KEVIN MACY, Campolindo

Campolindo High coach Kevin Macy still doesn't have an answer for how his team achieved its level of success this year.

"That's what everybody asks me and it's not an easy answer to give. It was completely unexpected," said Macy, whose team shocked everyone to win the North Coast Section Division III title and reach the California Interscholastic Federation Division III state championship bowl game. "Every time we walked off the field, the kids were saying 'How did we beat those guys?' "

The Cougars won their first 14 games en route to the Diablo Football Athletic League and NCS titles. Their run ended with a 21-16 loss to Washington Union-Fresno in the state championship game.

But not even that loss could tarnish a storybook season that led to Macy being named the Bay Area News Group East Bay Coach of the Year.

"We just had a lot of team harmony," Macy said. "Everything just clicked with the coaching staff."

Macy, in his 16th season at Campolindo, did more than his share of coaching. After promoting the former junior varsity head coach to the varsity staff this year, Macy ended up taking over the reigns of the JV team. That squad went 10-0 to run Macy's season coaching record to 24-1.

The two levels practiced together and Macy manned the sidelines for both games each week.

"I was sort of biting the bullet to help our program in the long run," Macy said.

The closeness of the team was a big factor in its success. Macy has helped run summer youth football camps at Campolindo for years and many of the key contributors from this team were regulars at those camps.

"It couldn't have happened to a better group of kids," Macy said. "This group, they're very quiet, they don't over animate themselves. They're just quality kids, top to bottom. You've got to be happy that a nice group of kids was able to experience this."

-- Jimmy Durkin