WCAL 2017 Football - Pre-Season Preview – 2017 Valley Christian Warrior's

Discussion in 'Football' started by Rmbr26, Jul 26, 2017.

  1. Rmbr26

    Rmbr26 Hall of Famer
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    [​IMG] So here we go again if you’re a die-hard WCAL football fan like myself and in desperate need of your yearly WCAL Football “Fix” you won't have to wait much longer. So looking ahead what if anything will be different in the upcoming 2017-18 season? Will the same 3 teams from last season dominate the other 5 teams? The league seems to run in 2-3 year cycles based upon the classes of athletes at each school until that pool of soph, junior & senior talent dissipates. Whether that is the case this year remains to be seen. Last season was a roller coaster of ups & downs and we need not look any further than Serra who lost their first 4 games before embarking on a record setting 10-game win streak only to lose by 2-points in a state Div. 2-A title game to Sierra Canyon [2 missed extra points – final score 42-40 Sierra Canyon]. Valley Christian who’d been plagued by early playoff losses in recent years finished with the WCAL’s best overall record at 13-2 and in their own state 2-AA title game only to lose 21-17 to Madison of San Diego. So even without a state title win, 5 of the WCAL League’s 8 teams made it deep into the CCS playoffs and 2 of the 8 teams made it to state bowl games. I would say that 2 teams from any league in CA making it to state bowl games would indicate a very good season from a very strong league.
    I’ll be dissecting the teams and their schedules both last season & upcoming and we’ll see what impact players have departed and those that are returning. Last season Valley Christian, Serra and St. Francis all shared the league crown in a 3-way tie, which seems to becoming a habit. Again the 2017 season appears to favor possibly 3 teams with another 2 within striking distance. Usually we have a “dark horse” team within the league, but that remains to be seen this early on. The SF teams did not fair well last season and we’ll see if there is a change this season, at least among the power structure of the 3 schools and who rules SF. Once again the WCAL schools have a challenging pre-season with many tough opponents prior to league play. First we’ll start with how last season ended and see where the teams pick up heading into the new season upcoming. As with most season’s the WCAL lost a ton of talent to graduation for 2016, but once again returns many of its best players and added player potential from several very good JV teams and even a few promising players from last years Frosh teams.

    Here are the final standings from last years’ 2016 season.

    Varsity: VC, Serra & SF in 3 way tie for league crown at 6-1 in league play,
    Bell’s at 4-3,Mitty 3-4, St. Ignatius 5-2, SHC at 1-6 and Riordan falling to 0-7.
    Overall: VC at 13-2 played superbly throughout the season & only 7 points separated this team from a perfect season, losing to St. Francis 13-10 in O/T and then 21-17 to a powerful Madison SoCal team in the state final. This WAS a very good Valley Christian team.

    Serra at 10-5 had a very rough start with perhaps the toughest pre-season schedule in Nor Cal. Somehow Serra licked their wounds and moved past the tough losses with an improbable 41-40 win over St. Francis in double overtime. I saw the game and worth watching again on video if you missed it. Serra had a historical season thanks to one Sitaleki “Leki” Nunn one of the more dynamic players to come out of the WCAL in recent years – simply a pleasure to watch!

    St. Francis was also a very, very good team in 2016 and one of the favored teams to win the league crown outright with their bruising RB Cyrus Habibi-Likio. While the Lancer’s season was successful it was a bit disappointing for their fans who were expecting a bit more. St. Francis did not fall short by much however with their only 2 losses being a double overtime loss to Serra by 41-40 and a CCS Open loss to Serra 31-17 when Serra was “clicking on all cylinders" with Leki Nunn again healthy.

    The Bell’s started out strong, but perhaps did not have the athletes and depth as in previous seasons ending at 7-5. The Bell’s somewhat “running out of gas” was evident in their 48-13 dismantling by Serra [the Bell’s worst ever loss to Serra] and then losing to Menlo-Atherton 21-0 in the playoffs after previously beating MA 34-20 early in the season.

    The Mitty Monarch’s at 7-6 suffered some ugly losses to Serra & SF, however played well in playoffs beating both Oak Grove & Los Gatos in playoffs before losing respectfully to Serra in the finals.

    St. Ignatius at 4-6 was simply not competitive against the upper tier WCAL teams. S.I. lost a great deal to graduation, was weak at the skill positions and on defense and was in a “rebuilding year” needing help from the underclassmen in 2016. There was discussion of football on the decline at S.I. due to parents concerns & athletes switching to lacrosse or other sports, so this year will certainly be telling.

    SHC had a difficult year with a smaller squad and plagued by injuries once again, which without the “troops”” is hard to compete. Hopefully the Football Gods will smile on the Irish and their key skill players will escape injury this season. A full squad is crucial as smaller rosters losing key 2-way players are doomed early on.

    Riordan Crusader’s seemingly one of the most watched teams in WCAL fell to a dismal 2-8 and 0-7 in WCAL last season and their fans groans could be heard throughout the internet [let alone the games]. Graduation from the very talented 2015 team virtually took all the Crusader's top players.
    I predict that it would be hard to be worse than last season for the Crusader’s and that any change should likely be an improvement. An improvement at the QB position and offensive coaching is key to the Crusader’s improving.

