We are another week closer to the start of the East Bay Athletic League, but there is still some business to be taken care of this week on the field.
There are three games this week that stick out to me as games to watch, with all three telling us a little more about the teams.
For starters, Monte Vista plays host to Liberty on Friday night in a 7 p.m. start. The Mustangs are coming off a year where they lost a series of close games and were hit hard by COVID.
Now they have a new coach – former NFL running back CJ Anderson – and have started 2-0. Monte Vista hammered Hayward (37-7), then came back to beat James Logan (25-14), but now have traditionally strong Liberty. The Lions are 1-1, dropping their opener to Las Gatos (38-17), but then came back to beat Campolindo last week, 13-7.
This will be a good indicator to show if the Mustangs are legit this year.
The second game will be Amador Valley at Granada Friday night at 7 p.m. On paper, this should be a win for Amador, but there is some interest for me to see how Granada steps up.
Granada was really bad in the spring and are 1-2 right now, but the team appears to be getting better each week, beating Castro Valley in their most recent game. If the Mats play Amador tough, their stock in the Valley conference of the EBAL goes way up.
Finally, Freedom at Foothill in a 7 p.m. start on Friday is also of interest.
The Falcons were overwhelmed by speed of Vanden in their 34-20 loss to the Vikings. Vanden has speed you can’t simulate in practice, and it took over half the game for the Falcons to adjust. They battled back in the second half and, if not for two bad plays in the first half that both resulted in Vanden touchdowns, they could have been right there.
Now they get a Freedom team that California just dropped 70 points on, making a strong performance a must for Foothill. How a team bounces back after a loss is always key.
As the Playbook is sent out on Thursdays, games that take place early in the week have to be touted early. There are a couple of contests on Tuesday, September 21 that are of interest.
In volleyball, the red hot Foothill team that has started 14-0, will host cross-town rival Amador Valley, an always solid program in a 6 p.m. start.
Earlier that day, the Monte Vista girls golf team makes the trip to Walnut Creek to face Carondelet. Last week the Mustangs were topped by Foothill 203-204, but then came back to handle Amador.
This is a match the Mustangs players have had circled on their calendar since they fell to Carondelet early in the season.