OAKLAND -- Will it be more of the same in the Oakland Athletic League?
The McClymonds High football team hasn't lost in OAL play since the final game of the 2009 season. Since then, the Warriors have won 20 consecutive league games, four consecutive regular season championships and four Silver Bowls.
"I feel great about this group," McClymonds coach Michael Peters said. "I've got a lot of veterans this year. We've got a few add-on pieces that are looking good."
As if that's not enough, transfer Kevin Davidson will take over at quarterback. Davidson comes from San Ramon Valley. According to Peters, "He brings the passing game that we didn't have last year."
Skyline figures to be the most likely team to reach the Silver Bowl against McClymonds this year. The Titans have experience on the line, which should give them an advantage over most of the league.
Last year, Skyline played a brutal nonleague schedule, including St. Francis-Mountain View of the West Catholic Athletic League and Amador Valley of the East Bay Athletic League. Those are considered the top two leagues in the Bay Area.
This year's schedule is equally tough with another game against St. Francis and one against Ygnacio Valley. If the Titans stay healthy by the time they get to league, they are the second choice.
COACH: Edward Washington, first season
2013 RECORD: 0-9, 0-4
TOP RETURNEES: DE/LT Villi Paea, Sr.; C/DT Richard Giles, Jr.; WR/S Rashad Christopher, Sr.
TOP NEWCOMERS: WR Terrel Joseph, Sr.; QB Sosefo Feao, Jr.; CB Todrick Gellington, Jr.; DE Larry Jones, Sr.
KEY LOSSES: RB Jordan Whitley.
OUTLOOK: Washington takes over after a lost season, looking to turn things around. The former Diablo Valley College standout decided to apply for the job when he came back to see the Knights lose 60-0 to McClymonds last season. "I realized I had to take the job," Washington said. "It was bad. There were all these talented kids but the structure just was not there." Washington has put together a staff of former teammates including offensive coordinator David Singleton and defensive coordinator Richard Lee. He is optimistic on the team's chances. "We have the Silver Bowl in mind," Washington said. "We might not be the most talented team but we're probably the best coached. All of my coaches have played college football."
COACH: Terry Hendrix, third season
2013 RECORD: 4-5, 2-2
TOP RETURNEES: DB/WR Tyshone Gaines, Sr.; OT Soti Havea, Sr.; QB Ronald Ragland, Jr.; DB Eric Smith, Sr.; ILB Reggie Clark, Sr.
TOP NEWCOMERS: WR/RB/SS Gyanni Smith, So.; FB/OLB Michael Adams, Sr.; DL/OL Joseph Taugavau, Jr.
KEY LOSSES: MLB/FB Su'e Taugavau, DE/LB Fehoko Fautusia, DL/OL Lati Moala, QB Azel Grasty.
OUTLOOK: Gaines is probably one of the best two players in the league. In addition to being a four-year starter, he has a 4.0 GPA, according to Hendrix. "He's a playmaker and he knows he's the glue," Hendrix said. The problem for the Tigers is they lost several players to graduation and are very young. Hendrix predicted the team may get off to a rocky start. However, he said the team is bringing in lots of new talent and if the lines come together, Fremont has a shot at challenging for a berth in the Silver Bowl after just missing the OAL playoffs a year ago. The Tigers were in second place entering the final week of the season against Castlemont but when the game was called early due to a fight, Fremont was left out of the playoffs. "I'm looking forward to a more disciplined group that can learn from the mistakes of last year," Hendrix said.
COACH: Michael Peters, second season
2013 RECORD: 10-3, 5-0
TOP RETURNEES: TB LaVance Warren, Sr.; CB Bomani Bassett, Sr.; CB Michael Walker, Sr.; DT/G Kelton Runnels, Sr.
TOP NEWCOMERS: QB Kevin Davidson, Jr.
KEY LOSSES: KR/WR/S Lavon Washington, C/MLB Randall Coleman.
OUTLOOK: The Warriors are trying to extend their streak of consecutive Silver Bowls to five and enter the season with a 20-game winning streak in OAL play. There's not much reason to believe they can't accomplish the feat, which would rank second in OAL history behind Skyline's eight consecutive titles from 1993-2000. Peters said he expects the secondary to be even better than a year ago and over 20 players return from last year's team. With 57 kids out, including the junior varsity, McClymonds appears to be the dominant program in the league. Davidson is a transfer from San Ramon Valley, which has produced several excellent quarterbacks over the years.