    JV Final Standings for 2016:
    SF 10-0 Undefeated and League Champs
    Valley Christian 6-4
    Bells 6-3-1
    S.I. 5-4-1
    Serra 3-6-1
    SHC 4-6
    Mitty 1-8-1
    ARHS 1-9
    Frosh Final Standings 2016:
    VC 7-0-1 League Champ
    Mitty 8-1
    Serra 7-1-1
    Bellarmine 5-4
    SF 4-5
    SHC 3-6
    ARHS 1-7
    S.I. 1-7-1

    Combined JV & Frosh Records for 2016
    VC 13-4-1
    SF 14-5
    Bells 11-7-1
    Serra 10-7-2
    Mitty 9-9-1
    SHC 7-12
    S.I. 6-11-1
    ARHS 2-16

    So somewhat like the varsity level the lower 2 teams combined records fall into 3 tiers of talent with VC & SF at the top, Bells, Serra & Mitty in the middle & SHC, S.I. & ARHS at the lower level.
    The one "X" factor as always will be if a talented QB or RB emerges for any of the lower tier teams.

    Looking at Freemans ratings and projections based upon last season's ending records, along with returning players and JV team records these are the initial pre-season ratings for the 8 WCAL teams versus last seasons ending power rating:
    SF 51.3 [+5.2]
    VC 50.3 [-2.2]
    Serra 49.9 [-.1]
    Bells 33.9 [-3.4]
    S.I. 33.6 [+8.6]
    Mitty 28.8 [-6.5]
    SHC 17.7 [+5.5]
    ARHS 14.5 [+7.5]

    So what does all this mean if anything? Sometimes these are fairly accurate predictions of team strength while other times I've highly disputed them. I'll translate for those of you not familiar with them:
    * SF is a bit better this year even without Cyrus Habibi-Likio, likely due to their returning QB and their returning defensive players [who were very good BTW last season].
    * VC is down slightly with the loss of their top RB and athletic QB from last season.
    * Serra is rated about the same - they lose the South Bay/Peninsula POY of the All Bay Area Team in Leki Nunn while bringing back most other skill players. Serra also has a very good #2 QB who played in numerous games including 4 full games when Nunn was injured - winning all 4 of his starts. Serra will once again be hard to stop on offense.
    * Bells drop again for a 2nd year in a row losing key players again to graduation and will rely on new talent to bolster their team.
    * S.I. shows the biggest gain of any team and not sure why other than S.I. was not very competitive last season and must surely be better this season with new skill players.
    * Mitty drops again for a number of reasons including loss of key players and the disparity in some of the scores in their losses. To the Monarchs credit they ended 2016 with 3 well played games in post season.
    * SHC shows a significant gain likely based on JV record and weak record in 2016 for varsity.
    * ARHS shows a sizeable gain to bring the Crusader's up closer to SHC which is likely who they will compete with [to see if either is a challenge to S.I.]. With the Crusader's 3 teams having a combined record of 4-24 in 2016 and the initial roster numbers for 2017 Riordan is odds on to win more than 4 games between 3 teams incl at the varsity level [2 wins].

    Next Up: Review teams 2016 records by schedule and where they're headed for 2017.
     
    1 Rmbr26, Jul 26, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2017
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  2. jordan24

    jordan24 Hall of Famer
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    Welcome back Rmbr26! Hope you're having a great Summer and look forward to reading your always insightful posts.
     
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  3. colhenrylives

    colhenrylives Hall of Famer
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    What more can one say? The Rambling Man continues to be the Final Word on all things WCAL football. The rest of us mere mortals simply sit back, clutch another cold one and remain in awe.
     
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  4. Rmbr26

    Rmbr26 Hall of Famer
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    jordan24 & colhenrylives – always great to hear from the both of you & I trust you and your families are all well. From all accounts it appears the WCAL will be very solid this season and its anyone’s guess who & if there will be a dominant team in the league. One thing seems to be consistent year to year in that the best teams have a very good athlete QB and/or RB – last season VC, Serra & SF all shared in this respect. Of course the WCAL has always had the reputation of a tough defensive league who rely on the run game and rarely throw. This has been slowly changing as the teams have gone to a more balanced offense. We don’t see as many low scoring defensive battles as much [7-6, 7-3, 10-7, etc], but rather more offensive shoot-outs such as the 41-40 Serra-SF game last season, which was a real roller coaster.

    There are some good pre-season game match-ups and we’ll see which players emerge as the stars of the WCAL this season. Should be another good one! I appreciate both your comments and look forward to your input as well as the Colonel’s humor ;)
     
    4 Rmbr26, Jul 27, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2017
  5. colhenrylives

    colhenrylives Hall of Famer
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    Always a distinct pleasure to oblige.
     
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  6. Rmbr26

    Rmbr26 Hall of Famer
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    Quick question for anyone out there. A few things have changed on the board including how to attach a picture to your post.
    I tried both downloading and inserting using the above icons "image" and "insert" and neither worked [see my opening post above and what happened to the picture].

    Perhaps someone can help?
     
  7. observer22

    observer22 Hall of Famer
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    I was able to just copy and paste this picture of jordan24's avatar right into the reply.

    [​IMG]
     
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  8. Rmbr26

    Rmbr26 Hall of Famer
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    [​IMG]

    Yes Observer22 - I am able to copy & paste that as well without a problem, however just tried a picture again in editing original post or in this post & no luck - just will not accept and using the NCP's image icon seems to be useless - have tried just about everything I can think of & the reason I was reaching out - had no such issue last season[?]
     
  9. jordan24

    jordan24 Hall of Famer
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    1. Find the picture for which you want to get the address. ...
    2. Make sure you're viewing the original version of the image. ...
    3. Right-click (computer) or press and hold (mobile) the image. ...
    4. Select the "Copy Image Address" option. ...
    5. Paste the image URL.
     
  10. observer22

    observer22 Hall of Famer
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    So that gets you the link, but you can't see the photo without clicking it? I tried a sample copying the image address and that's what happened.
     
  11. jordan24

    jordan24 Hall of Famer
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    [​IMG]


    Did you insert the image URL in the image icon in the editing tool? Pulled the Niner logo from google, copied the url image into the image icon tool and hit paste.
     
