Monday Morning Lights: San Ramon Valley’s ‘Drew Brees and the boys’ ready for McClymonds rematch

Luke Baker & Co.’s home opener a rematch of last year’s thriller at Mack. Plus, why Campolindo settled for a tie against Windsor, DLS’s rematch vs. St. Mary’s-Stockton, SHP’s young team, and more

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The Wolves are very excited for the rematch with McClymonds, which happened a year ago in one of the most exciting games of the 2022 season.

According to SRV coach Aaron Becker, they have had the date marked on their calendar for some time now. He told the Bay Area News Group on Sunday afternoon.

McClymonds won the barnburner in Oakland last season 45–42, but not before SRV quarterback Luke Baker erased a 21–point deficit in the fourth quarter and set up his team to kick the game-tying field goal.

Michael Peters, a longtime coach at Mack, saw the 5-foot-11 Baker tear through his defense for 500 yards and five touchdowns. It made him think of another short but brilliant quarterback that his son Marcus used to play against in the NFL.

Peters said, “I call him Drew Brees,” after McClymonds beat Bellarmine 1-0 on September 1 to start the season. “The boys and Drew Brees need our attention.”

He said it was “an accurate comparison” for his senior quarterback, who was named Bay Area News Group player of the year in 2022 and has since gotten even better.

For the Wolves, Baker has completed 70% of his passes, gaining 932 yards and 10 touchdowns in three games.

McClymonds’ defense has given up no points and less than 100 yards from scrimmage in two games this season, a 40-0 win over Bellarmine and a 45-0 rout of Bishop O’Dowd. Thus, “Drew Brees and the boys” will have to worry about them.

But since they played at “The Mackhouse” last year, the second game will be held in San Ramon Valley.

The Wolves have won all three of their road games by more than ten points, so they expect the crowd in Danville to give them a big boost.

Becker stated, “It will be nice not to have to take a bus and plan out how to get there.” “There will be a lot of students here, which is exciting.”


If you ask anyone, Kevin Macy knows his Campolindo team better than anyone else. The young Cougars played four tough quarters against Windsor on Friday night. The week before, they played four tough quarters against Amador Valley and four tense quarters plus two overtime sessions against Vanden-Fairfield.

When Windsor missed a short field goal with 16 seconds left in Friday’s game at Campolindo, tying the score at 14-14, most people thought the game would go into overtime to decide the winner.

But since it wasn’t in a league and overtime scenarios weren’t talked about before the game, it was up to the coaches to decide if the game should go on.

DJ Sexton from Windsor wanted to keep playing, but Macy decided to end the night.

The score was tied at the end.

“The (field-goal) kick was missed, and then there was confusion on the field about overtime,” Macy texted Friday to the Bay Area News Group. “As usual, they didn’t talk about overtime before the game. This is why the officials asked both coaches if they agreed that overtime should happen.

“That’s when I chose to take the tie. My team had just played three tough games, and both the coaches and the players were worn out. I’ll stick to my choice because I believe it was best for the physical and mental health of our players.

“This year, our Campolindo football team isn’t like most. We have many things that stop us. It’s not possible for us to do the things we used to do.

Campo now has a record of 1-1-1. The Cougars beat Vanden 29–23 in double overtime, but they lost to Amador Valley 6-0.

This week is a break before their trip to Monte Vista on September 22.


So he wouldn’t forget, De La Salle coach Justin Alumbaugh watched a video of St. Mary’s of Stockton the morning of the St. Francis game.

“I was pretty much scouting,” Alumbaugh said. “I listened to it and yes, they’re great. That’s what I thought would happen.

St. Mary’s was also good the year before.

There had been seven games between these teams since 2010, and the last one was in Stockton in October of last year. The Rams had lost all seven.

In the first half, De La Salle scored two touchdowns to take the lead. After that, things went badly for the Spartans. Over the next 33 minutes, St. Mary’s scored 31 points more than DLS and won 45–35.

Before Friday’s rematch at DLS, St. Mary’s is 3-0, having beat Clovis West, Central Catholic-Modesto, and Manteca, all of which are usually very good teams.

Friday was DLS’s first win of the season. They beat St. Francis 35–17 in a game that was close most of the way.


The Sacred Heart Prep team of 2022, which was mostly seniors, won the PAL Bay Division and went 9-1 during the regular season. They knew that things might be different this year.

