There are two weeks left in the East Bay Athletic League football season and our two local teams -- Amador Valley and Foothill -- are moving in opposite directions.
Or are they?
Foothill stands 3-0 in the Valley Division, with their final game this week against Granada. A Foothill win and the Falcons have their second straight Valley title.
Amador is 0-3 in the Mountain Division and a loss to California in the Dons' final game (they play De La Salle this week in a game that does not count in league) would leave them 0-4 in Mountain play for the second straight year.
The two divisions are set on a competitive equity, with the Mountain set as the higher level division and the Valley as the lower division.
I have written about this before, that there are two sets of all-league teams and two banners that can hang as league champions.
The divisions are usually reset every two years -- think of an English soccer promotion/relegation system.
So, while Foothill appears on its way to a second straight league title, the Falcons are likely on their way to a promotion to the Mountain Division and will join San Ramon Valley, Monte Vista, California and Clayton Valley if the Eagles are back in the EBAL next year. There is also De La Salle as part of the Mountain. While the Spartans don't compete for an EBAL banner, teams are required to play De La Salle every so often.
Conversely, while Amador may be on the way to a second straight winless Mountain campaign, the Dons could find themselves in the Valley next year with Livermore, Granada, Dougherty Valley and Dublin.
Personally, I am in favor of dividing the two divisions geographically like all the other sports do, limiting the amount of travel and keeping established rivalries in place.
That would leave the Mountain as Monte Vista, San Ramon Valley, California, De La Salle/Carondelet and Dougherty Valley.
The Valley would be made up of Amador, Foothill, Granada, Livermore and Dublin.
It works in other sports, so common sense says it should work here as well. Then again, logic can go south when it comes to high school sports.
From what I hear, Clayton Valley leaving EBAL football is likely happening when the North Coast Section meets again in December to vote on realignment proposals.
I would guess anything is possible before the fall 2023 season starts, but the way things are set now, it does give fans cause for pause.
Foothill girls' volleyball
The Falcons may have gone 1-2 last week, but the Falcons' two losses came in five sets to two of the top three seeds in the NCS Division I playoffs.
The week started off solid with a 25-17, 25-21, 24-26, 25-12 win over Dougherty Valley.
Foothill got great play from Paige Bennett (23 kills, 14 digs), Katie Salonga (36 assists, 20 service points) and Lulu Hoenninger (6 kills, 3 blocks).
Next up was the EBAL regular season finale against crosstown rival Amador. It was the usual battle, with Foothill falling 25-21, 17-25, 19-25, 25-14, 11-15.
The highlights came from Bennett (24 kills, 18 digs) and Kaycie Burdick (12 kills, 10 digs).
That brought up the EBAL playoffs where the second-place Falcons from the Valley Division faced the Mountain Division top seed, San Ramon Valley.
Once again Foothill left it all on the court, falling in the semifinals 23-25, 25-18, 25-16, 22-25, 9-15.
Good play came from Salonga (39 assists, 10 service points, 7 kills), Bennett (18 kills, 23 digs), Burdick (17 kills, 7 digs) and Hoenninger (7 kills, 6 blocks).
EBAL took the top four seeds in NCS with Monte Vista (1), San Ramon Valley (2), Amador (3) and Foothill (4).
Editor's note: Dennis Miller is a contributing sports writer for the Pleasanton Weekly. To contact him about his Pleasanton Preps column, email [email protected]