There’s more than just a major bump given to Archbishop Riordan this week. Sacred Heart Prep goes back in as a newcomer along with unbeaten McClymonds of Oakland. Archbishop Mitty also jumps up eight spots with big game looming between No. 3 Foothill and No. 6 Monte Vista.
Note: For this week’s Gold Club post highlighting the State Top 25 overall rankings, CLICK HERE.
If the West Catholic Athletic League were part of Star Wars, it could be said that there has been a disturbance in “The Force.”
After a dry spell that makes the current California drought look like a misty dream, Riordan is back and in a bigger way than ever before. With last Saturday track meet style, tennis match-like affair with previous No. 6 Serra that the Crusaders won 66-45, Riordan not only vaults 10 spots and into the top five this week, but the Crusaders have made their first-ever appearance in the State Top 25 after snagging the No. 19 spot this week.
In the win over Serra, quarterback Jacky Luavasa passed for 311 yards and five touchdowns to break a school and WCAL record held by some players with big names from the past. His favorite target, Aidan Verba-Hamilton, joined in the school and league record-breaking with four TD catches on only eight receptions with 205 yards receiving. Running back Raymone Sanders also rushed for 182 yards and three scores.
That senior trio was the apparent heroes but the boys on the line affectionately known as “The Trench Mob” had a lot to do with Riordan getting San Francisco high school football more recognition and respect than its gotten in several decades.
It should come as no coincidence that the success at Riordan and a new attitude and infusion of energy corresponds with first-year head coach and 2000 De La Salle graduate Kevin Fordon taking over the helm after assisting and teaching at the school the past three years.
A big fan of the main man
“I’m a big fan of Kevin,” said former De La Salle head coach Bob Ladouceur, the winningest coach in state history. “I loved him as a two-way player and a great competitor. When I heard he got the job at Riordan, I knew he would do well. He knows the culture of winning and the formula it takes.”
Ladouceur probably was a little torn since Serra head coach Patrick Walsh, the loser in Saturday’s donnybrook, is also former player and favorite.
So far so good but in the WCAL you’re sometimes only as good as your last win and Riordan hosts Bellarmine this Saturday evening at Terra Nova in Pacifica, and Bellarmine certainly wants to back near the top of the league race, and right now.
It’s not reported whether Bellarmine ace QB Troy Martig will be available. He didn’t play in the Bells’ loss to Archbishop Mitty last Friday that also greatly helped with Riordan’s ranking since the Crusaders opened their WCAL schedule with a win over the Monarchs.
Changes looming in Bay Valley Athletic League?
While the big news in the CCS is about Riordan’s rise, the buzz in the North Coast Section is about a possible rumble in the pecking order involving Pittsburg and arch-rival Antioch.
The way Antioch and super junior running back Najee Harris has looked recently, coupled with Pittsburg struggling against a Freedom team that was blitzed by a Vacaville Wood team that looks similar to Antioch, has everyone circling November 7 on their calendars when Pittsburg hosts Antioch in the Big Little Game. Before then, however, Antioch gets to see how it does this week against Freedom while Pittsburg gets Antioch Deer Valley with first-year head coach Robert Hubbard.
(Previous ranking in parentheses)
(Through games of Saturday, Oct. 10)
(Includes all Central Coast Section schools but no North Coast Section schools north of the Santa Rosa Metro area)
1. (1) De La Salle (Concord) 5-1
2. (3) Clayton Valley (Concord) 5-1
3. (4) Foothill (Pleasanton) 7-0
4. (14) Archbishop Riordan (SF) 5-0
5. (9) St. Francis (Mountain View) 5-0
6. (7) Monte Vista (Danville) 5-1
7. (8) Pittsburg 5-1
8. (10) Antioch 5-0
9. (17) Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) 4-1
10. (2) Bellarmine (San Jose) 4-1
11. (5) Valley Christian (San Jose) 4-1
12. (6) Serra (San Mateo) 2-3
13. (11) Campolindo (Moraga) 6-1
14. (12) Palma (Salinas) 4-1
15. (13) Marin Catholic (Kentfield) 6-1
16. (15) California (San Ramon) 5-1
17. (19) Miramonte (Orinda) 7-0
18. (18) Milpitas 4-2
19. (16) James Logan (Union City) 5-2
20. (21) Cardinal Newman (Santa Rosa) 4-2
21. (20) Freedom (Oakley) 3-3
22. (23) Dublin 5-1
23. (NR) Sacred Heart Prep (Atherton) 3-2
24. (25) Analy (Sebastopol) 6-0
25. (NR) McClymonds (Oakland) 6-0
Dropped Out: Previous No. 22 Amador Valley (Pleasanton); No. 24 Rancho Cotate (Rohnert Park).
Teams On The Bubble
Amador Valley (Pleasanton) 4-2, American (Fremont) 5-1, Aptos 1-4, Burlingame 5-0, Dougherty Valley (San Ramon) 5-2, Half Moon Bay 5-0, Justin-Siena (Napa) 4-2, Los Gatos 3-2, Menlo (Atherton) 5-0, Moreau Catholic (Hayward) 6-1, Oak Grove (San Jose) 3-2, Piedmont 4-2, Rancho Cotate (Rohnert Park) 4-2, Salinas 4-2, San Benito (Hollister) 4-2, San Ramon Valley (Danville) 1-5, Wilcox (Santa Clara) 4-1
Harold Abend is the associate editor of CalHiSports.com and the vice president of the California Prep Sportswriters Association. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t forget to follow him on Twitter: @HaroldAbend