Not only is this team younger, but it’s also not as deep.

“We’re just light,” Mark Grieb, the coach at Sacred Heart Prep, said. “There aren’t as many players as there were last year.”

MaxPreps only lists 36 players for Sacred Heart Prep this year, but Grieb still made the schedule tough for them. The Gators lost to Riordan 36–17 in Week 1, but they have since won their next two games against Sacred Heart Cathedral and Palo Alto.

“What I admire most about this team is how quickly they’ve been able to get back on track after a loss that could have made us doubt ourselves,” Grieb said.

Things on the schedule don’t get any better from here. Before the tough PAL Bay schedule starts, SHP plays Hillsdale this week, where they are 3-0.

But based on how they’ve played the last two weeks, the Gators could be in the running for the division title again this year.


Last year was Dave DeGeronimo’s first season as head coach at Palo Alto. The Vikings started the season 1-6 but went on to win the Central Coast Section title.

The Vikings were 2-0 to start the season until losing 28–14 to Sacred Heart Prep on Saturday night. DeGeronimo hopes that this game shows his team how close they are to SHP, which was a top-five team in the CCS last year.

“I told them in the huddle, ‘We’re this close,'” DeGeronimo said, putting his thumb and index finger about an inch apart. “It looked like the last minute, but we didn’t make it.” We need to finish strong.”

Palo Alto chose to play the Gators from the PAL Bay Division ahead of time. They have two more games against teams from that strong division coming up. On Friday, the Vikings will play at Los Gatos, which is a PAL game. The next week, they will play at Menlo-Atherton.

Los Gatos beat Palo Alto 42–20 last year, though it was 42-0 at one point. After a year, the Vikings team has more experience and can use the rematch as a good way to prepare for PAL De Anza play.

The player said, “We know we’re in a tough part of our schedule, but it’s also preseason.” “When it comes to league, we pay close attention to that league.” We need to get into the playoffs automatically and compete in the league. These games will definitely put us to the test.


Hayward has had a great start to the season. They beat MVAL-WACC Foothill favorite Tennyson 48–12 to move to 3-0. Isaiah Galli, a junior defensive back, has been one of the Farmers’ best chances to score.

The 5-foot-10 safety has forced three turnovers in the past two weeks. Against Novato, he returned one for a touchdown, and against Tennyson, he took a pick-six 101 yards.

“He is a competitor,” Hayward coach Virgil Hart said of a basketball-loving kid. “Galli has only been playing football for two years, but he has great hands and instincts.”


Bishop O’Dowd is in the MVAL-WACC Foothill Division, but its non-league games are very much like those in the Oakland Athletic League.

The Dragons have already played Skyline and McClymonds in the past two weeks. On Friday night, they will play Castlemont, which finished second in the Silver Bowl last year. Coach Hardy Nickerson wants this kind of scheduling outside of league play to become the norm.

Nickerson said, “It makes for some fun games and fun rivalries in the city.” “It makes Oakland football more interesting, which I think is a good thing.”


These days, it’s hard for many schools to fill their teams, but Fremont-Sunnyvale is having a great time. Rob Swartz, the head coach of the varsity team, said that the school played its first freshman game since 1979 last week.

Swartz said that there are about 110 players in the program, which has freshman, junior varsity, and varsity teams.

He said in an email that it was a big change from when the Firebirds came to Wilcox in the last game of the previous year with 19 varsity players.

The varsity team from Fremont beat Monta Vista 50-8 on Saturday to move to 2-1.



McClymonds (2-0) at San Ramon Valley (3-0), 7 p.m. Last season, SRV’s Luke Baker passed for 500-plus yards in a 45-42 loss at Mack.

Palo Alto (2-1) at Los Gatos (2-1), 7 p.m.: No longer in the same division but still rivals.

Monte Vista (3-0) at Amador Valley (2-1), 7 p.m.: MV scored 40 points last week. AV’s defense has given up 26 points in three games.

St. Mary’s-Stockton (3-0) at De La Salle (1-2), 7:30 p.m.: DLS lost by 10 at St. Mary’s last season. It won’t be any easier on Friday.

California (2-1) at Pittsburg (3-0), 7 p.m.: California has looked good the past two games. Pitt, as always, presents a big test.

Sacred Heart Prep (2-1) at Hillsdale (3-0), 7 p.m.: Hillsdale knocked off previously unbeaten Woodside last week.

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