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Pleasanton Preps: Foothill football clinches top spot in Valley Division

Also: Amador girls nearly pull off upset in EBAL golf tournament

Kenny Olson (8) is one of the top performers for Foothill. (Photo by Natalie Walsh)

And just like that, the Foothill High football team is the East Bay Athletic League's Valley Division champions.

After going through non-league play with a 4-2 mark, the Falcons came out and knocked off Dougherty Valley, Livermore and Dublin to clinch no worse than a co-title. And with the wins over Dublin and Livermore -- the only teams that could tie with Foothill -- in the books, the Falcons have the tiebreaker for the automatic North Coast Section playoff berth.

A win this Friday against Granada (3-5) would give Foothill a great shot at the No. 2 seed behind likely No. 1 seed San Ramon Valley. The Wolves beat the Falcons 42-0 earlier this season in a non-league game.

The ups and downs were expected by Foothill coach Greg Haubner, as while the Falcons have some strong senior leadership, it also has its fair share of younger players, starting three sophomores and a freshman.

"In general, our team is really young," Haubner said. "I am thinking we are still developing as a team in our 10th week of the season."

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There had to be a big learning curve with such young players playing prominent roles. It appears the development is coming to fruition.

You have senior leaders like Nick Walsh, Kenny Olson, Brandon Sousa and Conner Perez setting the table for the youngsters, and it seems to be working.

Freshman Chris Lawson has become a certified playmaker, and his one-handed grab against Livermore might be the most amazing catch I have seen in watching high school football for the last 35 years.

Sophomore Samear Lattier has turned into a very good defensive back and Jackson Chandler, also a sophomore, turned in his best game of the season against Dublin.

Finally, Josh Taylor -- the last sophomore -- has had the unenviable task of starting on the offensive line all season against some bigger, older and stronger linemen. He has developed along with the other three.

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"Developing continuity is a big thing for us," Haubner said. "We are starting to hit our stride, but we are not all the way there."

Foothill girls' volleyball

A straight set win for the Falcons over Dublin on Oct. 19, combined with a Monte Vista loss to San Ramon Valley two days later, secured the outright EBAL title for Foothill.

In the 25-18, 25-21, 25-20 win over the Gaels, the Falcons were led by Grayce Olson (23 kills, 12 digs), Katie Salonga (37 assists, 3 aces), Paige Bennett (12 kills, 5 digs) and Sruti Jonnalagadda (5 kills, 2 blocks).

Two days later in the regular season finale, Foothill fell 25-22, 22-25, 19-25, 25-27 to Amador Valley. Highlights for the Falcons came from Olson (33 kills, 15 digs), Salonga (47 assists, 9 digs), Bennett (7 kills, 12 digs) and Jo Modica (4 kills, 5 digs, 2 blocks).

Foothill finished the regular season 27-3 overall and 16-2 in EBAL play.

EBAL girls' golf tournament

The Amador Valley girls' golf team nearly pulled off the big upset in the EBAL tournament, coming within a stroke of Carondelet, the EBAL regular season and tournament champions.

From the Amador Valley girls' golf team are (from left) Keira Howard, Jaclyn LaHa, coach Neil Bello and Nikita Jadhav. (Photo by Sheri Howard)

Carondelet finished with a team score of 380 in the tournament played Oct. 18 at Callippe Preserve Golf Course in Pleasanton. The Dons were one back at 381, with Foothill third with a 388. Monte Vista rounded out the top four with a 411.

Individually Jaclyn LaHa of Amador was the winner with a 68. Keira Howard (70), Nikita Jadhav (70), Samhitha Ravi (86) and Christine Choi (87) were the rest of the Amador scoring players.

Teresa Thorbjornsen led Foothill with a 75, Elizabeth Hang and Kristen Yeh both coming in at 76.

The All-EBAL teams were announced at the tournament as well.

Since LaHa, who also played in the U.S. Women's Open this past summer, did not play in at least half of the regular season matches, she was not eligible for postseason honors.

Howard was named the MVP of the league. Hang, Emily Luo (Monte Vista), Sammie Miller (Carondelet), Morgan Gamble (Carondelet), Emily Hou (Carondelet) and Sophia Bardunias (Monte Vista) made up the first-team selections.

