We begin our 2017 Football coverage by revealing teams #20-11 in our NorCal Preseason Top 20 in a daily countdown to Aug. 24 when #10-1 are revealed in our 2017 Football Preview Special. If you need to catchup, here are links to previous entries:
No. 17 CAMPOLINDO-MORAGA
2016 REVIEW: 12-3 and #16 in our final rankings
COACH: Kevin Macy, 23rd season
WHY THEY’RE HERE: Frankly, outside of De La Salle, no East Bay football program has been more consistent since 2010. The Cougars are three-time defending NCS champions, and their 2016 title — their first in Division II — was their fourth section crown in six years. Last season also featured the program’s second CIF State Bowl title in four appearances. Campolindo doesn’t return it’s most experienced roster ever, but there’s enough talent to do damage.
PASSING OF THE TORCHIO: A great deal of the Cougars success this season will rely heavily on the shoulders — and arm – of John Torchio. He was a SportStars All-NorCal all-purpose selection last year after amassing 664 receiving yards and seven TD catches while also logging seven interceptions on defense. But this year he moves to QB, a position his dad played for Cal (famously beating John Elway in the 1980 Big Game). Furthermore, Macy said Torchio will likely continue in his role at safety, “He’s just too good to take off the field.”
LINE DANCING: The biggest concern facing Campolindo to start the season is line experience, especially on offense. Senior Cole Berzins returns at tackle, but is the only offensive lineman to see regular playing time a season ago. The Cougars should get a boost by the return of a healthy Chris Brahney. The senior was ticketed for a starting job a season ago before breaking his ankle in the intrasqaud scrimmage.
NAME TO NOTE: Vincent Mossotti, WR, Sr. — Torchio got most of the fan fare for his work on both sides of the ball, but Mossotti was one of the East Bay’s most productive targets a season ago. He caught 53 balls for 1,240 yards (23.4 yards/catch) for nine touchdowns. Having a legitimate threat like that should make Torchio’s transition that much easier.
8/26 @ Marin Catholic-Kentfield
9/1 v. ST. IGNATIUS-S.F.
9/8 v. EL CERRITO
9/15 v. RANCHO COTATE-ROHNERT PARK
9/22 @ Hayward
10/6 @ Las Lomas-Walnut Creek
10/13 v. MIRAMONTE-ORINDA
10/20 @ Concord
10/27 @ Acalanes-Lafayette
11/3 v. CLAYTON VALLEY-CONCORD
LAST WORD: A relatively grueling first four games to their nonleauge schedule should speed up the Cougars learning curve and have them ready to defend multiple titles in November and December.