Chabot, Contra Costa College headed to bowl games

The Chabot College football team (8-2 overall record) will travel to face host College of San Mateo (7-3) in the Bulldog Bowl on Nov. 21 at noon. The winner will play the winner of the San Francisco Community College Bowl (Butte vs. City College of San Francisco) in the regional championship on Nov. 28. The state finals will be Dec. 12.

Chabot is the North-Valley Division champion and ranked sixth in the JC Athletic Bureau state football coaches poll. San Mateo is ranked seventh. In the Northern California Football Association playoffs, Chabot is the No. 3 seed and San Mateo is seeded second. San Francisco holds the No. 1 seed and Butte is seeded fourth.

Contra Costa (9-1) is headed to Robobank Stadium in Salinas for the Living Breath Foundation Bowl against Hartnell (9-1) on Nov. 28 at 1 p.m. Contra Costa is ranked 25th in the JCAB state coaches poll.


Semifinal matchups in the North Coast Section boys and girls water polo playoffs

Here are Wednesday’s semifinals in the North Coast Section boys and girls water polo playoffs, with how each team won it’s second-round game:


  • No. 1 Sir Francis Drake-San Anselmo vs. No. 5 Acalanes (6:15 p.m. at Drake)
    • After a 6-6 tie at halftime the Dons broke away from Las Lomas for an 11-9 win behind a hat trick from Casey Conrad and two goals apiece from Tommy Fellner, Evan Wentzel and Jack Winther.
    • The Pirates pounded Monte Vista 14-5 to stay undefeated on the season.
  • No. 2 San Ramon Valley vs. No. 6 Campolindo (6 p.m. at San Ramon Valley)
    • Hat tricks by senior Mikey Williams and underclassman Jack Deely and Mason Chambliss, Williams, plus nine saves by Keaton Fox, made the Wolves winners over De La Salle 12-7.
    • The Cougars edged rival Miramonte 10-9 in a rematch of last year’s championship game, which the Matadors won.
    • These two teams have split two games this season, both by a single goal. Campolindo beat host San Ramon Valley 8-7 on Sept. 15 and SRV returned the favor with a 7-6 victory at the NCS/CCS Tournament on Sept. 26.


  • No. 1 San Ramon Valley vs. No. 4 California (7:15 p.m. at San Ramon Valley)
    • Sarah Klass went off with four goals and four assists as the Wolves dominated College Park 19-1, with two goals apiece also coming from Lexi Liebowitz, Laine McPherson, Erin McCreary and Emily Ryan.
    • The Grizzlies downed Amador Valley 15-5.
    • These teams faced off in EBAL play in an Oct. 8 game that San Ramon Valley won 23-2.
  • No. 2 Monte Vista vs. No. 3 Las Lomas (6 p.m. at Miramonte)
    • The Mustangs pulled away from Washington in the second half for a 20-8 win with the help of Lauren Indart’s six goals and Jolie Trujillo’s four goals and five assists.
    • The Knights downed Foothill 16-5.


  • No. 5 Northgate vs. No. 9 Bishop O’Dowd (6 p.m. at Campolindo)
    • The Knights held off Justin-Siena-Napa 10-9 with the help of hat tricks from Ivan Koroleu and Decklan Cashman, along with goals from Sebastian Stahl, Conner Rutledge, Shawn Forer and Andrew Joseph.
    • The Dragons edged top-seeded Redwood-Larkspur 7-6 behind hat tricks from Tyler Labot and Joey Isola as well as what coach Jim Ulversoy called an “epic” block by goalie Nick Entriech.
  • No. 2 Tamalpais vs. No. 6 Marin Academy (6 p.m. at Sir Francis Drake)


  • No. 1 Miramonte vs. No. 4 Marin Catholic (7:15 p.m. at Miramonte)
    • The Matadors cruised by Carondelet 17-3 powered by sophomore Grace Tehaney’s five goals and hat tricks by Carson Broad and Rose Tuttle.
    • Marin Catholic defeated Novato 10-7.
  • No. 2 Campolindo vs. No. 3 Acalanes (7:15 p.m. at Campolindo)
    • The Cougars defeated Northgate 16-7 behind their usual leaders, Katie Klein (four goals, two assists) and Olivia Price (three goals, four assists).
    • The Dons downed Drake 11-5.
    • Acalanes avenged a 7-4 loss to Campolindo at its own tournament Sept. 12 by beating the host Cougars 9-8 in triple overtime during league play Oct. 7.

Oakland Section football playoffs expand

There will be an expanded playoff system for the Oakland Section football playoffs this season, with all six Oakland Athletic League teams competing.

