Football

High school football 2023 preview: DAL Foothill Division

DIABLO ATHLETIC LEAGUE FOOTHILL DIVISION

(Predicted order of finish)

No. 1 CAMPOLINDO 

Coach: Kevin Macy

Record in 2022: 12-1

What to expect: Despite losing QB Dashiell Weaver and receiver Robbie Mascheroni to graduation, the Cougars remain the pick to win another DAL Foothill title. After that, things get dicey. Because of the NCS’s competitive equity model, Campo moves up to D-I this season – with big boys De La Salle, Pittsburg and Clayton Valley – after winning the D-II title in 2021 and reaching the D-II final last season. Longtime Campo coach Kevin Macy hopes the NCS rethinks the model, noting that his small-school program is being punished for its success. Leading Macy’s team this season will be players such as senior S James Giordani, senior WR Scott Lyon and senior WR/DB Tim Daugherty. Senior LB/FB James Erickson and senior CB Jake Spencer are two others expected to have an important presence. “Last year’s team lacked depth,” Macy said. “This year’s team will have no top-line names, but the hope is to have more depth.” 

Season opener: Aug. 25 at Vanden-Fairfield, 7 p.m.

No. 2 ACALANES

Coach: Floyd Burnsed

Record in 2022: 10-2

What to expect: Acalanes fell just short of capturing the DAL Foothill title last season, losing to Campo by a field goal. The Dons get their rival at home this fall to close the regular season and will have plenty of firepower on the field – led by track stars Trevor Rogers and Paul Kuhner. The receivers, both college prospects, helped Acalanes finish second in 4×100 at the state championships in May. Rogers caught 58 passes for 1,120 yards and 15 TDs last season. Kuhner had 33 receptions for 441 yards and a TD. The team’s two quarterbacks, Sully Bailey and Jake Boselli, combined to pass for 2,958 yards and 29 TDs in 2022. LB Jack Giorgianni is a three-year starter and Brady Morrow and Chase Caicedo each return to the DL. “Defense is blessed with a lot of speed.” coach Floyd Burnsed said.

Season opener: Aug. 25 at San Marin, 7 p.m.

No. 3 LAS LOMAS 

Coach: Doug Longero

Record in 2022: 5-6

What to expect: Las Lomas doesn’t have much depth and the roster is thin. But veteran coach Doug Longero said it’s a “hard-working” group that has “some young talent that is stepping up.” Among those players is QB/DB Dylan Thomas, who started as a freshman last season. “Talented athlete. Bright future,” Longero noted. OL/DL Charlie Kruger and RB/LB Sava Pouridis are three-year starters – both are seniors – and junior WR/DB Roman Mercado is primed for a breakout season, according to his coach. “Sure-handed wideout,” Longero said.

Season opener: Aug. 25 vs. Vintage, 7 p.m.

No. 4 MIRAMONTE 

Coach: Jack Schram

Record in 2022: 8-5

What to expect: The Mats rode Luke Duncan’s big arm to the NCS Division V final season. Now at UCLA, Duncan passed for 3,415 yards and 42 TDs in 2022. Three players – a senior, junior and sophomore – are competing to fill Duncan’s spot, coach Jack Schram said. The team returns five starters on offense and defense. Three of the returning offensive starters at linemen. The experience on defense is in the front seven. “Secondary will need to be rebuilt,” Schram said. Players to watch include senior RB/LB Gabe Roman, senior TE/OLB Finn McManus, junior OL/DL Andrew Davenport, senior OL/DL Nick Blair and senior WR/DB JD Pearce

Season opener: Aug. 25 vs. Berkeley, 7 p.m.

No. 5 NORTHGATE

Coach: Ben Ballard

Record in 2022: 7-5

What to expect: The Broncos bring back quite a few players from the team that reached the NCS Division III semifinals last season. Maxime Anum, who plays center and DL, is one of them. He measures 6-1 and 300 pounds. “Max has developed into a great lineman and an even better teammate,” coach Ben Ballard said. Lucas LeSieur is back as the team’s kicker and punter. He booted the winning field goal to beat Las Lomas in the playoffs last season. MLB/OL Tony Pucci led the Broncos in tackles and tackles for loss in 2022. Jake Berger adds experience as a receiver. “Jake has great hands and is a smart player,” Ballard added. Ben Hosler is expected to be the primary running back. 

Season opener: Aug. 25 at Reno, 7 p.m.

No. 6 COLLEGE PARK 

Coach: Casey Moreno

Record in 2022: 7-4

What to expect: College Park was bumped up to the stronger DAL Foothill after winning the Valley Division in 2022. Casey Moreno takes over a program that ended last season in the headlines after opposing coaches accused the team of dirty play and running up the score. Moreno, who replaces Travis Raciti, has 24 returning lettermen on his new team. Among them is 6-4 junior QB James Voorhies, a first-team all-league player last season. RB/S Hunter Pelayo, slot receiver/DB Julian Abeyta and OLB Langston Cook – all seniors – are also expected to contribute. Another player to watch is sophomore Mason Kern, who can play QB, RB and LB. Moreno has 12 years of experience as a head coach and has logged 34 years in coaching overall.

Season opener: Aug. 25 at Fremont-Oakland, 7:30 p.m.

No. 7 BENICIA

Coach: Scott Swartz

Record in 2022: 2-8

What to expect: Two seasons after winning nine games and reaching the NCS Division III final, Benicia is aiming to get back on track after losing its final eight games last fall. Leading the way is new head coach Scott Swartz, the team’s defensive coordinator in 2018-21. He did not coach last season. This year’s team is young and learning new systems on both offense and defense. But as Swartz put it, the Panthers would somehow like to find their way back to the playoffs. Players to watch include senior DE Jordan Snowden, senior WR/DB Daniel Valdez, senior WR/DB Truedell Minnieweather Jr., senior WR/DE Kemoni Love and senior OL/DL Dom DeLeon

Season opener: Aug. 25 at Fairfield, 7:30 p.m.

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The Bay Area News Group’s high school football preview package will roll out over the next two weeks. If you have not already, please subscribe. Your contributions keep us going.

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