  12. Streak One

    Streak One Moderator
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    [​IMG]

    I think the key is finding the original of the photo as noted above and then plugging that URL into the photo box. I had issues with this photo of Tre White until I pulled the original.
     
  13. Rmbr26

    Rmbr26 Hall of Famer
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    Thanks Much Jordan, Observer & Streak - all your info is helpful & I seem to remember something along the lines of Streak's suggestion to use an original photo [rather than an already copied version]. I will get it solved upcoming.
    Have a good weekend guys! :)
     
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  14. Rmbr26

    Rmbr26 Hall of Famer
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    Review of WCAL Teams 2016 Season:

    I’ll be going down the line and looking at each team to assess their past 2016 season in order to see how they performed and with the remainder of that team how they might perform this season [with help from their JV & Frosh teams]. I’ll go in order of overall win/loss record right on down the line.
    [​IMG]
    Valley Christian had the best record overall at 13-2 in a 3-way tie for the WCAL crown and one of 2 schools to advance all the way to a state bowl game, losing a heart-breaker in a close game similar to Serra. This was one of the best teams all around that VC had in many years and was solid on both sides of the ball. The VC Warrior’s had a very efficient Athlete/QB in Miles Kendrick who ran the offense and was one of the top rated QB’s in the WCAL. While Kendrick didn’t account for a lot of passing yards he also did not commit a lot of mistakes, completing 56% of his passes and only throwing 4 INT’s in a 15 game season. Kendrick ran the offense behind a massive O-line even by WCAL standards which opened plenty of holes for Javon Sturns & Isaiah Rodrigues. VC relied on its clutch WR in Anthony Flores when they needed a completion & had the best kicker in the league in Bailey Schroeder. On Defense VC was solid throughout and the big reason for such a successful season. While VC was the 3rd rated offense of WCAL teams they were the #1 rated defense – which is saying something as St. Francis was also superb on the defensive side of the ball. A quick review of VC’s 2016 season:

    Season opening win 21-7 over a very good Campolindo team. Campo kept the game close well into the game, however too much size & talent on VC and wore Campo down in 2nd ½.

    Game #2 VC controlled throughout and came away with a 35-14 win over Wilcox.

    Game #3 was a road game which provided an early season scare for VC. The Warrior’s could not seem to get untracked in this game & were lucky to come away with a 17-14 win over a game Pleasant Valley of Chico.

    Game #4 Season opener for WCAL and VC handed Serra its 4th loss in a row in a game that went down to the wire with VC winning 35-28.

    Game #5 had Mitty taking VC to double overtime before VC pulled out a 38-31 win.

    Game #6 VC cruised past Riordan 38-7.

    Game #7 had VC unexpectantly winning easily over the Bells by 28-7.

    Game #8 VC followed up with an expected easy 28-0 shut-out of S.I.

    Game #9 VC falls in a tough defensive battle 13-10 in O/T to St. Francis & 1rst loss of season.

    Game #10 VC prepares for post season with a 34-8 win over SHC Irish.

    Game #11 In opening game of Div III playoffs VC destroys Burlingame 41-0.

    Game #12 Round 2 of playoffs VC again cruises with 35-7 pasting of Aptos.

    Game #13 In a very tough game Palma gives VC all it can handle with VC lucky to come away with a 14-10 win.

    Game #14 VC represents the CCS very well in showing clear superiority over Card Newman by 31-6 in inter-sectional play.

    Game #15 state bowl 2-AA game: VC just falls short in losing 21-17 to Madison of San Diego.

    Conclusion: VC was a well-balanced team on both sides of the ball and especially shining on defense. At times VC ran hot & cold on offense and perhaps with a better and more consistent passing game the Warrior’s might have gone undefeated. With a record of 13-2 and only 2 losses by 3 & 4 points the Warrior’s did indeed come close to an undefeated 15 game season – quite an accomplishment!

    Next Up: St. Francis Lancers
     
    14 Rmbr26, Jul 29, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2017
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  15. Rmbr26

    Rmbr26 Hall of Famer
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    Review of WCAL Teams 2016 Season:

    I’ll be going down the line and looking at each team to assess their past 2016 in order to see how they performed and with the remainder of that team how they might perform this season [with help from their JV & Frosh teams]. I’ll go in order of overall win/loss record right on down the line.

    [​IMG]
    The St. Francis Lancers come in at the 2nd spot overall for 2016 finishing with a 10-2 record sharing a 3-way tie for the WCAL crown and advancing to the CCS Open playoffs before losing in round 2 to Serra. St. Francis like VC only lost 2 games in their 12-game season and was one of the heavy favorites coming into last season. The Lancer’s only 2 losses both came at the hands of a resurgent Serra Padres team with the first nail-biter being a 41-40 O/T loss which could have gone either way & the 2nd loss a not as close 31-17 loss to Serra who had more firepower than SF could muster on offense. SF boasted 2 of the league’s best players In Bennett Williams a terrifc 2-way player and their bruising RB Cyrus Habibi-Likio. For myself I could not think of last season’s SF team without thinking of that powerful RB of theirs. When Cyrus was on a roll it was nearly impossible for other teams to stop him. Overall on defense the Lancers were nearly on a par with Valley Christian for the season and in fact out-performed VC during the WCAL season allowing only 11.7 PPG [points per game]. What’s remarkable is that Serra scored 41 on SF in WCAL play and if you deduct that point total the Lancer’s only gave up 39-points in their other 6 league games – a 6.5 PPG average!

    In the highly anticipated season opener SF pulled away from a game Oak Grove team by a 24-7 margin in a game which seemed closer than the score.

    Game #2 SF barely escapes with a 8-7 win over Palma in a game many fans thought SF would win by several scores. This game had many wondering perhaps if the hype about the Lancer’s might have been over-blown.

