It could be a huge week coming up with De La Salle probably facing its toughest test of the regular season in Southern California plus Bellarmine and Serra in WCAL showdown and Amador Valley-California in the EBAL. Check for the Cal-Hi Sports Bay Area girls volleyball top 10 on Tuesday afternoon.
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Welcome to the Cal-Hi Sports Bay Area Top 25 compiled in conjunction with the award-winning Cal-Hi Sports Bay Area TV show that is aired every Sunday night on KOFY, Channel 20, San Francisco and during the week on CSN Bay Area throughout Northern California. These rankings are after games played through Saturday, Sept. 28. We have more than 35 years of compiling high school football rankings in Northern California.
The top five teams in this week’s rankings are all once again Catholic schools with three of them from the wild-and-wacky West Catholic Athletic League, something that will probably change, or at least shuffle around, once WCAL play begins this weekend.
With St. Francis’ re-emergence under first-year head coach Greg Calcagno, the Lancers’ current position in the rankings also means the WCAL boasts four of the top eight teams.
The Cal-Hi Sports Caravan took in three games last week. Well, actually two-and-a-half.
The first stop was Thursday night at Chabot College in Hayward where we previously blogged about the 48-15 dismantling by No. 3 Serra of CIF Sac-Joaquin Section perennial Division I power Buhach Colony of Atwater.
Despite starting quarterback Matthew Fa’aita going down with a shoulder injury, and Serra trailing 7-0 in the first quarter, the juggernaut was just as effective with backup Anthony Smock taking snaps.
If Fa’aita is unable to go, Smock will have to face No. 2 Bellarmine this Friday night at San Jose City College. Serra head coach Patrick Walsh texted Sunday afternoon that Fa’aita is seeing a doctor on Monday.
Stop two was across town in Petaluma to see a Friday night North Bay League matchup between host Casa Grande and Santa Rosa Montgomery.
Two Division I prospects shined for the host Gauchos in a 30-12 victory, quarterback JaJuan Lawson and kicker/punter Matt Abramo.
Lawson, who has 12 D1 offers, ran for two TDs and had 182 of his 185 yards rushing in the first half. He also finished with 108 yards passing and a score.
Junior Abramo, the No. 6 kicker in California and No. 21 in the nation according to rankings done by kicking guru Chris Sailer, had three field goals, including 42- and 34-yarders that each would have gone 50 yards. He also had a 61-yard punt and touchbacks on all six kickoffs.
The final stop was in Novato to see Elite 11 quarterback finalist Manny Wilkins and his San Marin Mustangs host Mill Valley Tamalpais.
Marin Independent Journal correspondent Tim Menicutch called it a “Manny splendor thing,” while we are calling it “a league of his own.”
The Caravan made an exit at halftime of the Mustangs’ 49-19 victory, but not before Wilkins ran for TDs two of the first three times he decided to run. The fourth time he took off, not only did he run over four defenders but two of his own teammates as well. The very next play he zipped a 31-yard touchdown pass.
Here are this week’s new rankings:
(Through games of September 28; previous ranking in parentheses)
1. (1) De La Salle (Concord) 5-0
On Saturday in SoCal, the Spartans play Servite of Anaheim, which has been on a roll since an opening loss to nationally ranked Bishop Gorman of Las Vegas.
2. (2) Bellarmine 3-0
After a bye this week, the Bells open at San Jose City College against Serra.
3. (3) Serra (San Mateo) 2-1
The Padres started slow and then basically rolled Buhach Colony.
4. (4) Marin Catholic (Kentfield) 5-0
We were afraid to look at the score against San Rafael Terra Linda but we had to. Final: 45-6.
5. (5) Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) 3-0
The Monarchs had a bye and open West Catholic Athletic League play at home against San Francisco Archbishop Riordan.
6. (6) James Logan (Union City) 4-1
The top public school in the rankings was a 26-7 winner at Berkeley.
7. (7) Foothill (Pleasanton) 5-0
The Falcons finally gave up more than six points in a game but they continue to light up the scoreboard, this week in a 51-14 win over visiting Livermore.
8. (8) St. Francis (Mountain View) 3-0
Another team that is no longer a sleeper had a bye. The WCAL opener at 0-3 St. Ignatius looms very intriguing, and a Saturday afternoon game in San Francisco could entice the Caravan to cross the Golden Gate to witness.
