Monday Morning Lights: After Serra, who is the next-best WCAL team?

League play in the WCAL starts this weekend. Wilcox to meet Edison-Huntington Beach in Bakersfield. SRV exceeding the hype. DLS getting ready for another round against Folsom.

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There was no doubt that Serra would win the West Catholic Athletic League again before the season began, and that hasn’t changed as league play begins this weekend.

The San Mateo powerhouse beat Folsom by seven points to start the season and then blew out De La Salle and Central Catholic-Modesto.

The team is ranked No. 1 in Northern California and No. 5 in the state by because of Serra’s great resume.

Based on calpreps’ state rankings, St. Ignatius is the WCAL team that is next to Serra (No. 61).

That looks about right.

It’s possible that the real question about the WCAL is not whether anyone can beat Serra. It could be: Who will come in second?

That race looks like it could be really exciting.

One other team in the WCAL has a perfect record: Valley Christian. Then again, their resumes are not at all like Serra’s.

Valley, which had a one-win season in 2022, beat Wilcox, Salinas, and Hollister, all of which are usually very good public schools in the Central Coast Section.

Mitty made an unexpected run to the CCS Division I final last year, even though they had only won one game the previous year. They beat James Logan, Aptos, and Santa Teresa, who all came into last weekend with a record of 0-9 overall.

The strength of Mitty’s schedule was -13.7 on calpreps as of Friday afternoon. Serra’s was 35.9, St. Francis’ was 31.9, and St. Ignatius’ was 25.5.

A lot will be clear when Mitty goes to St. Francis on Friday night. The trip that St. Ignatius made to see Archbishop Riordan on Saturday afternoon was the same.

Caliphs ranks Riordan No. 103 in the state and No. 5 in the WCAL. SI and St. Francis are now in the Top 100, along with Valley (87) and St. Francis (75). The schools that come in after Mitty are Bellarmine (212), Sacred Heart Cathedral (271), and Mitty (137).

Just so you know, the Bay Area News Group said this about how the teams would finish in its league preview on August 18: Serra, St. Francis, SI, Valley, Riordan, Mitty, Bellarmine, and SHC.


Coach Greg Calcagno did everything he could to get his team ready for seven WCAL games. To make sure his young team would be ready, he put together three tough non-league games against Helix-La Mesa, Monterey Trail-Elk Grove, and De La Salle.

The Lancers (1-2) didn’t play last weekend because they lost to De La Salle 35–17 on September 8.

When asked what he planned to do next, Calcagno said, “No weeks off.” Not a week off. Everyone is good, and anyone can beat anyone else. That’s hard when you play with kids who are 16 to 18 years old too. They need to be up every week. That’s pretty hard. But it’s our job to get them ready to go.

Meeting in half: Wilcox will play in Bakersfield.

After The King’s Academy canceled its home game against the Chargers on September 15, Wilcox coach Paul Rosa had to rush to find a game.

Rosa began making calls because the team would be without football for almost three weeks, from September 8 against Sacred Heart Cathedral to September 29 against Mountain View.

Electricity-Huntington Beach coach Jeff Grady agreed to a game on September 22, but Wilcox couldn’t make the drive to the Orange County school.

Rosa then thought of a way to help.

For three days, Rosa said, “I thought, ‘Maybe we can meet halfway?’ That way, it would only be a one-day trip for both of us.” Rosa told Bay Area News Group on Saturday afternoon.

After looking at spots in San Luis Obispo and other places in the middle of the state, the teams chose Bakersfield College’s Memorial Stadium, which has two decks and 20,000 seats. It was here that Pittsburg lost to Liberty-Bakersfield in the regional final two years ago.

Wilcox has to drive four hours to get to Edison, and Edison has to drive three hours to get to Wilcox.

Rosa said, “They’re excited about playing good competition and a different team because you don’t play teams from down south very often.” The game may start at 6 p.m. instead of 7 p.m. because it’s a long way back to the Bay Area, Rosa added.


This year, San Ramon Valley has had the proverbial target on its back because many of its key players are back from last year’s NorCal 2-A championship team.

Through four games, the Wolves have done even better than expected.

The most recent team to lose to San Ramon Valley was Oakland’s McClymonds on Friday night. They had only given up 41 yards against Bellarmine and Bishop O’Dowd, though.

On Friday, SRV got off to a slow start—it was 0-0 after one quarter—but went on to win 35-7. This season, the Wolves have won all of their games by at least 23 points.

According to junior linebacker Marco Jones, the win over McClymonds was big. He also said, “I definitely think that it kind of showed that just because we had a little trouble, that doesn’t mean we’re done with the game.” We can’t come back and punch back just because something happens, like getting punched in the mouth.

“I think it showed other teams that we’re still ready to play, even if you guys go up, tie, or make it close.”

SRV is now ranked No. 21 in the state by calpreps. They have two more games, at home on Oct. 6 against Clayton Valley and at home on Oct. 13 against Liberty. The last game could be historic.

Since 1991, the North Coast Section has not had a team beat DLS.

They put DLS at No. 19 on their list.


Folsom and De La Salle have become one of the best rivalries in Northern California. The two teams have played each other in all four regular seasons and both of the last two regionals.

This coming Friday, the Concord school will go to Folsom for another great game. The last three games have all been decided by eight points or less.

De La Salle coach Justin Alumbaugh said of the place where his team won the NorCal 1-AA title 17-14 in December, “It’s going to be a hornet’s nest.”

Over the Bulldogs’ bye week, Folsom coach Paul Doherty was in Concord to watch the Spartans beat the powerful St. Mary’s-Stockton 24–10 in a game that wasn’t as close as the score showed.

Alumbaugh’s team has thrown out their more balanced attack from the first two weeks and is now going back to its usual methodical veer. De La Salle has run for more than 200 yards in wins over St. Francis and St. Mary’s in the last two weeks. They look ready to take on Folsom now.

Running back for DLS Dominic Kelley said, “They’re a great team to play.” “But this week we’ll work hard. We hit hard, we’re strong, and we’ll work harder than them.


The recent trip that Danielle Johnson’s team took to Los Angeles made history.

KTVU was the first to report that Johnson’s helmet will be on display at the California High School Hall of Fame at the Rose Bowl. Johnson was the school’s first female tackle football player.

“She made history.” “That’s beautiful—she wrote her own story,” coach Ed Washington told the TV station.

Castlemont was the first high school football team to visit the display. On September 8, they beat Dorsey-Los Angeles 27-16.

He is about 5 feet tall and 100 pounds, and he plays safety. In response to the boys, she said, “They’re way bigger, but I still play with them.”



De La Salle (2-2) at Folsom (3-1), 7 p.m.: The teams have split their past four meetings dating to 2021.

Liberty (3-1) at San Ramon Valley (4-0), 7 p.m.: Liberty’s loss was by one point to Los Gatos.

Archbishop Mitty (3-0) at St. Francis (1-2), 7 p.m.: Rematch of CCS Division I semifinal last season, which Mitty won in dramatic fashion.

Oakland (3-0) at Washington-San Francisco (2-1), 3 p.m.: Oakland entered this season on a 21-game losing streak dating to 2019.

Campolindo (1-1-1) at Monte Vista (3-1), 7 p.m.: Campo had the weekend off. Monte Vista lost a thriller at Amador Valley.


St. Ignatius (2-1) at Archbishop Riordan (2-1), 2 p.m.: SI has looked really good since opening the season with a 42-14 loss to San Ramon Valley.

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