OPINION: EBAL somewhat overlooked in all-East Bay team awards

Many prep media writers have anti-EBAL bias

With the end of the football season comes time for the football awards.

The EBAL awards are the first step in the process and both teams earned plenty of awards.

Isaiah Floyd of Foothill earned the Most Valuable Player award, with first team honors for Ruben Mercado (WR), Matt Gates (LB), Dustin Dukleth (OL), Brennan Gallagher (DL), and Josh Merryman (Util.).

Second team selections for the Falcons were Dylan Walsh (OL), Nick Brum (OL), Dario Dondero (LB), and Jacob Guzman (K). Finally, Honorable Mention awards went to Cash Connolly (RB), Blake Braden (DE) and Ben Wooldridge (QB).

For Amador, Matt Mahurin (DB) and Ledre McCollough (RB) earned first team honors. Patrick Loughnane (LB), Peter Ernst (OL/DL) and Grant Huggins (WR) were second team selections. Honorable Mention awards went to Sean Tomonari (LB), Mason Bartolo (DL), Thomas Cerrano (OL), Conner Mays (DB) and Ronnie Jones (QB).

Going to the next level, the all-East Bay Awards comprising of all of the leagues in the East Bay, the results were not as forthcoming.

Foothill coach Matt Sweeney was honored as the Coach of the Year for leading the Falcons to the EBAL title and a spot in the North Coast Section championship game where they played eventual state champions De La Salle as well as anyone in Northern California. It was the correct and an easy selection.

The Falcons only had one lone player make the first team as Floyd was honored as first-team utility. Mercado (WR), Dukleth (OL), Gates (TE/LB) and Martin (LB) were second team selections.

On a side note, Aaron Banks, a 6-foot-7, 307 pound junior offensive lineman for El Cerrito, who played in the Pleasanton Junior Football League as a youth, earned first-team honors as well.

As usual, the EBAL was somewhat overlooked. The all-East Bay team is voted on by members of the prep media throughout the East Bay. I started attending these meetings back in the late 1980's up until 2007 and can tell you without a doubt, there is an anti-EBAL bias from many of the writers.

Some of it is understood as you should have the back of the players you cover throughout the year. As a writer that always covered the EBAL, I went into each meeting ready to sing the praises of the league's players. And given the EBAL is the best league bar none in football in the East Bay, I felt justified in my arguments.

But there have been and there are writers that look as all the leagues as being equal and thus statistics attained in a weaker league rank equal to stats attained in the EBAL.

I am guessing since Foothill had all of one first team player, made it a no-brainer in the minds of the current panel to select Sweeney as the Coach of the Year. The award was justly deserved, but you go out and win the toughest league in the section and advance to the section finals you should have more than one player earn a spot on the first team.

Sweeney deserved the Coach of the Year award, but players like Mercado, Gates and Dukleth should have been first team members.

Foothill Girls Soccer

The Foothill girls varsity soccer team finished out their non-league campaign with a 7-3 win over Mt. Eden on Dec. 23.

On a damp, windy and cold evening the Falcons attack warmed up in the second half scoring six times after netting only one tally in the first half.

Tamilyn Kwong scored three times, Sarah Broacha twice along with Sarah Mirr and Jazmyn Green once each. Kwong also added 2 assists with Broacha and Mirr having one each. Ariana Nino and Taylor Noval also added to the score sheet with assists.

The Falcons are off until January 5th when the East Bay Athletic League season kicks in full time with a home match against Cal.

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2 people like this
Posted by Volleyball fan
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 30, 2015 at 3:25 am

I also feel that Foolthill girls were not fairly represented in the all East Bay selections for Volleyball. Only one made the first team, and there were no EBAL girls on the second team. And I thought it strange that a Monte Vista player that made the Honorable Mention EBAL team was selected to the first team in the East Bay!

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