The first round will be this Friday at 5 p.m., when Castlemont (5-5, 2-3 OAL) hosts Oakland (2-8, 1-4) and Oakland Tech (3-7, 3-2) hosts Skyline (1-9, 0-5). The winners will travel to face either No. 1 seed McClymonds (10-, 5-0) or No. 2 seed Fremont (5-5, 4-1) in the semifinals next week.

The Silver Bowl is set for Friday, Nov. 27 at 3 p.m. at Laney College.


Big Little Game memories: Past high-stakes games for both Antioch, Pittsburg

Antioch's Jerone Simmons, #25, can't stop Pittsburg's Robert Jiles, #6, after making a 42-yard touchdown pass in the 1st quarter during the 90th annual Big Little Game on Saturday, November 15, 2008 in Antioch, Calif. Pittsburg defeated Antioch 42-0. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Staff)

Antioch’s Jerone Simmons, #25, can’t stop Pittsburg’s Robert Jiles, #6, after making a 42-yard touchdown pass in the 1st quarter during the 90th annual Big Little Game on Saturday, November 15, 2008 in Antioch, Calif. Pittsburg defeated Antioch 42-0. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Staff)

There’s much on the line with Saturday’s Big Little Game featuring Antioch and Pittsburg. Both teams are undefeated in league play, making this one at Pittsburg at 1:30 p.m. winner-take-all for the BVAL championship.
There are countless stories of dramatic games, upsets and fantastic finishes in the rivalry that dates back to 1924 – enough for several books. Usually the stakes are high for at least one of the two rivals. But how often both Antioch and Pittsburg had a chance at a league championship in the Big Little Game?
Here are some recollections of a few games when stakes were high for both teams (we know there are many more):
2002 – Pittsburg 31, Antioch 21. Antioch and Pittsburg met tied for the BVAL lead, and the Panthers led 21-7 at the half, recalls Ruben Luna Jr., Antioch’s starting center that day. Luna has fonder memories of the 2001 game, which Antioch won 21-19. Luna’s father, Ruben Sr., played for Antioch teams in 1977-78 that won the BLG and went on the NCS championship game both times. Those were the last Antioch football teams to reach an NCS final, creating the inspiration for the son to follow the father to Big Little Game glory.
1991 – Pittsburg went to beat Antioch 26-20 in overtime in a game where playoff berths were on the line for both teams. Longtime Bay Area sports reporter Steve Dulas, who covered this game for the Ledger Dispatch, says of this game “It may have been the best high school game I have ever seen. You don’t often see the emotional momentum carry through for all four quarters, and then into overtime.”
A diving catch by Percy McGee of a Chris Shipe pass gave the Pirates the win.
“They sold out of 10,000; they wouldn’t let anyone else in … it was amazing,” said Herc Pardi, who was in his first year as head coach at Pittsburg. Pardi recalled a standout defensive play by future Oakland Raider Regan Upshaw that set up the overtime touchdown.
Pittsburg went to beat De La Salle in the NCS 3A championship game, to this date the last time a Northern California team has beaten De La Salle.
1984 – Antioch 18, Pittsburg 6: Heading into this game, Antioch had one loss, and in winning this BLG handed Pittsburg its first defeat on a rainy field in Antioch. This created a three-way in the DVAL with Antioch, Pittsburg and Northgate. Pardi recalls that a coin-flip left Pittsburg as the odd team out, with Antioch and Northgate moving on to NCS. The result was tough for Pittsburg after going into the BLG as undefeated league leaders, and the end result of not going to NCS.
1970 – Antioch 40, Pittsburg 32. After a loss to Ygnacio Valley earlier in the season, Antioch came back and won this BLG. Tom Lamothe, coordinator of Antioch Sports Legends, recalls this shooting between future BYU quarterback Gary Sheide of Antioch and Pittsburg QB Steve Camitz.
1966 – Antioch 13, Pittsburg 13: Both teams headed into this Big Little Game undefeated. This one was staged the next-to-last week of the regular season, says Pittsburg football historian Bob Lewis, the city’s former mayor. It was Lewis’ senior year, and he recalls the game like it was yesterday.
Going into the game, Antioch had last won the BLG in 1947, before any of the current players in ’66 were born. The Diablo Valley Athletic League title was at stake. Antioch scored twice to take a 13-0 halftime lead, and Pittsburg’s star running back Carlos Harris suffered what was thought to be a sprained ankle.
On the second play of the second half, Harris, whose ankle was taped up at halftime, ran 62-yards for a touchdown to cut the deficit to 13-7. “Then Harris collapsed in the end zone. It turned out it was a broken ankle, not a sprained ankle. So he ran 62 yards on a broken ankle,” Lewis recalls. Pittsburg scored a second touchdown in the fourth quarter, but a holding call during the point-after on Pittsburg led to a missed kick and a 13-13 tie.
The following week, Antioch beat Pacifica and won the DVAL title, finishing the regular season 8-0-1. Pittsburg still finished undefeated at 7-0-2, but took its second tie that final week 0-0 against Pleasant Hill High, playing without Harris and then losing quarterback Butch Cattolico — who went to a fabled career as coach at Los Gatos High for 36 years– to a concussion.
– After a 6-6 tie in 1968, the pendulum swung Antioch’s way in the rivalry, with 11 straight wins from 1969 to 1979, during the heyday of legendary Panthers coach Marv Comstock. When Larry Rodriguez (later the first varsity coach at Freedom) took over the Pittsburg program, the Pirates seized back control for much of the 1980s.
– More recently, Antioch scored a 27-21 double overtime win in 2006, and Pittsburg has since won the last nine meetings, including one in the 2011 NCS playoffs.
–Last year’s 17-14 Pittsburg win was the closest margin of victory since Antioch’s 21-19 win in 2001.


