Monday Morning Lights: What’s at stake in league races across the Bay Area

League championships, playoff spots on the line with two weeks left. Plus, more on Serra’s rout of Riordan, San Ramon Valley’s bounce-back win. Bay Area coaches remember late DLS assistant coach. Silver Creek star makes donations for points scored.

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Many leagues in the Bay Area News Group’s coverage area are still up for grabs with two weeks left in the regular season.

Here’s the current situation:

Peninsula/South Bay

WEST CATHOLIC: Serra is the best team in Northern California, having easily defeated its two closest competitors in the WCAL standings, St. Francis and Archbishop Riordan. Riordan travels to St. Francis on Friday for a chance at second place and the No. 2 seed in the Central Coast Section Open/Division I playoffs behind Serra. Four WCAL teams will automatically advance to CCS, but two more should be among the five at-large teams.

PAL BAY: Los Gatos and Wilcox have broken away from the pack, going undefeated in division play. They will compete for the division title on Friday night at Wilcox. Five of the division’s six teams are guaranteed to make the CCS playoffs. Los Gatos, Wilcox, Sacred Heart Prep, Menlo-Atherton, and Burlingame will be among them.

PAL DE ANZA: Three De Anza teams have earned automatic CCS playoff spots, and Menlo School has won the division title. Hillsdale and The King’s Academy have first dibs on Menlo. However, Palo Alto, which will host TKA on Nov. 2, is not out.

PAL OCEAN: Aragon leads Capuchino by one game. The teams finish the division schedule on Thursday at Aragon. If Cap wins, they will tie for first place and receive both of the Ocean’s CCS bids. If Aragon wins, Cap will tie for second place with either Sequoia or San Mateo. Cap lost to Sequoia but won against San Mateo.

EL CAMINO PAL: Even with two automatic CCS spots, the picture is still hazy. Woodside, Fremont-Sunnyvale, and Los Altos are all 3-1 in division play. Carlmont has a 2-2 record. They all finish division play on Friday, with Woodside visiting Los Altos and Carlmont hosting Fremont.

PAL LAKE: South San Francisco will receive the division’s one CCS spot after defeating both teams that are one game behind them in the standings.

BVAL MT. HAMILTON: Christopher and Live Oak both have perfect records. They will compete for the division title on November 3. Santa Teresa, Leland, and Oak Grove remain in contention for the division’s remaining two automatic CCS spots.

SANTA TERESA-FOOTHILL BVAL: The division’s unbeaten teams, Branham and Silver Creek, meet on Friday night at Silver Creek. If Branham wins, it will come in first place. If Silver Creek wins, it may have to defeat Independence on Nov. 2 to avoid a three-way tie at the top of the standings. Only two ST-Foothill teams are guaranteed to advance to CCS.

Leigh leads the division by one game over Westmont and Sobrato. Leigh will be in Sobrato on Saturday and Westmont on November 3. The ST-Valley has two automatic CCS spots.

BVAL WEST VALLEY: The division’s automatic berth into CCS has yet to be determined. Del Mar and Prospect are both 5-0 in West Valley play, one game better than Gunderson. Del Mar will be at Gunderson on Thursday and Prospect on November 3.

Bay Area

EBAL MOUNTAIN: Only league champions advance to the playoffs in the North Coast Section. Everyone else is a ragtag group. De La Salle will receive the Mountain’s AQ. The Spartans do not play a full league schedule, but they are given the AQ and fewer league games so that the other five teams in the division can compete for the league title. Strange? Yes. But so is one team (DLS) going undefeated (266-0-1) in the section for 32 years in a row. San Ramon Valley is on its way to taking first place among the Mountain teams. SRV would have received the Mountain’s AQ if it had defeated DLS two weeks ago.

EBAL VALLEY: Amador Valley will finish first after routing second-place Granada on Friday.

DAL FOOTHILL: This race is still open. Acalanes and Las Lomas lead the division with 4-0 records, one game ahead of Campolindo and Miramonte. Acalanes visits Las Lomas on Friday and Campo on November 3. Las Lomas in Miramonte will close on November 3.

DAL VALLEY: Alhambra has won the division championship, outscoring its four opponents 228-61.

BAY VALLEY: Pittsburg and Liberty lead the league with 3-0 records, one game ahead of Antioch. Pittsburg travels to Liberty on Friday before returning home to face Antioch on November 4.

Bishop O’Dowd and James Logan are tied for first place in the MVAL/WACC FOOTHILL. They will meet at James Logan on Friday.

MVAL/WACC MISSION: In a first-place matchup on Saturday, Berkeley edged Hayward in overtime. With two games left, the Yellowjackets lead Hayward, Washington-Fremont and Irvington by one game.

MVAL/WACC SHORELINE: Piedmont, Kennedy-Fremont and Newark Memorial share the lead with 3-1 records. Piedmont beat Kennedy on Friday and travels to Newark Memorial on Nov. 3.

TCAL ROCK: El Cerrito and Salesian are both undefeated in division play. They will meet to finish the season on Nov. 4 at Salesian.

