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August 17, 2010 > Milpitas leads the way for high school football in 2010

Milpitas leads the way for high school football in 2010

By Biff Jones

Milpitas High School Trojans, playing in the Central Coast Section (CCS) of the 10 sections comprising the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF), are the defending CCS Division I Champions. DI is the largest of the five divisions by enrollment comprising CIF high schools.

This was the second DI CCS football championship for coach Kelly King's Trojans in the last four years. Milpitas plays in the tough De Anza Division of the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League (SCVAL) and along with the West Catholic Athletic League (WCAL) are arguably the strongest football leagues in the CCS.

First thing coach King will have to do is replace graduated quarterback Cameron Hernandez along with several other key players from 2009. Last year's frosh quarterback Tony Sauceda is the top candidate. Best of the returning players are wide receivers Dela Harlley and Jordan Lockett, along with senior offensive lineman and linebacker Maki Musika who is expected to lead the defense.

Last year the Trojans finished the season 11-2 but only 4-2 and tied for second in De Anza play. This year's strongest competition should come from Los Gatos, Palo Alto and Wilcox of Santa Clara high schools. Other schools in this year's De Anza League play are Gunn of Palo Alto, Homestead of Cupertino and Saratoga high schools.

Milpitas opens on the road Sept. 11 against St. Ignatius College Prep of San Francisco out of the WCAL followed by their home opener on Friday, Sept. 17 vs. Newark Memorial High School.

In the Hayward Area Athletic League (HAAL), the eight schools playing football range from DI-DIII in enrollment size with the three Hayward schools -- Hayward Farmers, Mt. Eden Monarchs and Tennyson Lancers -- all DII schools. This league is part of the North Coast Section (NCS) of the CIF.

Last year the Farmers made it to the NCS DII playoffs with an 8-3 record and 6-1 in the HAAL, good for a second-place finish. Toughest HAAL competition this year should again come from last year's HAAL champion, DI San Leandro High School. Other teams in the HAAL are DI Arroyo of San Lorenzo and Castro Valley High, DII San Lorenzo High School and DIII Bishop O'Dowd of Oakland.

Hayward has a tough opener, Sept. 11 against Acalanes High School of Lafayette in Dublin followed by its home opener Friday, Sept. 17 vs. Mt. Diablo High School of Concord at Sunset Field in Hayward. They also travel to another perennial power, Monte Vista High School of Danville on Sept. 24. Casey Moreno replaces Bill Davies as head coach in 2010.

This year, Mt. Eden also has a new head coach as Ron Thompson, a former Mt. Eden assistant, replaces George Mitsopoulos. Coming in to assist Thompson is Paul Perenon who brings with him his 200-plus wins and 25 years of experience at O'Dowd to the Monarchs' table. Mt. Eden 's two new coaches plan on running the team as co-coaches.

Mt. Eden finished 1-9 last year and 1-6 in the HAAL and tied for seventh. They return four offensive and four defensive starters including top running back senior Kyle Leano and top offensive and defensive lineman, seniors Havea Kioa and Johnny Ray Guzman. However, quarterback Joe Latu will have to be replaced.

Monarchs open the season a home on Friday, Sept. 3 at 4:30 p.m. against Terra Linda High School of San Rafael.

Tennyson also opens it season at home on Sept. 3rd at 3:30 p.m. when De Anza High School of Richmond comes calling. It was Tennyson that tied Mt. Eden for seventh place in the HAAL with a 1-6 league record. However, they went 3-8 overall.

Lancers' coach Terry Smith has four offensive and five defense starters returning including top offensive and defensive lineman, Thomas Ah-Hing and Shaneil Prasad, and top wide receiver Jonathan Ray. Their quarterback and top running backs will have to be replaced.

Moreau Catholic is a member of the HAAL in some sports but not football. As a DIII school, they elect to play in the Bay Shore League of the NCS against other DIII and DIV high schools. DIII schools are Albany, Encinal of Alameda, John F. Kennedy of Richmond and Piedmont; and in DIV St. Mary's of Albany, St. Patrick/St. Vincent of Vallejo and John Swett of Crocket.

Last year the Mariners went 4-6 overall and 3-4, tied for fifth in league play. They open at home on Friday, Sept. 10, 7 p.m. vs. Branham High School of San Jose. Encinal, St. Pat/St. Vin and St. Mary's are expected to be this year's top opponents.

Toughest job for coach Andrew Cotter is replacing All-Bay Area lineman Joe Coleman, who earned a full ride scholarship to Cal Poly, SLO last year. Top seniors returning are RB Joey Fiandor, QB Adam Robinson, OL/DL Nick Meares, C Alex Den Bleyker, WR Brannon Pantoja, KR/DB Nate Johnson and DL Roman Gonzalez. Returning juniors are TE Chris Baca, OL/DL Adam Sagapolu, DB Matt Wong and Jeremy Imlach, and LB Tim Kondo, Jordan Jabson, Sean Regner and James Mendoza.

Team strength is leadership and team unity with several four year seniors returning. Question mark will be how the defense plays with primarily juniors on that side of the ball. Said Cotter, "Overall, as a head coach I love Moreau Catholic High School, it is a place where dreams come true, and if we work hard enough the sky is the limit."

California School for the Deaf (CSD) Eagles play in the NCS Bay Football League as a DV school. Other DV school in their league is St. Elizabeth High School of Oakland while the DIV high schools are Berean Christian of Walnut Creek, Harker Academy of San Jose, Salesian of Richmond and Valley Christian of Dublin. Salesian won the league in 2009 and appears to be the heavy favorite again in 2010.

Eagles of coach Kevin Bella open Friday, Sept. 3, at Calistoga followed by the home opener on Friday, Sept. 10, 7 p.m. against Encina of Sacramento. Then comes a trip to Indianapolis to play Indiana School for the Deaf before Texas School for the Deaf of Austin comes calling on Saturday, Sept. 25th.

CSD hopes to improve on last year's record of 2-8 overall and 0-6 in league play.

According to Coach Bella, "I am excited about this 2010 football season. We are a young team and a developing team with a lot of juniors coming into their second year. We will find out our strengths and weakness after the first few games. Our team shows a lot of promise, and I know we will be ready for all the challenges, and fun."

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