The East Bay Athletic League (EBAL) has always been one of the top athletic leagues across the board in Northern California.
The coaches are great, the athletes some of the elite in the region and parental support is pretty good as well -- in most cases.
But there is one sport where the lack of parental support has always driven me crazy: freshman football.
The EBAL has a great thing with freshman football called the "Fifth Quarter." Each week the teams play an extra unofficial 20 minutes of running time, 10 on offense and 10 on defense.
It is a great way for kids, many in their first year of playing football, to get valuable game time in a less pressure type situation.
The problem is, when the regulation game ends, the majority of the parents who have kids that start, leave and don't support the kids on the field. That carries over to the attitude of a lot of the kids on the sideline who use the time to socialize instead of rooting on their teammates.
Those kids show up every day, work hard in practice and deserve every bit the support the rest of the kids do.
The crazy thing is -- and I have seen it through the years -- is some of these Fifth Quarter players as freshmen turn into starters and really good players. In turn, some of the kids that start as freshmen, end up sitting on the bench as seniors, the roles reversed.
Parents and players please make sure to give your support to all the kids on the team. You never know when it is going to be your son not playing.
The Foothill High boys' water polo team got four goals from Dominic Scalise and three from Joe Schafer as they rolled to a 16-5 win over Granada in EBAL play.
The Falcons jumped out to a 5-0 lead and rolled home. Freshman Dylan Weiglein earned his first hat trick with his three goals. Also scoring were Matthew Dotson (two goals), Matthew Kim (two), Aaron Li (one goal, three assists) and Fabio Salvioni (one goal, three assists).
Defensive standouts were Salvioni and Nathan Williams with four and three steals, respectively.
The Foothill girls also cruised over Granada winning 11-5.
Hailey Morse (4 goals, 6 assists, 3 steals) and Maddie David (4 goals, 2 assists, 3 steals) led the Falcons.
Contributing defensively were Madison Weiglein and Mikayla Theide. Goalie Negar Tehranian posted a season-high 10 saves.
Amador Valley dropped a 34-12 decision to Monte Vista at the Dons' Homecoming game last week, dropping to 1-1 in EBAL play and 4-2 overall.
The Mustangs took a 17-0 lead before Amador Valley got on the board on a Ronnie Jones to Abraham Flynn touchdown pass. After Monte Vista extending its lead to 24-6, Jones cut into the gap once again on a touchdown run, but that was as close as the Dons would get.
Next up the Dons will take on another tough EBAL team as they play host to California.
Foothill moved to a perfect 7-0 (3-0 in league) on the season with a 42-7 win over Livermore in front of a packed house on Homecoming night.
It was the usual suspects for the Falcons on offense with Isaiah Floyd, Ben Wooldridge, Matt Gates and Ruben Mercado doing the bulk of the damage. Once again the Foothill defense was all over the field, holding Livermore to negative yardage on offense through the Cowboys first four possessions. Cash Connolly also had a good game for the Foothill offense.
Dustin Dukleth and Dylan Walsh played well on the offensive line. Dario Dondero, Josh Merryman, Tate Alley and Brennan Gallagher played well on defense. Zach Peffer had a fumble recovery for Foothill.
Next up the Falcons travel to Monte Vista for a game between two of the top teams in Northern California.