47.10 in the 200 freestyle at the Phillips 66 Nationals.
“Honestly, I was sure of the 100 and 200 free,” said Rooney about his chances of being selected to the USA junior team. “I was not too sure of the 50 free because it’s an extra event for me. The 100 fly, I wasn’t sure.”
In the North Coast Section championship meet in May, Rooney broke his own NCS record in the 200-yard freestyle and repeated as section champion in both that event and the 500-yard freestyle as a junior.