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De La Salle Wraps up Third State Title over Westlake

Following Saturday night’s display, De La Salle has impressed the nation again and made the EBAL proud.

Stand out players (hard to name all of them!) QB Bart Houston, RBs Tiupepe Vitale and Joe Teo, LB Michael Barton, LB David Moffit and DE Austin Hooper/Chris Olinger made quite a splash Saturday night with a 35-0 whipping of Westlake Warriors (previously unbeaten, now 13-1)

As usual the defense, running game and execution by the quarterback were keys to the game. It is pretty amazing that Bart Houston went 36-1 as a starter in his three year career and was at the helm for 3 straight California State Titles – having beaten Crenshaw (2009) 28-14;  Servite 48-10 in 2010 and now Westlake.  Of all the games I’ve watched, he was never injured once and never was shy to run it up the middle. Impressive and sets quite a standard for future Spartan players at that position.

On a side note, DLS should be loaded again next year with quite a few of their best players returning.Austin Hooper, Sumner Houson, David Moffit, Michael Hutchings, Daz Tautalasi, Tiupepe Vitale among a few….The key senior losses of are Anthony Williams, Wisconsin Badger bound QB Bart Houston and Cal-bound LB Michael Barton (all sensational players).

DE Austin Hooper pursues the Warrior running game

Tiupepe Vitale (#20) runs for a second half touchdown

Westlake Quarterback Justin Moore attempts a pass as DL Luc Hamilton (#57) pursues

Justin Moore getting wrapped up

Houston winds up to throw over a defender

Houston hands off to #37

 

TE/DE Austin Hooper makes the catch

San Ramon Valley Danville v. James Logan Union City NCSs

In an NCS Round Two playoff match-up in Union City, the San Ramon Valley (SRV) Wolves met the 10-0 James Logan Colts on Friday night Nov 26th.

The game would be hard fought from start to finish;  but it was squarely in SRV’s favor as they jumped out to a 14-0 lead and would never look back, especially after a surprising on-sides kick that was recovered after their 7-0 lead in the first quarter.

In the end, James Logan made it close, closing in with a second half TD to make it 21-14, but the Wolves defense, always in close pursuit and and grabbing a hardy handful of sacks on Colt’s QB Prothro made the difference.

Cal-bound Zach Kline (#5) had a stellar night throwing for two TDs and running for a third.  The Colts were frustrated all night at the line of scrimmage where they couldn’t break open big enough holes for their backs and couldn’t stop the Wolves sack machine. Even when throwing screens the RBs were run down in short order. It was a great season for both teams. The Wolves keep the EBAL undefeated in NCS post season play and move on to face the winner of Monte Vista vs. San Leandro the following week.

QB Zach Kline takes the snap early in the game.

RB Felipe Parra over the goal line to put Wolves up 14-0.


RB Warren Long follows his blockers

The Logan Colts get into a power offense

#77 DL Jake Simonech for SRV Holds down Warren Long #42 of Logan

Colt QB Jeffrey Prothro (#9) gets the snap

Prothro scrambles as LB #55 Matt Fisher pursues

SRV’s O-line fires off the ball

SRV’s running back (unknown) gains tough yards

Wolves Jeff Greene #23 takes down Damond Beasley (#5) for the Colts

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Logan WR Ferdows Wahab (#21) cannot find room

Colts Damond Beasley scores Logan’s second TD to close to 21-14.

Wolves WR Brian Danis (#9) holds on

RB Jordan Weiss (#42) stretches for final SRV TD, 28-14 lead.

Colin Wilson #25 takes down Logan RB in 4th Quarter.

Wolves Sack on Colts final drive

Kline takes knee to close out game

 

 

 

Tribute to Junior Seau and the ‘State of Football’

RIP Junior Seau, 1969 to 2012. He defined a West Coast Era of football.

#55, he was the X Factor  – This post comes as great sadness is upon me.  I graduated high school in 1990 here in California; I’ve followed every level of prep, college and pro football religiously.