    Game #3 Atascadero on the road proved to be the game thatSF needed to get rolling. The Lancer’s looked very good before a large audience in this televised away game.

    Game #4 St. Francis overwhelms the Riordan Crusader’s by 37-0.

    Game #5 St. Francis shows they cannot be under-estimated by taking down the Bell’s 21-12.

    Game #6 The unbeaten Lancer at 5-0 fall in O/T to a 1-4 team the SF coach calls the best 1-4 team in the country.

    Game #7 SF bounces back with a resounding 42-0 blasting of Mitty – the same Mitty that had taken VC to 2 O/T’s before losing. This blow-out win raised many eyebrows including mine.

    Game #8 SF cruises past an injury plagued SHC Irish by 35-7.

    Game #9 In a Battle Royal SF takes down previously undefeated VC in O/T 13-10.

    Game #10 SF closes out league with comfortable 35-12 win over S.I.

    Game #11 SF blasts Mt. View in round 1 of the Open II playoffs 56-27.

    Game #12 SF falls to Serra who is headed to a school record 10-game win streak and Leki Nunn of Serra again is the big difference – unstoppable!

    Conclusion: St. Francis for 2016 was a very, very good football team. A grind it out run team balanced with 106 yards passing per game and one of the 2 best defenses in the WCAL. In the end like VC the Lancer’s simply lacked the firepower to outscore Serra when the Padres were playing at their best. Their season still acknowledges that SF was one of the 3 best teams who tied for the WCAL title in 2016. What tarnishes that fact if anything is the season ending loss to Serra and that the other 2 co-champs of the WCAL continued on in playoffs to state bowl games. The irony being there was very little to separate the top 3 WCAL teams, however in the minds of fans it appears that SF came in 3rd place overall. As it is a 10-2 season is a great accomplishment many teams will never achieve.

    Next Up: Serra Padres
     
    15 Rmbr26, Jul 30, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2017
  16. colhenrylives

    colhenrylives Hall of Famer
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    One clarification: Admittedly, memories dating back 60 or more years are dimming now, but Serra won a school-record 16 games in a row from 1953 to 1955. Included in that run was a perfect 9-0 campaign in 1954 (let's hear it for Bob Lotti, et al). That takes away nothing from the 2016 season, however. That was an historic season indeed. By the way, if the MaxPreps math is correct, Serra is due to return no fewer than 43 guys off that high-scoring club.
     
    16 colhenrylives, Jul 30, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2017
  17. Rmbr26

    Rmbr26 Hall of Famer
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    colhenrylives Very good knowledge! Thanks for your correction and I do remember that team that went 9-0 one season in 1954 once you pointed out that fact. When in HS I remember a discussion regarding that long ago team and their schedule and number of games - a different time and a different game. I think it was around 12 years ago that Serra honored players of that team at one of their games and a handful of them showed up for the event. Here is the link to all the Serra football team season records over the years starting with 1946 [71-seasons].
    http://www.serrahs.com/uploaded/Website_Redesign_2016/Athletics/Football/SerraFootball_Year_by_Year.pdf

    Serra published a wonderful book probably around 12 years ago [not sure & no date of publication in it]. It is called simply
    "The History of Serra Sports - pride, passion & padres". It is a wonderful large book of 292 pages filled with stats,stories and loads of pictures. I don't know if any other WCAL school has ever published anything similar, but I'm inclined to think not likely based upon the websites most have. Am guessing DLS probably has published something similar which would also be a good read [anyone know?].

    Again thanks Colhenry!
     
  18. colhenrylives

    colhenrylives Hall of Famer
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    As always, I live to serve.
     
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  19. Irish_Cheers

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    Good to have those records online. A while back, I went through miles of microfilm at the library just to compile SHC's yearly results on my own. It wasn't easy finding games in the 1890s, although there was a good write-up for the school's first game against SI. The school gave me a varsity jacket for that and some other research.
     
  20. colhenrylives

    colhenrylives Hall of Famer
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    You, sir, are a true, blue (green) SHC traditionalist with impressive credentials and unsurpassed loyalty to that ancient Ellis Street institution. Good for you.
     
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  21. berdooman

    berdooman Sports Fanatic
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    Padres also won last 5 games in 1961 and first five in 62.
     
  22. berdooman

    berdooman Sports Fanatic
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    ... and Pads won 12 in row in 1990, 91.
     
  23. Rmbr26

    Rmbr26 Hall of Famer
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    Review of WCAL Teams 2016 Season:

    I’ll be going down the line and looking at each team to assess their past 2016 in order to see how they performed and with the remainder of that team how they might perform this season [with help from their JV & Frosh teams]. I’ll go in order of overall win/loss record right on down the line.
    [​IMG]
    The Serra Padres come in at the 3rd spot overall for 2016 finishing with a 10-5 record sharing a 3-way tie for the WCAL crown and advancing to win the CCS Open before again winning their intersectional playoff and heading to a state bowl game. Serra started the year at 0-4 with the most brutal pre-season schedule in NorCal playing St. Mary’s Stockton [who went on to state], De La Salle [who went on to state, Pittsburg [who went on to NCS playoffs] and Valley Christian [who went on to state]. Needless to say it was a tough learning process for a largely young Serra team. Serra had 3 year returning athlete/QB Leki Nunn, but many unproven players and a defense that proved porous against the run early on [making a bad situation worse – SM’s, DLS, Pitt & VC all had superb run games]. Serra showed some early flashes at times, but still suffered some grim losses. Coach Walsh & staff did their research and made numerous changes in their defense while limiting Nunn’s playing time and giving their 3rd QB [at the time] Luke Botari plenty of minutes to gain experience [#2 QB starting the year Jack Damelio suffered an injury early on & lost for season]. The Padres then reeled off a record 10 game win streak in a single season and lost by only 2 points in their finale of the season the state bowl game. Serra will have to make due without the do-everything Leki Nunn this season, however returns the bulk of their team with 2 very good & capable QB’s. The 2016 season for Serra will stand out as perhaps the most exciting team in memory and a team that was capable of a huge turn-around under the most dire circumstances.

