De La Salle one of 14 teams to advance past NCS boys golf Division 1 qualifier

De La Salle's Josh McCarthy pumps his fist as he celebrates sinking a putt for a birdie on the eleventh hole during the North Coast Section Division 1 qualifier boys golf tournament at San Ramon Golf Course in San Ramon, Calif., on Monday, May 9, 2016. Jake Eastman from Maria Carrillo looks on. (Susan Tripp Pollard/Bay Area News Group)

De La Salle’s Josh McCarthy, left, pumps his fist as he celebrates sinking a putt for a birdie on the eleventh hole during the North Coast Section boys golf Division 1 qualifying tournament at San Ramon Golf Course in San Ramon on Monday. (Susan Tripp Pollard/Bay Area News Group)

De La Salle’s Josh McCarthy finished atop the leaderboard at the North Coast Section Division 1 boys golf qualifier Monday, leading the Spartans to first place as a team and entry into the NCS Division 1 Tournament of Champions next Monday.

McCarthy’s 4-under par 68 on San Ramon Golf Course was three strokes below the next best — Noah Woolsey of Amador Valley, which finished fourth as a team — and De La Salle finished with a cumulative 377.

Ryan Helgans had a 73 to top second-place San Ramon Valley (382). Brendan Hy and Ansh Roge each carded 76 for third-place Amador Valley (385).

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San Ramon Valley AD John Raynor to step down

San Ramon Valley athletic director John Raynor talked with me Tuesday about his decision to step down from that role after this school year.

“There were a lot of emotions connected with it,” said Raynor, 61. “I’ve had a joyous career in athletics, and it’s time to move on.”

Raynor has spent 40 years in education, 29 at San Ramon Valley, and coached the Wolves’ boys basketball team for 27 seasons until 2014. He’s been the school’s AD since 1988, a span that included 46 North Coast Section titles — including five by teams he coached.

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East Bay girls soccer rankings, pre-playoff seedings edition

Here is our fifth and final edition of this season’s East Bay high school girls soccer rankings, with North Coast Section playoff brackets released on Sunday:

Team Record Last Week Upcoming games
1. Carondelet 14-0-5 1 @ No. 4 Monte Vista,
vs. No. 11 California
2. Livermore 11-5-3 5 @ No. 11 California,
@ Granada
3. Liberty 13-5-1 4 @ Heritage, vs.
Deer Valley
4. Monte Vista 11-2-5 2 vs. No. 1 Carondelet,
@ No. 5 SRV
5. San Ramon Valley 13-4-2 6 vs. No. 15 Foothill, vs.
No. 4 Monte Vista
6. Las Lomas 13-1-4 9 vs. Campolindo, @
No. 14 Alhambra
7. Saint Mary’s 12-1-1 7 TCAL-Rock Division
playoffs vs. TBD
8. Acalanes 8-2-2 3 vs. No. 14 Alhambra,
@ Miramonte
9. Castro Valley 13-3-1 11 @ No. 10 Bishop
O’Dowd, @ Piedmont
10. Bishop O’Dowd 12-4-1 15 vs. No. 9 Castro Valley,
vs. Alameda
11. California 9-5-2 8 vs. No. 2 Livermore,
@ No. 1 Carondelet
12. Clayton
Valley Charter
10-4-4 12 @ Berean Christian,
vs. College Park
13. Hercules 10-3-2 13 TCAL-Stone Division
playoffs vs. TBD
14. Alhambra 11-3-3 14 @ No. 8 Acalanes, vs.
No. 6 Las Lomas
15. Foothill 10-8-1 NR @ No. 5 SRV,
vs. Amador Valley

Others considered: Piedmont (11-3-2), Dublin (10-5-5), College Park (10-3–5), James Logan (11-4), Pinole Valley (12-2-3).



East Bay high school girls soccer rankings

Here is our fourth edition of the East Bay high school girls soccer rankings:

Team Record Last Week Upcoming games
1. Carondelet 14-0-2 1 @ Foothill,
vs. Amador Valley
2. Monte Vista 11-1-4 2 @ No. 8 California,
@ No. 5 Livermore
3. Acalanes 8-0-2 4 vs. No. 9 Las Lomas,
@ Dublin
4. Liberty 9-5-1 6 vs. Freedom,
vs. Antioch
5. Livermore 10-5-2 8 @ Amador Valley,
vs. No. 2 Monte Vista
6. San Ramon Valley 10-4-2 3 @ Granada, vs. No. 8
Cal, vs. No. 12 CVC
7. Saint Mary’s 12-1-1 7 Regular season over
8. California 9-5-2 9 vs. No. 2 Monte Vista,
@ No. 6 SRV
9. Las Lomas 12-1-4 5 @ No. 3 Acalanes
10. Piedmont 11-2-1 10 @ No. 15 Bishop
O’Dowd, vs. Mt. Eden
11. Castro Valley 11-3-1 13 @ Mt. Eden,
@ Alameda
12. Clayton Valley Charter 9-3-4 14 @ Ygnacio Valley,
@ No. 6 SRV
13. Hercules 10-3-2 15 vs. El Cerrito
14. Alhambra 9-3-3 12 vs. Dougherty Valley,
@ Campolindo
15. Bishop O’Dowd 11-4-1 NR vs. No. 10 Piedmont, @Berkeley

Others considered: Foothill (9-8-1), Pinole Valley (12-2-3), College Park (9-3-4), Dublin (9-5-4), James Logan (9-4).


