Football

High school football 2023 preview: DAL Valley Division

Diablo Athletic League Valley Division

(Predicted order of finish)

No. 1 CONCORD

Coach: Paul Reynaud

2022 record: 9-2

What to expect: Concord went from one victory in 2021 to nine wins in 2022, and coach Paul Reynaud returns the best player in the league. Senior running back Monte Beam rushed for 1,947 yards and 20 touchdowns, accounting for almost two-thirds of the team’s yards from scrimmage. Complementing him at RB is junior Jayden Reger, who Reynaud said is the strongest player on the team. Senior Isaac Schwartz will bring big-play ability on the outside as the team’s top receiver, and senior Marcelous Rivera will join him as both a WR and a DB. Reynaud said senior Alexis Barba will be expected to lead a mostly-green offensive line. 

Season Opener: Aug. 25 at Newark Memorial, 7 p.m.

No. 2 ALHAMBRA

Coach: Alan Hern

2022 record: 4-7

What to expect: Longtime coach Alan Hern expects his crop of seniors to lead Alhambra to a bounce-back 2023 season. Slot receiver Luke Beaty has had a productive summer on the 7-on-7 circuit, and Hern believes he’s ready for a breakout senior season. Quarterback Beau Blau is an athletic passer who will be asked to spread the ball around. Alhambra’s linebacker corp is very experienced, with seniors Jaxson Allred and Kevin Martinez both described as athletic and instinctual. Senior right tackle Micah Kushner will lead the offensive line. 

Season Opener: Aug. 25 vs. Sonoma Valley, 7:30 p.m.

No. 3 BEREAN CHRISTIAN

Coach: Mark Barcelon

2022 record: 6-4

What to expect: Described as a decisive and competitive leader, junior quarterback Joshua Werner will lead Berean Christian in its push for a league title. Senior Jake Silva is a solid DB who Barcelon said “runs crisp routes” for Werner. Senior running back Hunter Inkster is a “strong and fearless runner” who the coach also praised as a hard-hitting linebacker alongside junior Lukas Hines. Sophomore WR/DB Malachi Nunsuch was singled out as a possible breakout candidate. 

Season Opener: Aug. 25 at Willits, 7 p.m.

No. 4 MT. DIABLO

Coach: Fetuao Mua

2022 record: 3-7 

What to expect: New coach Fetuao Mua will be able to lean on one of the top transfers in the Bay Area in Herschel Turner Jr. The three-star running back is being recruited by Washington State and Utah, and is a threat as a runner, receiver and returner. Sophomore Antonio Campbell is 235-pounds and is already listed as a defensive captain. Mua said junior DE/WR Jakorey Robinson is a prolific edge rusher who could break the team’s sack record. Santiago Rojas can play kicker and defensive end, and could have a big season for a team that is seeking its first winning season since 2009. 

Season Opener: Aug. 25 vs. Deer Valley, 7 p.m.

No. 5 YGNACIO VALLEY

Coach: Rae Jackson

2022 record: 0-10

What to expect: Ygnacio Valley is seeking its first victory since 2019, and has the talent to make that breakthrough in year two of Rae Jackson’s tenure as head coach. Senior tight end Maurilio Herrera is the captain and Jackson says he is “showing a lot of enthusiasm and improvement” after a productive offseason. Junior quarterback Fred Fine will take snaps in front of senior offensive lineman Ronnie Buelna, who Jackson said has spent extensive time in the weight room. Sophomore rugby standout Romel Mariano brings that intensity as a linebacker and running back, and WR Terrance Murphy is someone who could make plays as a freshman. 

Season Opener: Aug. 26 vs. Alameda, 2 p.m.

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