TCAL STONE: Vallejo is the only team here without a division loss. The Redhawks visit St. Patrick-St. Vincent on Friday and Richmond on Nov. 3.


Archbishop Riordan, playing in its biggest game in years, was no match for Serra on Saturday in a 53-7 loss.

With the benefit of hindsight, the result wasn’t all that surprising.

Only two of Riordan’s starters are seniors, with just one being on an offensive line that was pushed around by a more experienced front seven.

None of the players had ever played a game with the stakes that were at stake on Saturday. Both teams were unbeaten in WCAL competition.

“I think our youth showed,” Riordan coach Adhir Ravipati said. “That’s on us as coaches because we didn’t have our guys ready to play.” “I’m hoping that this will be a good learning experience for our guys.”

A rematch in the CCS playoffs is possible. Will the outcome be any different?


Teams can lose their cool in big games, especially when playing a rising opponent. Not Serra against Riordan on Saturday. The Padres played hard — very hard — but they were in command.

That was significant, according to long-time Serra coach Patrick Walsh.

“It’s been the message for a long time,” Walsh continued. “There is always heat in rivalry games.” There is zeal. There is vigour. There’s a lot of energy. Riordan has my admiration for this. That’s great that they brought it. I’m glad we’re playing a rivalry game.

“I’m proud of coach Adhir and their efforts to build a great program in San Francisco.” They’re in their early twenties. We’ll most likely see them again. It will most likely be different. If we don’t see them this year, we’ll see them next year.

“However, it’s a constant focus on self-improvement for us.” It’s a constant reminder to love one another. It takes a constant, meticulous effort to iron out all the details in order to be the best we can be on any given day. And I’ll say it again because I have to: we have a 3.6 (team) GPA. That absolutely blows my mind.”


Trajan Sinatra’s four extra-point kicks in Silver Creek’s 28-7 win over Gilroy on Thursday didn’t just help Silver Creek’s chances of winning.

Sinatra also contributed to the cause of the homeless.

Sinatra will donate $100 to LifeMoves, an organization that assists homeless individuals and families in finding housing.

So far, Sinatra has donated $3,800, with the Silver Creek star stating that his stepfather is making a significant donation on his behalf.

“It’s important to me because about one in ten of our homeless are veterans,” Sinatra said on Saturday night to the Bay Area News Group. “My stepfather served in the Air Force, and we have a military family history.” “I want to assist every homeless veteran in getting off the streets.”


San Ramon Valley coach Aaron Becker wondered how his team would respond before their 14-0 victory at California on Friday. A week earlier, the Wolves staged a dramatic rally in the final minutes but fell to De La Salle in overtime, 33-27.

“It was hard to judge where their mind was going to be at and how they were going to play until they got out there,” said Becker.

It wasn’t easy, but the Wolves defeated Cal High. “I wouldn’t say we did anything different,” said quarterback Luke Baker. “We prepared like every other week.”


The unexpected death of De La Salle defensive line coach Steve Jacoby on Thursday stunned the Bay Area high school football community.

A moment of silence was observed before Serra’s home game against Riordan in memory of Jacoby, who had just turned 61.

“I was very tight with Steve on so many levels,” he said. “I transacted with him. He was our primary fund-raiser. I met him through our Next Level flag football team. We both liked U2’s music. We’d share a seat in the car. These kinds of experiences remind me that life is too short. You have to accept it. We’ve lost a great one, a great soul… he lived life to the fullest. “We’re going to miss him terribly.”

“He’s a guy who would give you the shirt off his back,” California coach Danny Calcagno said. He was simply an amazing individual.”

“Steve was a good friend and a truly kind-hearted person,” SRV coach Aaron Becker added. Everyone whose life he touched will miss him terribly.”


A few hours after De La Salle’s emotional 31-12 victory over El Cerrito on Friday, coach Justin Alumbaugh mentioned over the phone that the strip-sack fumble caused by lineman DJ Asiasi and recovered and returned for a touchdown by Drew Cunningham was Jacoby’s scheme.

While studying El Cerrito on Wednesday night during last-minute preparation — the game wasn’t scheduled until earlier in the day after both schools had teams cancel on them — Jacoby texted Alumbaugh with a scheme to get to the quarterback.

Alumbaugh used the scoop-and-score play on Cunningham.



Capuchino (7-1) at Aragon (7-1), 7 p.m.: Aragon wins the PAL Ocean with a victory.


Los Gatos (6-2) at Wilcox (6-2), 7 p.m.: The winner will celebrate a PAL Bay title, which includes a likely spot into CCS Open/Division I playoffs.

Archbishop Riordan (6-2)  at St. Francis (5-3), 7 p.m.: The winner should finish second in WCAL play behind Serra.

Acalanes (5-3) at Las Lomas (8-0), 7 p.m.: The winner will claim at least a share of the DAL Foothill title.

Pittsburg (8-0) at Liberty (6-2), 7 p.m.: First place on the line in Bay Valley Athletic League.

Branham (6-2) at Silver Creek (6-2), 7:15 p.m.: Teams are tied for first in BVAL Santa Teresa-Foothill.

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