East Bay high school girls soccer rankings

Here are our second East Bay high school girls soccer rankings. Records are through Saturday. Expect some shuffling this week as the top four teams face off, including a rivalry match-up between Monte Vista and San Ramon Valley on Tuesday that I’ll be covering. Check contracostatimes.com/high-school-sports for that recap.

  1. Carondelet (12-0-1)
  2. Monte Vista (8-1-3)
  3. San Ramon Valley (9-2-1)
  4. California (7-3-1)
  5. Las Lomas (11-0-2)
  6. Acalanes (6-0-2)
  7. Liberty (6-5-1)
  8. Saint Mary’s (8-1-1)
  9. Piedmont (8-1-1)
  10. Foothill (8-5-1)
  11. Alhambra (8-2-2)
  12. Clayton Valley Charter (7-3-2)
  13. Pinole Valley (9-1-1)
  14. Bishop O’Dowd (7-3-1)
  15. Livermore (6-5-1)

Others considered: Castro Valley (8-3), Dougherty Valley (7-5-1), Dublin (7-5-3), College Park (8-3-2), Washington (7-4-2).


East Bay high school girls soccer rankings

Here are the East Bay high school girls soccer rankings with just over a month until the North Coast Section playoff seeding meeting. Records are through Saturday.

Carondelet is the clear No. 1 with an unblemished record, wins over four ranked teams and a goal differential of 43-7. The Cougars host No. 3 Monte Vista on Thursday in an East Bay Athletic League showdown that we will be covering. Check contracostatimes.com/high-school-sports for that recap.

But beside Carondelet and No. 2 San Ramon Valley, the EBAL is a mess, with a carousel of losses among the teams. The other leagues, though are a bit less complicated. The best example is defending North Coast Section Division 1 champion Liberty, a front-runner in the Bay Valley Athletic League after splitting four games at the prestigious National Elite Prep Showcase in Texas.

1. Carondelet (11-0)

2. San Ramon Valley (8-1-1)

3. Monte Vista (7-1-2)

4. Foothill (8-4)

5. California (6-2-2)

6. Liberty (5-4)

7. Las Lomas (10-0-1)

8. Acalanes (4-0-2)

9. Dougherty Valley (6-3-1)

10. Alhambra (7-1-1)

11. Piedmont (6-1-1)

12. Saint Mary’s (6-1)

13. Clayton Valley Charter (6-3-2)

14. Pinole Valley (6-1-1)

15. Bishop O’Dowd (4-3-1)


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.

NCS 3-A East Bay playoff picture

This has been shaken up since the last time I posted something. 

 NCS 3-A picture

 Locks: San Ramon Valley (7-0-1, 4-0 EBAL); Newark Memorial (8-0, 5-0 MVAL);  Pinole Valley (6-1-1, 3-1-1 ACCAL); Alameda (6-2, 3-2 ACCAL); College Park (6-2, 5-2 DFAL).

Near locks:  Arroyo (5-3, 2-3 HAAL)

Bubble teams:  American (5-3, 2-2 MVAL); Tennyson (4-4, 2-3 HAAL); Washington (3-4-1, 3-2 MVAL); Clayton Valley (3-5, 2-3 BVAL).

Notable team that doesn’t qualify: Freedom (3-5, 2-4 BVAL) Won’t have at least .500 record in league or against 3-A teams.

My picks/seedings: 1. San Ramon Valley; 2. Newark Memorial; 3. Pinole Valley; 4. Alameda; 5. College Park; 6. Arroyo; 7. Washington; 8. American

A lot of explaining to do here.

Washington’s two forfeit losses to Arroyo and Tennyson could come back to haunt the Huskies. I don’t think it will, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Tennyson got the nod over Washington because of the forfeit win.

Washington plays Granada this week and gets American in the finale. At best, Washington finishes 5-4-1 and Granada has a chance to upset the Huskies. If they do, that would make Washington 4-5-1. I don’t see American topping the Huskies. 

Tennyson has Bishop O’Dowd and San Lorenzo left. The Lancers will most likely finish 5-5 but do have a loss to American. This is a weird triangle because American owns a win over Tennyson, Tennyson has the forfeit win over Washington and Washington will likely have the win over American. This triangle will make it easy for Arroyo to get in because the Dons beat Tennyson and have the forfeit win over Washington. If somehow American beats Washington, then I think Tennyson will get that last spot and Washington will be left out.

But let’s continue with the scenerio that Washington beats American.