    Game 1 was highly anticipated with Stockton power St. Mary’s who had perhaps their best team in school history according to their coach. The first ½ was a blur with back & forth score changes and Leki Nunn running back the 2nd ½ kickoff for a TD. Nunn never returned after the play due to an injury and the game went downhill after that point with Serra losing 63-35.

    Game 2 had Serra shooting itself in the foot early in the game with multiple penalties and costly mistakes making the score 17-0 after the first few minutes. Again Nunn played a portion of the game before being pulled. Like St. Mary’s Serra was torched by a physical run game and similar to the first game lost 47-13.

    Game 3 had Serra up again against a physical team in Pittsberg with another bruising RB. Repeat of games 1 & 2 and Serra loses 48-25 finding the Padres at 0-3 and Serra fans groaning at prospects of the WCAL season upcoming.

    Game 4 Serra travels to Valley Christian to take on yet another prolific running attack with one of the WCAL’s best RB’s in Javon Sturns and the biggest O-line Serra will face. Serra plays well but loses down the stretch 35-28.

    Game 5 finally see’s Serra getting a breather and the Padres win comfortably at the expense of the DHC Irish 41-7.

    Game 6 in a wild shoot out in which Serra almost gave the game away in the final minutes Serra wins in O/T by 41-40 over undefeated St. Francis. Confidence is restored on the Serra campus.

    Game 7 Serra rolls against S.I. with their soph QB playing superbly to a 51-14.

    Game 8 Serra in a bit of a surprise again with their soph QB wears down Mitty 41-14.

    Game 9 Riordan in a mismatch falls to Serra by the score of 49-14.

    Game 10 At Serra before a raucous crowd Serra is “clicking on all cylinders” and hands the Bellarmine Bells their worst ever loss against the Padres by 48-13. A crushing loss for the Bell’s who went on to play lackluster the following week and lost 21-0 to Menlo-Atherton in round 1 of post season [a team that the Bells had beaten early in the season].

    Game 11 Serra as expected takes down Leigh of San Jose 45-14 in round 1 CCS Open.

    Game 12 in a highly anticipated rematch Serra plays its best defensive game of the year and pulls away from St. Francis 31-17 in round 2.

    Game 13 is another rematch in which the Mitty Monarchs play Serra tough and make the Padres earn the win 37-24 [a much different game than the regular season 41-14 blowout by Serra. Serra is CCS Champ.

    Game 14 Serra travels to Sanger, CA to play before a large & hostile crowd. Sanger a very good team is undefeated at 13-0 and the entire town turns out to support their team. After Sanger takes an early lead Serra storms back in the 2nd ½ and wins impressively 49-36 to advance to state.

    Game 15 State 2-A Bowl Game – Serra plays undefeated Sierra Canyon and the 2 teams trade scores throughout the game. In a game that could have gone either way Serra is plagued by 2 missed PAT’s which in the end is the difference. In his final game as a Padre Sitaleki Nunn for Serra shows again why he is the best player on the field.

    Conclusion: 2016 is a season Serra fans will not forget any time soon [nor Bellarmine or St. Francis]. It is rare to see any team suffer 4 opening season losses [3 by double digits] and then reel off 10-wins in a row [a first in a single season for any Serra team]. Fans like myself became a bit spoiled and will miss Nunn after 3 seasons guiding the Padres team, however many good players return for 2017. Seldom mentioned is the job coach Walsh and assistants did in making numerous adjustments early in the season and transforming a porous defense into a solid unit by mid-season. For myself one questions remains: Who WAS the top team in the WCAL for 2016 Serra OR Valley Christian? VC played Serra early in the season and Serra was a much different [better] team late in the season. For the fans following the WCAL thread – Who do you think would have won a season ending rematch between VC & Serra?

    Finally for 2017 Serra should once again be considered among the top teams in the WCAL.

    Next Up: Bellarmine Bells
     
  24. berdooman

    berdooman Sports Fanatic
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    Nice rundown. Serra defeated Bells 40-3 in 1974.
     
  25. Rmbr26

    Rmbr26 Hall of Famer
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    While the rivalry has somewhat leveled out under the Walsh regime the series between Serra & Bellarmine stands at:

    Bells 47 wins
    Serra 23 wins
    2 Ties
     
  26. Rmbr26

    Rmbr26 Hall of Famer
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    Review of WCAL Teams 2016 Season:

    I’ll be going down the line and looking at each team to assess their past 2016 in order to see how they performed and with the remainder of that team how they might perform this season [with help from their JV & Frosh teams]. I’ll go in order of overall win/loss record right on down the line.

    [​IMG]
    The Bellarmine Bell’s 2016 season was 4th place in WCAL and a quick exit in the 1rst round of post-season play finishing at 4-3 in WCAL and 7-5 overall. While this would not seem a bad season so to speak for many schools, for Bellarmine with their history of athletics/sports and especially in Football it doesn’t get much worse. During the last dozen years the Bell’s regularly compete for the WCAL title, go deep or win CCS and advanced to a couple of state bowl games [did I mention taking DLS to double O/T before losing by a FG?]. In comparison I went back a few years to point out the success of the Bell’s program for fans umfamiliar: 2015 – Record 13-2 including ending powerful Folsom’s long win streak at home, 2014 – Record 10-3 and in CCS Open Championship, 2013 – Record 8-4 losing in CCS semi-finals, 2012 – Record 11-2 losing in O/T in Open Championship, 2011 – Record 12-2 winning Open and advancing to state, 2010 – Record 9-3 losing to state champ Palo Alto in Open Championship, 2009 – Record 11-2-1 with trip to state.

