SportStars Magazine

Figuring Out FALL

Just like that, we’re already more than a full month into the fall athletics season.

Which means it’s time for us to share a few things that we think we’ve learned to this point.

Here’s a running list of those things.

>> Despite a hiccup in the desert to Bishop Gorman-Las Vegas, De La Salle-Concord should find itself in the NCS Open Division championship once again. And the NorCal unbeaten streak should still be intact, even though San Ramon Valley-Danville looks poised to threaten it once again. Unfortunately for the Wolves, they don’t see the Spartans until the last week of the season — and that’s typically when De La Salle is rounding into its best form.

>> The West Catholic Athletic League will send multiple girls volleyball teams to state finals. It’s tough to say exactly how many, because it’s the first year of the new competitive equity playoff pairings — which makes it likely that many of the league’s top teams will be put in the same brackets. But we count at least five teams right now (Archbishop Mitty-San Jose, St. Ignatius-S.F., Sacred Heart Cathedral-S.F., St. Francis-Mountain View and Valley Christian-San Jose) who all have state-championship potential.

>> This should be the year that the Drake-San Anselmo boys water polo team wins the school’s first North Coast Section title in the sport. The Pirates were bounced from the Division I semifinals in a 9-7 loss to Campolindo-Moraga last season. This year’s team has opened up 7-2 overall with their only losses coming to Southern California powers Mater Dei-Santa Ana and Lutheran-Orange. Meanwhile, they have a 10-2 win over defending NCS Div. I champion Miramonte, as well a 9-6 overtime win over Harvard-Westlake-North Hollywood.

>> Folsom football is back. Technically, the Bulldogs never really went anywhere. They were 12-2 last season and Sac-Joaquin Section Div. I runners-up to St. Mary’s-Stockton. However, the mystique seems to be back after a 6-0 start. But it’s not just the record that’s impressive, it’s the opponents they’ve taken out. As of Sept. 30, the Bulldogs — ranked No. 2 in the SportStars NorCal Top 20 — are the only Top 20 team with wins over three teams still in the rankings (Sacramento, Oakdale and Granite Bay).

>> Clayton Valley-Concord should really be in the Bay Valley Athletic League for football. This needs to happen. It just makes sense, and it would further strengthen one of the best Div. I leagues in the state. Instead, the Ugly Eagles’ talented roster of more than 65 players will pound its way through a good Div. II-III league in which only one team (Campolindo) has a roster with more than 45 players.

>> We need more time in our week. Our October goal is to dig into some cross country, girls tennis and girls golf circles and share what we think we learn from those endeavors. Keep an eye out for two SportStars Extra digital editions at sportstarsmag.com in October as we attempt to absorb as much of the fall season as possible.

And as always, feel free to reach out to us and tell us what you think you’ve learned from these first five weeks.  

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