Two of the three triangle teams (Washington, Tennyson and American) will probably get in. Freedom doesn’t qualify to make the playoffs because it will have a less than .500 record in league play and is 0-2 against 3-A teams. Clayton Valley has a slim chance to get in if it can beat Deer Valley and Antioch to close the season. That would make Clayton Valley 5-5 overall, but I don’t expect them to beat Deer Valley.

Despite playing in the tough BVAL, it doesn’t look good for Clayton Valley because the seeding committe loves overall records and they will likely finish 4-6 at best. Although, the coaches vote could help Clayton Valley out. They qualify for the playoffs because they have a .500 record (1-1) against 3-A teams.

So, to me the two best teams are American and Washington. I think those two will end up in because Tennyson doesn’t have a bigger win than Washington’s tie with San Ramon Valley. If Tennyson would have beaten American earlier this season, they would have been in. But they lost that game by 1 point. I think Tennyson needs to root hard for American to beat Washington to have a chance.

Interesting thought: Washington will be a No. 7 seed because of the two forfeit losses. But they are way better than a No. 7 seed. That means Newark Memorial, if they are No. 2, will play Washington again. The last meeting was a 6-3 Newark win. If SRV is No. 2, then they will play Washington. The last time these two met it was a 35-35 tie. Should be a good first-round matchup with somebody.  


No place for ties in football

There have been a couple situations this season where coaches have needed to decide to go for the win or settle for the tie. The last one coming on Friday night in the California-San Ramon Valley football game.

 Cal trailed 10-3 before scoring a touchdown with under 30 seconds to go. Grizzlies coach Tony Sanchez knew he had the tie-breaker wild card in the East Bay Athletic League, which meant a tie was as good as a win in this situation. But in the end, Cal missed the extra-point and lost the game.

But should there even be a chance for a team to tie another? I don’t think so. The game should just go to overtime like it would in the North Coast Section playoffs. Can anyone give a legitimate reason why the game would end in a tie?

 High school basketball has overtime and baseball has extra innings. But football, the biggest prep sport of all, doesn’t play extra to decide a winner? It really doesn’t make sense, and the leagues in the East Bay need to change this. 


NCS 3-A East Bay breakdown

I know, I know. We are barely through Week 6 of the football season and I am already talking about the playoffs. But that’s what we do as prep sports writers, try to bring you an insight on what is going to happen before it actually does. And come on, are we ever wrong? OK, don’t answer that question.

Let’s just breakdown the North Coast Section 3-A class, which is all of a sudden a stacked division. Alphabetically for now, let’s look at who has a chance at getting to the playoffs: Alameda (5-1, 2-1 ACCAL), American (3-3, 1-2 MVAL), Arroyo (3-3, 1-2 HAAL), College Park (5-1, 4-1 DFAL), Freedom (3-3, 2-3 BVAL), Heritage (4-2, 3-1 BVAL), Newark Memorial (6-0, 2-0 MVAL), Pinole Valley (5-0-1, 2-0-1 ACCAL), San Ramon Valley (5-0-1, 3-0 EBAL), Tennyson (3-3, 2-1 HAAL), Washington (3-1-1, 1-1 MVAL). 

 Wow, that is six teams with no losses or just one loss. Remember, the bracket fills up with just eight spots. Let’s go ahead and mark in our locks to get into the playoffs: San Ramon Valley, Newark Memorial, Pinole Valley and Alameda. These squads are my 99.9-percent lock teams. That leaves four spots.

Here is a list of probable teams: College Park and Washington. The only reason Washington isn’t a lock right now is because they probably are going to be forced by NCS to forfeit the first two games of the season _ both wins _ against Tennyson and Arroyo for using an ineligible player. But Washington should still finish with just one more loss max this season _ that coming to James Logan on Oct. 20.

My teams that will crack the bubble: Heritage is in its first season of varsity football and have some huge wins already. I think they sneak into the playoffs. In my eyes, it comes down to Arroyo and Freedom for the last spot. Arroyo is likely to turn a bad loss to Washington into a win because the Huskies used an ineligible player. And now that the Dons are finally healthy, I think they should be the last team to sneak into the playoffs. Freedom has a great chance, but it is on a sinking ship right now.

OK, let’s do the seeds now.

1. San Ramon Valley- Should be EBAL champs.

2. Newark Memorial- Only way they get No. 1 is by beating James Logan.

3. Pinole Valley – ACCAL champs again. Tie to Berkeley costs them a higher seed.

4.  Alameda – 3-point loss to Pinole Valley puts them just behind the Spartans.

5. College Park – This squad could be No. 4 and Alameda No. 5. 

6. Washington- A tie to SRV should make them higher, but forfeit losses drop them way down. You never know, NCS could be weird about these forfeits and drop them out all together or put them right behind Newark at No. 3. Washington lost to Newark 6-3.

7. Heritage-Owns win over Mt. Eden and Arroyo lost to the Monarchs (Arroyo’s QB was out that game)

8. Arroyo/Freedom – Either way, playing SRV in the first round won’t be fun.

OK, as of Week 6 this is the way the playoff picture is shaping up. Let me know what you think.

—Michael Bower