The North Coast Section football playoffs have been announced and as usual, there are discussion points to be bantered about.
The way the Open/D-I playoffs work is that the top two seeded teams -- in this case De La Salle (1) and San Ramon Valley (2) -- face the No. 7 and 8 seeds in James Logan (8) and Campolindo (7).
If the seeds hold and there's no reason to think they wont, then De La Salle and San Ramon Valley will meet for the second time on the weekend of Nov. 17/18 for the Open title.
The winner will then move on to the Open Division of the CIF Playoffs. The loser will drop into the D-I championship game.
In the D-I match ups Amador Valley (No. 6) will play at No. 3 Pittsburg on Nov. 10 in one semifinal. Clayton Valley (4) will play at No. 5 California for the second time this year. The Eagles beat Cal 33-24 the first time the schools met.
The winners of the two semifinals meet on the Nov. 17/18 weekend, with the winner facing the loser of De La Salle-San Ramon Valley for the right to be the D-I qualifier to the CIF Playoffs.
It seems like a horrible draw for Amador and Pittsburg. I had Amador as the No. 3 seed but a couple of early season losses to El Cerrito, and more importantly to 1-9 Foothill did the Dons in.
It wasn't until game six that the Dons became at full strength when transfers Tristian and Paul Tia became eligible. Tristian, a quarterback, has taken the Dons to a whole new level in their final four games.
Amador averaged over 50 points a game in that four-game span, with the defense only giving up seven points in that same span. Granted the EBAL Valley division is not an overly strong group, but the Dons did everything asked of them in that run.
For Pittsburg, it was a brutal draw as the Pirates had every right as the No. 3 seed to expect an easier first round game than against arguably the most explosive offensive unit in the section.
In the D-II playoffs, Granada got the No. 3 seed and a home game against No. 6 Rancho Cotate in the first round.
The Mats have shown the ability to score points, save for their 48-0 loss to Amador, but the defensive has been questionable at best this season.
Granada has every right to make a run, but the Mats will need the defense to step up. Rancho Cotate struggled at times this year but ended with a 56-6 win over Montgomery and a 42-0 blanking of Santa Rosa.
The EBAL is well represented with the CIF State Playoffs with Foothill in the Open division, and San Ramon Valley, Amador Valley, and Monte Vista in D-I.
You must feel for Foothill a bit. The NCS D-I champs after a thrilling 5-set, 3-2 win over Marin Catholic -- the No. 1 seed now in the D-I CIF tournament -- Foothill was kicked up to the Open playoffs.
They were given the No. 3 seed but are along with No. 8 Redwood, are the only two public schools in Open with private schools getting the other six spots.
Foothill will host No. 6 St. Marys of Stockton in the first round and if they win will face the winner of St. Francis (2) vs. St. Ignatius (7).
Conversely, there are only four private schools in the 16-team, NorCal D-I tournament.
Amador Valley is seeded No. 5 and will host Burlingame in the first round. San Ramon Valley (No. 3) plays host to Christian Brothers (No. 14) of Sacramento.
Monte Vista is the No. 15 seed and heads to Clovis to face No. 2 Buchanan.
Both the Dons and the Wolves could go deep in D-I.
NCS Team Tennis
Here is where the most absurd NCS rationale comes into play.
The EBAL is well represented in the Team Tennis tournament Monte Vista (No. 1), Foothill (4), Amador Valley (5), Dublin (8), and San Ramon Valley (10) earning spots.
Here is where the ridiculous rules come into play. Foothill takes on No. 13 Maria Carrillo, but the Falcons must travel to Santa Rosa because Maria Carrillo was their league champ and according to NCS rules, gets a home match.
Amador is the No. 5 seed and should be hosting No. 12 Heritage, but the Dons are also being sent on the road, having to play a night match in Brentwood for the same reason Foothill hits the road.
Basically, two teams are being penalized for being in a better league and being better teams. I have only written about this for 30-plus years now and nothing ever changes. It makes seeding teams a joke.
EBAL CROSS COUNTRY
Granada took the boys title, with San Ramon Valley winning the girls race at the EBAL Meet on Saturday, November 4 at Newhall Park in Concord.
Following are the team scores, as well as the top 10 runners in each race.
Boys team scores: Granada 43, Amador Valley 78, De La Salle 93, Dublin 108, Dougherty Valley 111, Monte Vista 142, California 184, Foothill 195, San Ramon Valley 198, Livermore 282, Emerald 361.
Top Ten (3 miles): 1, Trey Caldwell (DLS) 15:97.26; 2, Arran Gill Gulati (AV) 15:42.80; 3, Arrin Singh (DV) 15:51.85; 4, Eshaan Singh (G) 15:43.11; 5, Tanner Grey (G) 15:54.55; 6, Owen Brandeis (MV) 15:59.62; 7, Aidan Stone (Dub) 16:09.00; 8, George Mikhael (G) 16:14.26; 9, Erik Bromley (G) 16:16.89; 10, Desi Herrerias (SRV) 16:20.21.
Girls Team Scores: San Ramon Valley 51, Monte Vista 55, Granada 62, Dougherty Valley 133, Dublin 144, Carondelet 174, California 177, Amador Valley 179, Foothill 238
Top Ten (3 miles): 1, Lianna Lee (DV) 18:21.37; 2, Hailey Gunderson (SRV) 18:28.23; 3, Alexandra Powell (MV) 18:54.46; 4, Jana Barron (G) 18:58.81; 5, Peyton Dolan (MV) 19:03.13; 6, Allie Turns (MV) 19:09.74; 7, Sade Bumpus (G) 19:14.36; 8, Alexandra Smith (SRV) 19:16.88; 9, Abby Stein (G) 19:44.44; 10, Melia Prenton (Dub) 19:48.26.
Next up for our runners is the NCS Meet on November 18 at Hayward High.