DLS loses big-time lineman

Kahlil McKenzie, who could one of the top Class of 2015 football recruits regardless of position, announced earlier this week that he has enrolled at Clayton Valley of Concord and will thus no longer play for national power De La Salle.

The 6-foot-4, 335-pound defensive tackle, who had 12 sacks last season for the Spartans, said on his twitter page on Monday: “Transferring from De La Salle going to Clayton Valley Charter family decision not answering any questions about it but I’m a Ugly Eagle.”

McKenzie, the son of Oakland Raiders’ GM Reggie McKenzie, joined De La Salle last season after playing as a sophomore near Green Bay, Wisconsin.

It is a big loss for the middle of the De La Salle defense, but anybody who has followed the team for a long time knows that the extra time will allow longtime defensive wizard Terry Eidson to come up with a solid alternative. The Spartans nonetheless also still return a majority of their up-front starters.

Clayton Valley already was expected to be a major contender for the CIF North Coast Section Division II title. The arrival of McKenzie will only make that choice more obvious.

De La Salle and Clayton Valley met in the two teams’ first game last season, but they aren’t playing each other in the 2014 season – unless by a longshot it’s in the NorCal Open Division bowl game.


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2 Comments

  1. Rono1932
    Posted June 13, 2014 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    Mark Tennis:
    This is very big news for HS football in the East Bay.(In the Southland, this sort of thing happens all the time!). There has been a lot of speculation, and also bad mouthing of CV, on the East Bay blogs about what is behind this. Someone even blamed Gill Lemon, the NCS Commissioner, for it!
    It seems to me, Mr. McKenzie would be more useful on the Clayton Valley defensive front than with the defensive schemes Dela runs, and Tim Murphy and his CV staff are a terrific coaching team.This is not to insinuate that the DLS coaching is any lessor. However, I’m afraid this will be a reloading year for the Spartans (especially with the loss of Kahlil McKenzie) on D, and the offense will be led by an unproven 5’9″ 160 lb. QB. I don’t think Dela will be quite the team they’ve been the last 4 years (I hope I’m wrong!).
    Anyway, since the Southern Section has recently releagued and redivisioned, and the San Diego Section redivisioned last year, nearly all the traditional CIF D2 powers from Southern California will be playing in CIF D1 divisions. I think it’s accurate to say that CIF D2 for 2014 is wide open in both the North (where it usually has been) and now the South.
    Several teams from both regions have strong shots at a State CIF D2 Championship in 2014. With the addition of Kahlil McKenzie, I believe the Ugly Eagles of Clayton Valley Charter are one of them.

  2. paul_johnson884
    Posted June 14, 2014 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

    Rono- Mckenzie leaving DLS is a blow-not sure how you don’t believe a kid with that talent cannot thrive in the two gap scheme. In fact as last year wore on he grew immensely culminating in a great game vs SJB.

    In regards to DLS rebuilding- not sure I agree with you there either. 2013 was a fairly decent step below 2010-2012 DLS teams. The 2013 Spartan defense was not up to the 2010-2012 (or at the end of the 2009 year) squads. The 2013 horribly inconsistent (at best) passing game was also a significant level below 2009-2011. Might have been the worst DLS passing game since 2004. The heir apparent at QB has a ton of potential: he is a great athlete, leader, and much more accurate thrower than the 2012-2013 QB.

    Last- 2014 DLS may have as much team speed as the Spartans have had in a while. Biggest question mark to me will be the back seven on defense. We will see if they can significantly improve over 2013 with that unit. Might dictate how elite the Spartans are.

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