The region of SoCal, the civic portion at least, to this NorCal guy, was never my ‘cup of tea.’ LA with way too much attitude, hot and dry, and too many people. But there is one enclave, south of the Orange County, the area of Oceanside & Vista, that I always liked a lot, I visited 4 times in the 1980s and a few times later. Not an extension of the LA megalopolis but a balmy, colorful place with big ocean and a variety of people. Folks with personality and a weight to them; keeping their feet on the ground yet simple and very real.

As a football fan, there have been a few players to come out of Cali’s ‘deep south,’ but one player, #55 Junior Seau from Oceanside, who played for the USC Trojans and later the San Diego Chargers, that almost everyone my age who follows the sport knows all about during this very special era. And everyone who played with him considered a brother

Seau passed away today, of a self-inflicted gunshot, ending an era in my life (and our lives I hope). I am not a thin kid anymore with the luxury of being in my early twenties, I am just over 40 like he was.  I worry about bills, a child to rear among many other relationships.

Seau was reportedly a poor kid growing up, but one who had a great family, a hard drive, and the athletic make-up, enough to become the perfect linebacker of the special era. A linebacker that only that our time could produce.  This is defined as a time when football caught its rising star, reached so high in popularity due to ESPN, the Web and the characters are created with it. It seems unreal compared to where the media and Internet was in 1990 (yeah that was Prodigy service at 9,400 kbps).

The Man: Seau was and is an ‘Islander’ –a Samoan who was not white and not black nor mixed– he certainly was not conventional. In sport, be it right or wrong, we assign what we expect from a player to their race, either on or off the field–compared to what we have seen and experienced before with others of the same race  (The sole reason why people thought Rick Mirer would be a good quarterback in 1993). But you couldn’t really do that with #55.  Nobody created a mold for Junior Seau and he certainly didn’t break the mold of anyone else. A rarity.

In a sentence, Seau was super-charged, super-fast, super strong and intimidating, yet he a remarkably friendly look in his eye. An undeniable substance about him; one that would lead to a Hall of Fame type career in the NFL with 12 pro bowl seasons and 268 games played, second to only Clay Matthews.

In the 1990 NFL draft, after Junior had dominated the Pac 10 for a few years as the perfect Trojan terror, he would be a top 5 player selected in that April’s draft. And I always remembered one aspect, that there was this other outside linebacker coming out that year, Keith McCants of Alabama who had the nearly the same size and was the higher rated ‘East Coast’ player, who was likely tracked much more closely by the recruiting powers that be

But when some nasty draft rumors began to fly about Mccants just a few days ahead of the draft concerning his work ethic and apparent lack of strength, suddenly McCants didn’t seem so perfect. Thus the cat quick Junior quipped to a sportswriter — “Maybe Superman lost his cape?”  It really meant something that Seau would take a stab at a fellow player verbally, but it was only because he knew better, he saw right through the hype and couldn’t resist.  McCants, #52, was still the 4th overall pick in the draft by Tampa Bay and Junior Seau went one single pick later to the San Diego Chargers. Fate would have it that way.

It was his perfect fit, his home town and turf, an ideal fit for Calfornia’s emergence in the much wider ‘State of Football.’

As for Keith McCants, he didn’t last long (as many overrated draft picks don’t). He flamed out after just three years.

But by that time, 1994, Junior Seau was just hitting his stride as the fiercest defensive player in the league. Seau’s impact was profound in so many ways.  Due to him, ‘islanders’ were suddenly getting a lot more attention in prep recruiting circles, California players were becoming known for more than just chucking passes.

Seau was “as imposing a football player I’ve that every played against” said former Pittsburgh Steeler fullback Merrill Hoge <just now on TV> It makes sense because the very second someone saw #55 flashing across the TV screen, It was obvious.  Seau made the  pro bowl a number of times, played in a Super Bowl (1995 against the 49ers) and had a stellar career, even a stellar life up until now.

I don’t know why Seau may have taken his life today  (May 2nd) but at this point it doesn’t matter. We have to relish his memory, across our imaginations, our old magazines, on Youtube channels and through posts and articles like this (pride of Oceanside).

Hats off to you Junior Seau, #55, you greatly affected thousands of us with your skill and determination.  I hope you’ve found an even better place. California (and) the ‘State of Football is better because of you.