COACH: Jayce Goree, fifth season
2013 RECORD: 4-8, 2-3
TOP RETURNEES: RB/LB Tratez Custard, Sr.; WR/DB Steven Booker, Sr.; OL/DL Joe Palomera, Sr.
TOP NEWCOMERS: QB Jalen Dummett, So.; WR/FS Khyri Harris, So.
KEY LOSSES: QB/LB Kesomi Mafi, LB/G Mikail Meador
OUTLOOK: The Wildcats could well be the sleeper entering the league. Nine players return from a year ago and Goree has been at the school long enough now to have his program in place. He said the team's goal is to double its wins and challenge for a berth in the Silver Bowl. Dummett's development will be a key. Goree said he has the passing skills, they just need some refinement.
COACH: Ashlee Sherman, second season
2013 RECORD: 4-7, 2-3
TOP RETURNEES: RB/S Kenyon Jackson, Sr.; RB/CB Elijah Harper, Sr.; DE/TE Justin Thornton, Sr.; C/DL Jerry Katoa, Sr.; QB Rockman Hunt, Sr.
TOP NEWCOMERS: QB Michael Woolridge, Jr.
KEY LOSSES: QB James Lewis, RB Eric Thomas
OUTLOOK: After making the Silver Bowl in 2012, the Bulldogs slipped last year, blown out 48-6 by McClymonds in the first round of the OAL playoffs after losing to the Warriors 48-0 the week before the close the regular season. Sherman said the depth isn't there yet, but is hoping to bring in some more players now that school has started. Jackson and Harper will be the leaders, according to Sherman. The plan is to split time at quarterback between Hunt and Woolridge all season. Their playing styles are actually similar, according to Sherman. But he said he doesn't expect to settle on one.
COACH: Edward Smith, second season
2013 RECORD: 3-8, 3-2
TOP RETURNEES: QB/DB Golden Ventures, Sr.; MLB/RB Jacquese Steen, Sr.; WR/DB Kevin Parker, Jr.; TB/DB Armand Shyne, Sr.
TOP NEWCOMERS: DE/TE Evan Hanson, Sr.; DE/OT Jasaan Andrews, Jr.; C/NG Jordan Stubblefield, Jr.
KEY LOSSES: DB David Uyong, OLB/OL Zerick Davis
OUTLOOK: The Titans would like to return to the glory days of the 90s and with only seven seniors graduating, they may be on their way this year. After starting four sophomores on the offensive line, Smith hopes to reap the fruits the next two years. Steen is one of the top players in the league. And he's a standout in the classroom as well, according to Smith, who said Northwestern is looking at him. Shyne rushed for 1,000 yards last year and also set school records in the shot put and discus. He won both events at the OAL track and field championships.
3. Oakland Tech
2014 Football Schedules
8/29 at Bethel-Vallejo 7:30 p.m.
9/5 at Deer Valley 7 p.m.
9/13 at Balboa-S.F. 2 p.m.
9/19 PITMAN 7:30 p.m.
9/26 at Bishop O'Dowd 7 p.m.
10/17 at Fremont#* 3:30 p.m.
10/24 at Skyline* 3:30 p.m.
10/31 CASTLEMONT* 3:30p.m.
11/8 OAKLAND* 2 p.m.
11/15 MCCLYMONDS* 2 p.m.
# at Curt Flood Field
* OAL game
9/5 SEASIDE 7 p.m.
9/12 at Dougherty Valley 7 p.m.
9/19 at St. Francis-M.V. 7 p.m.
9/26 SAN LORENZO 7 p.m.
10/3 YGANCIO VALLEY* 7 p.m.
10/17 at Castlemont* 3:30 p.m.
10/24 OAKLAND TECH* 3:30 p.m.
10/31 MCCLYMONDS* 3:30 p.m.
11/8 at Fremont#* 2 p.m.
11/15 at Oakland* 2 p.m.
# at Curt Flood Field
* OAL game