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.”


James Logan football coach George Zuber to step back after season

James Logan High football coach George Zuber said that he told his team today that he will be stepping back from the head coaching position at the end of this season to spend more time with his two sons, who are 15 and 12-years-old.

“I don’t want to look back 10 years from now and regret not spending more time with them before they go off to college,” said Zuber, 42. “I will still be involved with Logan football in some capacity … I will not be the head coach.”

Zuber has guided the Colts to eight winning seasons in the past nine years since he became the head coach in 2006, and James Logan has a 5-1 record this year. In his winning seasons, his teams’ worst overall record was 8-4.

Currently, Zuber has a 84-27 overall record. His teams reached the North Coast Section Division I championship game in 2012 and the NCS 4A semifinals in 2007. He had a 34-1 record in Mission Valley Athletic League play before his team gained independent status in 2012. Zuber said that he will continue to teach economics and government at James Logan.



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.




East Bay girls volleyball rankings, with comments

  1. Campolindo (7-7): The Cougars fended off pesky Alhambra, which was ranked last week, in five games — reason enough to keep them here, especially since they’ve swept No. 2 Monte Vista. 
  2. Monte Vista (15-3): Holding off No. 12 California in five games, with the help of 32 kills from Catherine Kaylbaugh, and sweeping Livermore showed the Mustangs are cruising along.
  3. Bishop O’Dowd (12-7): The Dragons swept Castro Valley after going 3-4 at the Nike Tournament of Champions in Phoenix, where they lost to defending divisional champions from Arizona and Colorado.
  4. Head-Royce (19-0): Three more sweeps means the Jayhawks go into Thursday’s match against the team that bounced them from the NCS Division 5 playoffs last year (University) looking for a 20th straight victory.
  5. Foothill: (14-5): The Falcons made a case for movement up by sweeping No. 11 Carondelet and No. 15 Granada, though they stay put because there isn’t anywhere up to go.
  6. Miramonte (13-5): Beating bubble teams Dublin (in four games) and Dougherty Valley (in five) ensured the Mustangs remain at this spot.
  7. San Ramon Valley (12-4) The Wolves swept No. 15 Granada and outlasted No. 15 California in five games, keeping them in place — the last team to do so before some ranking shakeups.
  8. Amador Valley (11-5): The Dons defeated Carondelet in four games to bump up two spots.
  9. Albany (15-5): The Cougars jump four spots because of laegue sweeps over strong Saint Mary’s and St. Patrick-St. Vincent.
  10. James Logan (15-4): The Colts swept Moreau Catholic and Washington in league play to move up four places.
  11. Carondelet (11-5): Losses to No. 8 Amador Valley and No. 5 Foothill meant the Cougars couldn’t stay as high as eighth.
  12. California (12-6): The Grizzlies kept up with No. 2 Monte Vista and No. 7 San Ramon Valley, but even losses in five games are losses, so they fall a spot.
  13. Saint Joseph Notre Dame (13-4): The Pilots swept Salesian and Swett to move up two spots.
  14. Irvington (14-6): The Vikings swept two more Mission Valley Athletic League teams, Mission San Jose and Kennedy, to advance to 5-0 in their league and enter our rankings.
  15. Granada (10-7): The Matadors were swept by No. 5 Foothill and No. 7 San Ramon Valley to fall six spots but stay in it.

On the bubble: Alhambra (14-7), Liberty (15-8), Acalanes (6-4), Dougherty Valley (10-10), Dublin (9-4).


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.


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.


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.

Click here if viewing on a mobile device