In the 1970s and '80s, the biggest rivalry for Amador Valley was not with Foothill, but rather Dublin.
Now with the Gaels back in the East Bay Athletic League, the two can resume the yearly tussle with the first one taking place tonight.
Back when Foothill was a new school and the Pleasanton rivalry had not fully blossomed, it was Amador-Dublin as the big game of the year.
In the fall of 1978, Amador went to Dublin to play the Gaels for the EBAL football title. Following a controversial spot on a fourth-down play that handed the game to Dublin, a brawl broke out on the field -- and it wasn't just the players, as fans from both teams were out on the field as well.
"I think three straight years the football game ended in a fight. That was the game every year," said Foothill coach Matt Sweeney, who played and graduated from Amador. "It seemed like both schools were always fighting for a league title. A lot of the Dublin kids went to middle school in Pleasanton, and we knew each other. They were a tough group of kids."
And it carried over to other sports as well. Soccer was not immune to the rivalry as it was Dublin that ended Amador's 55-game, non-losing streak, which at the time was a national record.
This year's version has become a very big game for Amador, as the Dons enter the game at 2-5 overall following their 21-20 loss to Livermore last Friday. The Dons close the season with games against Monte Vista (6-0) and the ever-improving Foothill.
Foothill whacked Dougherty Valley by a 35-7 final that gave the Falcons their third straight win and brought the team to 3-3 overall for the season and 3-2 in EBAL play. Their reward? A trip to Concord to face De La Salle this Friday.
The Spartans just got by San Ramon Valley 28-27 last week as the Wolves went for a 2-point conversion and the win late in the game and came up short. Perhaps this DLS team is a bit down from past years, but Sweeney knows what's ahead.
"That defense of theirs is still a nightmare," Sweeney said.
Will the Spartans be additionally charged for the game with Foothill following a close call?
"I think it's over-analyzing if you look at whether it makes it a tougher game or not," Sweeney said.
The Foothill boys team dropped a pair of games, as the Falcons were dealing with injuries.
The Falcons fell 14-8 to Washington and 17-4 to San Ramon Valley last week.
Against Washington, Nathan Williams had a great game, drawing eight exclusions, scoring twice and added two assists. Fabio Salvioni had three goals, two steals and caused four turnovers. Dylan Pottgieser (two) and Matthew Kim (one) rounded out the scoring.
In the loss to San Ramon Valley, Salvioni was the top player with seven steals and one turnover forced. Harrison Carter played well in the goal, making seven saves.
Scoring for the Falcons came from Matthew Dotson (two), Williams (one) and Brendan Cassidy (one), with his first varsity goal.
The Foothill girls team moved to 20-4 on the season with a pair of EBAL wins last week.
First knocked off Carondelet 3-1, then followed with a 3-0 win over Dublin. The wins put Foothill in first of the Valley division of the EBAL at 8-1.
n the win over Carondelet, Andreea Paduraru had 18 kills and six points to go with Kate Goto's 15 kills and four service points. Finally, Amal Peermohammed had 15 digs and 10 service points.
Against Dublin, the top players were Diana Guerrero (10 kills, six service points), Emily Haskell (eight kills, eight service points, six digs) and Kellie Hughes (31 assists, 11 service points).
(Editor's note: Dennis Miller is a contributing sports writer for the Pleasanton Weekly. To contact Miller or submit local high school sports scores, game highlights and photographs for his weekly Pleasanton Preps column, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org/