Irvington football forfeits five wins

The Irvington High football team is forfeiting its five wins this season because of the use of an ineligible player, assistant principal Jay Jackson confirmed late this afternoon.
The forfeits will not affect the Mission Valley Athletic League title race. The Vikings will play Moreau Catholic on Friday, Jackson confirmed. The Mariners, at 4-1 in the MVAL, are tied for first place with American, which beat Irvington 54-38 on Oct. 24. Washington, which has a 4-2 league mark, also beat Irvington on the field.
Jackson said that the ineligible player participated in the team’s first seven games.
Irvington’s on-field victories over Lincoln-San Francisco, Hill-San Jose, Santa Cruz, Newark Memorial and Mission San Jose will be reversed. The Vikings will enter Friday’s game with an 0-9 overall record.
Jackson said that the player’s grade point average was incorrect on his transcript before he took a summer class, and after it, it was still too low to meet Fremont Unified School District standards. Jackson said the error was reported to the North Coast Section by Irvington after it was discovered.
“It was my responsibility to look grade-by-grade. I messed up. I didn’t do it on purpose,” Jackson said. “What really gets me is that (the team) didn’t make the mistake, I made the mistake and they will have to suffer the consequences. It hits me really hard. Last year the team was 0-10 … these guys worked unbelievably hard. They had this amazing season.”


Campolindo boys basketball coach scaling back duties

Campolindo High School boys basketball coach Matt Watson will be scaling back his duties with the team this season, Campolindo athletic director Tom Renno told me this afternoon.
“He is going to be the general manager of the program. His work schedule picked up this season, so he is having to scale back his day-to-day work with the program,” said Renno about the off-campus coach. “He will still be overseeing the program. We are hopeful he will be back next season.”
Kearey Smith, a varsity assistant last season, will take over the day-to-day coaching responsibilities, Renno said.
Renno said that the change was not sudden. “It’s been something that’s been in the works,” he said.
Watson did not immediately return a call regarding this news.
The successful Watson guided the Cougars to the CIF Division III state championship game last season, where the Cougars fell to Damien-La Verne 70-57. He also led the Cougars to the CIF Northern California Division III championship game in 2013
Watson became head coach of the Cougars in 2008. In the past seven seasons, his teams have a 159-54 overall record and a 68-16 mark in Diablo Foothill Athletic League play with four league championships.


Tip-Off Classic schedule

Here’s the schedule for this year’s Prep2Prep Tip-Off Classic on Nov. 28 at Newark Memorial High. As usual, this boys basketball showcase is loaded with great matchups.

11 a.m. – Saint Mary’s-Berkeley vs. Manteca

12:30 p.m. – Bishop O’Dowd vs. Dublin

2:15 p.m. – Immanuel-Reedley vs. Weston Ranch-Stockton

3:45 p.m. – Sheldon-Sacramento vs. Army-Navy Academy-Carlsbad

5:30 p.m. – Modesto Christian vs. Folsom

7 p.m. – Newark Memorial vs. Woodcreek-Roseville

8:30 p.m. – Moreau Catholic vs. Sierra Canyon-Chatsworth


Najee Harris selected as national player of the week

Antioch High football star Najee Harris was named U.S. Army All-American Bowl High School Player of the Week today after an extraordinary performance against Liberty on Oct. 23.

The junior, who has committed to Alabama, rushed for 360 yards and scored 48 of his team’s points in a 55-37 victory. He scored rushing touchdowns of 59, 37, 49, 1, 70 and 7 yards, and also reached the end zone on six two-point conversions. Harris had four runs of 46 yards or longer in the game.