    So you get the idea and those are the seasons Bell’s fans are used to and anything else is mediocre and disappointing. Simply put the Bell’s fans and players are not used to not winning. The Bell’s teams are almost always competitive and are always well coached, so a 7-5 season was the worst in recent memory and a bit hard to swallow. Lets take a look and see how the season transpired.

    Game 1 Bellarmine takes on a very solid Menlo-Atherton team rated high pre-season and in a closer game than score indicates comes across with a 34-20 victory.

    Game 2 Bellarmine favored to win and does so winning 32-21.

    Game 3 The Bells host Del Oro and in a very well played contest give Del Oro all they can handle in losing a close game 16-14. The game has everyone’s attention and that no one should take the Bell’s lightly.

    Game 4 The Bells run over S.I. in the league opener by 37-3.

    Game 5 an important one in the annual rival game with St. Francis and the Bells lose 21-12.

    Game 6 Bell’s rebound and pound SHC Irish by score of 48-7.

    Game 7 is another test for Bellarmine against another nearby rival Valley Christian. Like SF the Bell’s do not have the horses to match up against a physical VC team and come away with a disparaging loss of 28-7 [things not looking good at this point.

    Game 8 Again the Bell’s take pleasure in pounding a lower tier league team with a resounding 55-14 win over Riordan.

    Game 9 is perhaps the Bell’s big win of the season in beating a Mitty team with a similar record by 28-21.

    Game 10 The wheels come off the bus as Serra crushes the Bells 48-13 before a delirious Serra crowd and disbelieving Bell’s fans. Serra’s fans have suffered for years with disheartening games against the mighty Bell’s machine and coach Janda.

    Game 11 The Bell’s look solid in dispatching Piedmont 42-12 in round 1 of the post season.

    Game 12 is not a surprise as the Bell’s come out flat against a revenge minded Menlo-Atherton team wanting to prove something. M-A overwhelms and shuts out the Bell’s 21-0.

    Conclusion: For years the Bell’s have successfully reloaded, even when they are not expected to be a top team they are. Coach Janda and assistants have been wizards at putting the right players at the right positions and using the best players both ways even when having less talented rosters and numbers of players. This usually works out in the Bell’s favor, but sooner or later any team is due a “down year” so to speak. While not a terrible year 2016 was not up to the Bell’s standards of competition. So what was the real reason why the Bell’s came in 4th in WCAL [barely escaping 5th place by beating Mitty]? Several reason’s come to mind from watching last season’s team. Reason #1 – Simply put the Bell’s did not “have the horses” to compete vs VC, SF & Serra. The Bell’s had one of their small rosters and the talent/quality was not that of the previous years with 4-5 players among the best in the league at their positions. This is not to say the Bell’s players were not good, because they were, just not up to the level of the 3 teams I mentioned. Reason #2 The Bell’s offense. The Bell’s offense has been likely the most conservative of the WCAL teams over recent years’ and the most reluctant to throw or have any semblance of a passing game. Now first of all you must have a QB who can throw & WR’s who can catch. For the Bell’s they rarely threw and for the minimal amount of passes attempted the stats were not impressive. Without a dominant run game this put al the pressure on the defense and as we know unless the offense can score points to keep up with the other team the defense WILL wear down. This formula spelled doom against the likes of VC, SF & Serra. Reason #3 The Bell’s having a smaller roster this last season and without star player potential simply wore down the 2nd half of the season.

    Like other years’ there is no reason the Bell’s cannot suddenly be in the drivers seat once again as they are successful in the art of reloading & have the ability to come up time & again with excellent QB athlete’s. One thing I’ve learned over many years of watching the Bell’s is never count them out.

    Next Up: Mitty Monarch’s
     
  27. FBAddict

    FBAddict Hall of Famer
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    Probably Serra was the better team toward the end of the season. Much of my hypothetical notion leans toward what happened in that early season game when Nunn was pulled from the game in the 4th quarter (probably to save him from injury against the stout attacking VC defense). Serra's scoring stopped dead in its tracks after Nunn left. If Nunn would have played the whole game, Serra might have won that game. Second, VC's 2016 offense was fickle - sometimes producing points from brilliant plays and other times being completely lackluster. So Nunn playing the whole game and VC offensive fickleness gives Serra the edge in a second hypothetical game in my mind.
     
  28. colhenrylives

    colhenrylives Hall of Famer
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    It is with some trepidation that I proffer another clarification for the esteemed Rambling Man. Since the arrival of Patrick Walsh at the helm of the once-dormant Serra football program in 2001, the Padres have been quite competitive with the Bells. In fact, Serra is 11-10 vs. the San Jose Jesuits during the Walsh Era. So the notion of chronically frustrated Serra fans when it comes to the Janda-ites is not exactly on the mark, at least over the past 16 WCAL/CCS seasons. But I quibble. And I tend to agree: Never count out a school with more than 1,600 male students. Bellarmine simply reloads on a regular basis.
     
  29. Rmbr26

    Rmbr26 Hall of Famer
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    2 Good responses from 2 of the more knowledgeable fans on this board [in regards to CCS teams]. The very wise and respected FBAddict adds to my own opinion that Serra would likely win the rematch between the 2 teams for 2 reasons: with a healthy Nunn for the entire game Serra likely would add to its point total and VC's sporadic offense likely could not have countered several additional Serra scores & #2: Serra had a much improved and modified defense the 2nd 1/2 of the season which would have been more difficult to score against. Just ran through Freeman's computer and Serra wins 28-27 in the rematch [I would have guessed Serra by +6].