9. (9) Pittsburg 3-2
Despite a heartbreaking 39-35 loss to defending D1 state bowl champ Granite Bay, the Pirates not only don’t drop, they would have moved up had someone above them lost.
10. (11) California (San Ramon) 3-1
A 16-14 squeaker over visiting Livermore Granada to open EBAL play isn’t exactly what head coach Eric Billeci wanted to see, but a win is a win.
11. (15) Amador Valley (Pleasanton) 4-0
The Dons are no longer Cinderella after a convincing 28-7 EBAL opening win over Monte Vista. Next week’s matchup with No. 10 California at home could tell us even more.
12. (12) Clayton Valley (Concord) 3-1
The top Division II team in the CIF NorCal Bowl rankings put a 62-0 hurting on Oakland Skyline.
13. (13) Campolindo (Moraga) 5-0
The Cal-Hi Sports Caravan stopped by a Campo practice last Thursday and this team is for real.
14. (14) El Cerrito 3-2
The Gauchos took out their frustrations from the Campolindo loss two weeks ago with a 49-7 win against Dublin Valley Christian.
15. (17) Valley Christian (San Jose) 2-1
The Warriors beat a very solid Milpitas team that was strongly considered for entering last week’s rankings, 48-24, on the road.
16. (16) Cardinal Newman (Santa Rosa) 2-1
The only problem for the Cards was the 130-mile round trip in a 35-7 North Bay League opening victory at Ukiah.
17. (18) Terra Nova (Pacifica) 4-0
The Tigers made a 250-mile round trip to The Pit in Salinas and came away with a solid 38-13 victory.
18. (19) Casa Grande (Petaluma) 4-0
It was the JaJuan Lawson show in the victory over Santa Rosa Montgomery.
19. (20) Deer Valley (Antioch) 4-0
A 37-34 victory against a host San Leandro team that has played everyone tough moves up the Wolverines one spot.
20. (21) Rancho Cotate (Rohnert Park) 3-1
The Cougars posted a 43-14 win over a Windsor team that had played well the first three weeks.
21. (22) San Ramon Valley (Danville) 1-3
The 21 points the Wolves scored against De La Salle is probably more than most of the teams ranked ahead of them would have scored.
22. (23) Carmel 3-0
The Padres’ 21-10 win in Salinas over Palma to open the season is looking much better now that Palma beat visiting Palo Alto last Friday.
23. (24) Miramonte (Orinda) 4-1
The Matadors stay behind Carmel, just like in the CIF Division III Bowl rankings, after a 35-0 drubbing of Dublin.
24. (10) Palo Alto 1-2
A 23-20 loss at Palma drops the Vikings almost out, and has to drop them below Carmel, but we’re not ready to turn over the No. 1 spot in the South Peninsula to Menlo-Atherton quite yet.
25. (25) Menlo-Atherton (Atherton) 3-1
The Bears hold down the last spot after a 52-13 win over winless San Jose Silver Creek.
Dropped Out: None.
Teams On The Bubble
Acalanes (Lafayette) 4-1, Analy (Sebastopol) 4-1, Berkeley 2-3, Christopher (Gilroy) 2-1, Concord 2-1*, Encinal (Alameda) 3-1, Freedom (Oakley) 2-3, Justin-Siena (Napa) 4-1, Liberty (Brentwood) 3-0*, Los Gatos 1-2, McClymonds (Oakland) 3-1, Milpitas 2-1, Monte Vista (Danville) 1-3, Northgate (Walnut Creek) 5-0, Palma (Salinas) 1-3, Sacred Heart Cathedral (San Francisco) 2-1, Sacred Heart Prep (Atherton) 4-0, St. Ignatius (San Francisco) 0-3, San Benito (Hollister) 2-2, San Marin (Novato) 4-1, Scotts Valley 3-1, Sequoia (Redwood City) 3-1, Wilcox (Santa Clara) 3-0
(*Not including forfeits)
Harold Abend is the associate editor of CalHiSports.com and the vice president of the California Prep Sportswriters Association. He can be reached at email@example.com. Don’t forget to follow him on Twitter: @HaroldAbend