We’ve already reached November, which means two things: 1) We all have friends and family who are already Christmas shopping (and this annoys us), and 2) The 2014-15 school year has already reached its first championship season.
It’s true. The next six weeks should be quite eventful, taking us right up to the California Interscholastic Federation State Football Bowl Championship games on Dec. 19-20. As is our tradition here, we wanted to highlight a few of the story lines we’ll be keeping an eye on during fall championship season. So here goes.
>> It could be a really good month for girls cross country in the Bay Area. Maybe we haven’t had the big feature on cross country yet, but we’re not ignoring it. For instance, we know that the Campolindo-Moraga girls team is currently ranked No. 3 in the state through Oct. 20 results. The Cougars look every bit prepared to defend their CIF Div. III state championship. But the girls running landscape is a lot more than just Campo. In fact, DyeStatCal.com has six Bay Area girls inside the top 15 of its state individual rankings. Chloe Hansel (Las Lomas-Walnut Creek), Megan McCandless (Granada-Livermore), Gillian Meeks (Gunn-Palo Alto), Brooke Starn (Monte Vista-Danville) and Brighie Leach (Campolindo) are all state medalist threats inside their own divisions. Oh, NorCal also owns No. 2 in the DyeStatCal rankings with Davis’ Fiona O’Keeffe.
>> Albany’s Allison Chuang has a chance to make a run at North Coast Section girls tennis history. The two-time defending NCS singles champion will have a chance to beome just the second girl in section history to win three consecutive singles crowns. Karen Laurer of Berkeley High was the last and only girls tennis player to accomplish the feat, winning from 1986-88.
>> Can a girls golfer — perhaps Palo Alto’s Michelle Xie or Justin-Siena-Napa’s Kathleen Scavo — break the NorCal drought of CIF individual state champions? The last state tournament top medalist from Northern California was Alameda’s Grace Na in 2010. We think it’s time for that trend to change.
>> Can anyone stop Archbishop Mitty-San Jose girls volleyball from winning a third CIF state title in four years? The Monarchs have appeared practically unbeatable on their climb to the No. 2 in the MaxPreps.com national rankings. Those reading the Bay Area edition right now can click to Page 20 and learn about what’s made Mitty such a dominant team this year and a special program over the past few decades.
>> Also, there’s plenty more NorCal volleyball teams looking as though they could be legit title threats. Those include Pitman-Turlock (a story you can read about on Page 14 if you’re currently within the Sac-Joaquin edition), Campolindo-Moraga, Monte Vista-Daville, San Ramon Valley-Danville, Bishop O’Dowd-Oakland and Branson-Ross.
>> Water polo is winding down and the San Ramon Valley-Danville girls have a winning streak that’s exceeded 50 games now. Can they win their fourth straight NCS Div. I crown? If they don’t, that’ll be big news.
>> Oh yeah, there’s football too. Plenty of stories to follow there. Is there anyone in the Sac-Joaquin Section that could upset Folsom? Grant-Sacramento, perhaps? Can McClymonds-Oakland still challenge for a CIF Bowl berth now that star quarterback Kevin Davidson has been declared ineligible? Will any team come out of the West Catholic Athletic League with enough stamina left to compete for the CCS Open title and CIF Northern Regional bowl bid?
That’s a lot to keep tabs on. Just be glad we’re happy to do it for you. We’re also going to slip in a 2014-15 Basketball Preview into November too. So, just watch us for the changes and try to keep up.
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