    In response to the esteemed Colhenry's post I had clarified Serra's more recent success against the Bell's in a response prior to the Bell's post following the Serra rewind. It reads:

    While the rivalry has somewhat leveled out under the Walsh regime the series between Serra & Bellarmine stands at:

    Bells 47 wins
    Serra 23 wins
    2 Ties

    So Colhenry & I are in lock-step in that regard. Walsh has evened the playing field although Serra is not yet dominating Bells to the level the Bell's dominated Serra for decades. There are still many wins needed for Serra to even the series.
     
    29 Rmbr26, Jul 31, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2017
  30. colhenrylives

    colhenrylives Hall of Famer
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    Indeed.
     
  31. colhenrylives

    colhenrylives Hall of Famer
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    As noted in a different string on this blog, since VC jointed the WCAL and Walsh walked onto the Serra campus at the turn of the century, the three dominant league teams have been VC, Serra and Bellarmine. VC has won or shared six titles; Serra has shared six; Bellarmine has won six. St. Francis has won or shared three crowns as well. The league is much more balanced now than it was during a prior generation. The Bells have a very strong football program but top-rung excellence is shared by a number of schools these days.
     
  32. berdooman

    berdooman Sports Fanatic
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    Walsh is 11-10 vs. Bells, including playoff games. Jesse Freitas also had winning record vs. Bells by small margin during his three stints with Padres. Otherwise, Bells have dominated rivalry.
     
  33. colhenrylives

    colhenrylives Hall of Famer
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    No argument there.
     
  34. Rmbr26

    Rmbr26 Hall of Famer
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    Review of WCAL Teams 2016 Season:

    I’ll be going down the line and looking at each team to assess their past 2016 in order to see how they performed and with the remainder of that team how they might perform this season [with help from their JV & Frosh teams]. I’ll go in order of overall win/loss record right on down the line.
    [​IMG]
    The Mitty Monarch’s 2016 season was 5th place in WCAL at 3-4 in WCAL league & 7-6 overall. The season was a bit of a roller coaster for Mitty with the most important aspect being the Monarch’s finished the season strong falling to Serra in the Open finals in a competitive effort. I’m not sure there was any team that came close to running as “hot or cold” as this Mitty team, at times looking very efficient and other times like they were simply scrimmaging. From what I viewed of the MItty roster for 2016 which was not a deep roster compared to the top 3 teams, simply put “Mitty did not have the horses”. It was a roster not deep and with no stand-out stars to lift them against the big 3 – VC,SF & Serra. Mitty at times played well enough to be competitive, but not enough to win against the best competition. Mitty confounded me at times such as taking VC to 2 O/T’s before falling 38-31 [easily the Monarch’s best game], then in the next 3 weeks suffering 2 consecutive blow-out losses to SF & Serra. I must admit though that Mitty showed some real grit in the post season when they could have folded in the first round and called it a season. Some wondered if Mitty should have even qualified for the post season at 5-5 & likely the VC game was enough to give them the nod. The final 3 games showed that Mitty did indeed belong with quality wins over Oak Grove and Los Gatos before falling in a good effort to Serra in the Championship game. Mitty did not have a successful JV team last season at 1-9 so it remains to be seen how the Monarch’s will reload for 2017.

    Game 1 Mitty runs up against a buzz-saw in Pittsburg with a bruising run game and physical lines Mitty cannot control and the outcome becomes clear early on, Pitt over Mitty 41-14.

    Game 2 In a good effort Mitty bounces back with a 21-12 win over good Aptos team.

    Game 3 Mitty gets a bit of a breather in coasting against a weak Paly team 41-7.

    Game 4 Mitty again shows it is not in the lower tier of the WCAL downing SHC 41-0.

    Game 5 Mitty comes close to a huge upset in losing in double O/T to VC 38-31.

    Game 6 Mitty bounces back with a 37-21 over S. I.

    Game 7 is the worst loss of the season for Monarchs in a 42-0 shut-out to S.F.

    Game 8 is the 2nd worst loss of season to Serra and the Padres back-up QB.

    Game 9 is a solid game with Mitty coming up just short 28-21 vs the Bell’s.

    Game 10 Mitty takes out its frustrations on Riordan with a 56-0 win.

    Game 11 In first round of Open II Mitty in an underdog roll gets by Oak Grove 28-21.

    Game 12 In Another surprise Mitty pulls away from Los Gatos by 24-7.

    Game 13 Mitty gives their best shot, but falls to Serra 37-24 [with one more TD Mitty would nearly have duplicated the score of the VC game].

    Conclusion:. Mitty perhaps did the best they could with the personnel on the roster in 2016. The players played well at times and the coaching as well was competitive based upon the circumstances I observed. Sometimes fans find fault with either coaching or the team itself or both. In hindsight looking back Mitty performed well enough, but was overwhelmed by larger more talented rosters. For Mitty to win 2 post season games against 2 good teams and make it to the Open II Championship says a lot about those players and their coaches IMO. Sometimes JY & Frosh team records can be deceiving in that several very good players can emerge from a losing lower level team. This remains to be seen and I’m hoping Mitty will bounce back in 2017 as I enjoyed watching their last 3 games of 2016.