Jahav was second-team pick for the Dons, and Aditi Balakrishna earned honorable mention honors.

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]

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Pleasanton Preps: Foothill football clinches top spot in Valley Division

Also: Amador girls nearly pull off upset in EBAL golf tournament

by / Pleasanton Weekly

Uploaded: Tue, Oct 26, 2021, 11:54 am

And just like that, the Foothill High football team is the East Bay Athletic League's Valley Division champions.

After going through non-league play with a 4-2 mark, the Falcons came out and knocked off Dougherty Valley, Livermore and Dublin to clinch no worse than a co-title. And with the wins over Dublin and Livermore -- the only teams that could tie with Foothill -- in the books, the Falcons have the tiebreaker for the automatic North Coast Section playoff berth.

A win this Friday against Granada (3-5) would give Foothill a great shot at the No. 2 seed behind likely No. 1 seed San Ramon Valley. The Wolves beat the Falcons 42-0 earlier this season in a non-league game.

The ups and downs were expected by Foothill coach Greg Haubner, as while the Falcons have some strong senior leadership, it also has its fair share of younger players, starting three sophomores and a freshman.

"In general, our team is really young," Haubner said. "I am thinking we are still developing as a team in our 10th week of the season."

There had to be a big learning curve with such young players playing prominent roles. It appears the development is coming to fruition.

You have senior leaders like Nick Walsh, Kenny Olson, Brandon Sousa and Conner Perez setting the table for the youngsters, and it seems to be working.

Freshman Chris Lawson has become a certified playmaker, and his one-handed grab against Livermore might be the most amazing catch I have seen in watching high school football for the last 35 years.

Sophomore Samear Lattier has turned into a very good defensive back and Jackson Chandler, also a sophomore, turned in his best game of the season against Dublin.

Finally, Josh Taylor -- the last sophomore -- has had the unenviable task of starting on the offensive line all season against some bigger, older and stronger linemen. He has developed along with the other three.

"Developing continuity is a big thing for us," Haubner said. "We are starting to hit our stride, but we are not all the way there."

Foothill girls' volleyball

A straight set win for the Falcons over Dublin on Oct. 19, combined with a Monte Vista loss to San Ramon Valley two days later, secured the outright EBAL title for Foothill.

In the 25-18, 25-21, 25-20 win over the Gaels, the Falcons were led by Grayce Olson (23 kills, 12 digs), Katie Salonga (37 assists, 3 aces), Paige Bennett (12 kills, 5 digs) and Sruti Jonnalagadda (5 kills, 2 blocks).

Two days later in the regular season finale, Foothill fell 25-22, 22-25, 19-25, 25-27 to Amador Valley. Highlights for the Falcons came from Olson (33 kills, 15 digs), Salonga (47 assists, 9 digs), Bennett (7 kills, 12 digs) and Jo Modica (4 kills, 5 digs, 2 blocks).

Foothill finished the regular season 27-3 overall and 16-2 in EBAL play.

EBAL girls' golf tournament

The Amador Valley girls' golf team nearly pulled off the big upset in the EBAL tournament, coming within a stroke of Carondelet, the EBAL regular season and tournament champions.

Carondelet finished with a team score of 380 in the tournament played Oct. 18 at Callippe Preserve Golf Course in Pleasanton. The Dons were one back at 381, with Foothill third with a 388. Monte Vista rounded out the top four with a 411.

Individually Jaclyn LaHa of Amador was the winner with a 68. Keira Howard (70), Nikita Jadhav (70), Samhitha Ravi (86) and Christine Choi (87) were the rest of the Amador scoring players.

Teresa Thorbjornsen led Foothill with a 75, Elizabeth Hang and Kristen Yeh both coming in at 76.

The All-EBAL teams were announced at the tournament as well.

Since LaHa, who also played in the U.S. Women's Open this past summer, did not play in at least half of the regular season matches, she was not eligible for postseason honors.

Howard was named the MVP of the league. Hang, Emily Luo (Monte Vista), Sammie Miller (Carondelet), Morgan Gamble (Carondelet), Emily Hou (Carondelet) and Sophia Bardunias (Monte Vista) made up the first-team selections.

Jahav was second-team pick for the Dons, and Aditi Balakrishna earned honorable mention honors.

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]

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