    Next Up: St. Ignatius Wildcats
     
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  35. Rmbr26

    Rmbr26 Hall of Famer
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    Review of WCAL Teams 2016 Season:
    [​IMG]

    St. Ignatius Wildcats ended the season as the WCAL’s 6th ranked team out of 8 and the top team of the 3 San Francisco WCAL schools. In recent years’ except for 2015 when Riordan surfaced as a league contender the Wildcats of S.I. have had their way with the other 2 S.F. schools. So is this trend about to change any time soon? This season likely will be telling as we look at roster numbers and the lower level JV & Frosh teams. The discussions regarding concussions and possible health effects later in life have been on-going and from talking to parents and others it appears S.I. may have been impacted more than other schools in watching their roster numbers the last several seasons [ie: the transition from football to lacrosse for some athletes as an example]. Listening on the radio to sports-talk yesterday the discussion centered on a recent study of deceased NFL, college and even HS football players who exhibited a level of CTE when studied post-mortem. Unfortunately most of the studies done center on individuals who had shown debilitating signs or erratic behavior for some time, so to some extent the studies cannot be applied evenly to every individual who plays football For those unaware “CTE” is the condition the brain suffers over time from repeated concussions or brain damage from accidents of other types. At this time medical research is attempting to research why some individuals are effected while others seemingly are not and how the condition can also be misdiagnosed along with Alzheimer’s, dementia and Parkinson’s. Several high profile deaths in recent years’ have fueled fears of CTE such as NFL player Junior Seau and wrestler Chris Benoit. Where this leads is anyone’s guess while football gear has been drastically improved in recent years and rule changes have been made to make the sport safer all around, to which degree like any contact sport it can be made safe[r]. Like driving cars, drinking alcohol, eating fried foods or smoking to what degree are some risks acceptable [or are they at all? A discussion for another time perhaps..].

    OK back to football & St. Ignatius. S.I. finished 2-5 in WCAL and 4-6 overall and while Bellarmine and Mitty were considered the 2nd tier of the WCAL the 3 SF teams would all be on the lower 3rd tier. Size of rosters, talent and coaching all seem to have been issues recently for those 3 schools and upcoming we’ll see if we can expect a change this season as I break down the 2017 teams rosters. As interest in the pigskin has waned at S.I. the team quit submitting stats or basic game information last season [so doesn’t help fan interest in their program as well]. #1 will be roster numbers and like SHC & Riordan the Wildcats need 45+ to be competitive in the league, while a quality QB & RB help a great deal. Good defensive players are always a bonus, however the defense can play well as a cohesive unit with good coaching & without any “stars” on the defensive side of the ball. S.I. finished middle of the pack in J.V. and dead last in Frosh, so some short-term help may be on the way, but the frosh record is not promising long-term. Will the Wildcats rebound? Can the Wildcats rebound is the bigger question and whether or not there will be any kind of resurgence in the football program at S.I., as basketball and lacrosse seem to have become their premiere sports. Up first in pre-season will be Clovis-East a very winnable game for the Wildcats and should give fans a hint of things to come.

    2016 Game 1 – An expected romp over a weak out-manned Clovis-East team with S.I. winning 56-20.

    Game 2 – A solid Campolindo team brings S.I. back down to earth with a 35-14 loss.

    Game 3 – S. I. plays well & surprises with a mild upset in a close game with Marin Catholic, the 31-28 Win being the Wildcats biggest win & premiere game of their season.

    Game 4 – Opening of WCAL play is a sobering 37-3 loss to the Bell’s.

    Game 5 – S.I. gains a league win at Riordan’s expense by 21-7.

    Game 6 – Mitty travels to S. I. and leaves with a 37-21 win.

    Game 7 – Serra with its back-up QB dispels any notion of an upset with a 51-14 win.

    Game 8 - VC dispatches S.I. with a business like 28-0 shut-out.

    Game 9 – SHC is S.I.’s 2nd league win at 42-21.

    Game 10 – St. Francis warms up for post season with a 35-12 win over the Wildcats ending their season.

    Conclusion: I think most fans would like to see an improved S.I. team for 2017 moving up to the 2nd tier of the league. Anything beyond last season’s record would be promising and that would mean 3 league wins and/or 2 pre-season wins. S.I. will need to again win over Riordan & SHC and then notch another win over possibly Mitty or Bell’s as it stands now. Certainly a win over Campolindo or Marin Catholic would be a bonus as well. It was 2012 when S.I. overcame all odds and beat the Bell’s for the CCS Open Championship 13-10 on O/T [5-years ago, but to fans certainly seems long ago].

    Next Up: Sacred Heart Cathedral Irish
     
    35 Rmbr26, Aug 2, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2017
  36. dcpanda

    dcpanda Superstar
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    Just a minor quibble, but I think you're referring to CTE, rather than "CTC." Stands for chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Great reviews so far.
     
  37. CAPTAIN MORGAN

    CAPTAIN MORGAN Sports Fanatic
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    SI beat Marin Catholic last year. Their 4 wins were Clovis East, Marin Catholic, Riordan and Sacred Heart.
     
  38. Rmbr26

    Rmbr26 Hall of Famer
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    Thank you dcpanda & have corrected my post. Funny but I'd looked up the term so as not to confuse & then incorrectly entered the "CTC" from a business article I read referring to company business costs or "CTC" [Costs to Company". THanks again for catching that.

    Captain Morgan was equally astute in catching my slip-up on the S.I. Marin Catholic game won by S.I. 31-28 [or perhaps I was simply testing Captain Morgan's knowledge? JK- :D

    Yes looking back that WAS clearly St. Ignatius best effort of the 2016 season.
     
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  39. colhenrylives

    colhenrylives Hall of Famer
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    Only the unequaled Rambling Man goes to such lengths to make corrections on this busy board. He should be an example to us all.
     
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  40. Rmbr26

    Rmbr26 Hall of Famer
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    Thank you Col - there are so many knowledgeable fans on this board that they help keep me on my toes [when my wife is not standing on them - so to speak]. Luckily for me she is not a member of NCP's and we'll keep it that way...Shhhh..
     
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