For the second straight game, Clayton Valley Charter High's football team will have some recognizable figures out of action.
Defensive lineman Kahlil McKenzie, one of the top recruits in the country, won't be able to play in Friday's home opener against Tracy after the North Coast Section ruled him ineligible for the season following his transfer from De La Salle.
Five other players will also be in uniform but relegated to the sidelines after transferring to Clayton Valley from other area schools.
The list includes McKenzie's younger brother Jalen, Jamel Rosales (De La Salle), Marshawn Davenport (Pittsburg), Ray Jackson (College Park) and Aaron Murillo (Hercules).
According to Eagles coach Tim Murphy, the younger McKenzie, Davenport and Jackson have not heard back from the NCS on their eligibility status while Murillo is resubmitting his paperwork.
Rosales can play after the California Interscholastic Federation's Oct. 6 sit-out date given to transfers who don't move and don't meet hardship criteria.
Against Tracy, Murphy will also be absent while completing a two-game "sit-out" as penalty for holding summer practices before the allowed start date.
Murphy will be back on the sidelines to coach at Cardinal Newman-Santa Rosa on Sept. 13, but the status of McKenzie and some of the other transfers remains unclear.
The McKenzie family has said it will appeal the NCS ruling, but the process could take weeks, if not months.
First, the McKenzies have to file the proper paperwork with the CIF within 15 business days of receiving the section's decision. Then, they have to wait for the CIF's appeals coordinator to set up a hearing. The hearing may come as many as 30 business days after the CIF receives the appeals request.
A three-member appeals committee made up of current or retired school district administrators, athletic administrators or section officers will hear both sides of the case -- that of McKenzie and that of NCS commissioner Gil Lemmon.
The committee's decision will be mailed within 15 days of the hearing.
Last year, Lemmon said there were 11 appeals cases from the NCS with at least three decisions overturned. Lemmon declined to comment on why he ruled McKenzie ineligible for the year.
Murphy said McKenzie has been a great leader for the team despite the disappointing news he received last week on his eligibility.
"He has something extra to his personality that really makes kids gravitate towards him," Murphy said. "As a role model, he's doing the right things in a difficult circumstance."
Super sophomore: When summer football practice was over for the week, Najee Harris wasn't done.
The sophomore often returned to Antioch High on Saturday afternoons, running bleachers and doing cone drills by himself.
All the extra work paid off last week when Harris turned in one of the best rushing performances in school history while leading the Panthers to a 30-28 season-opening victory over Acalanes.
Harris rushed for 279 yards on 35 carries, scored all four of Antioch's touchdowns and ran in the game-clinching conversion in the fourth quarter.
"He also had a really good game on defense," Antioch coach John Lucido said of his outside linebacker.
Harris made a run at Antioch's single-game rushing record of 303 yards set in 1958 but ultimately settled for No. 2 all-time.
His production wasn't a huge surprise. At 6-foot-3, 212 pounds and loads of athletic ability (he also plays varsity basketball), Harris is not your typical sophomore.
He already holds scholarship offers from five schools -- including Cal and UCLA -- and was called up to the varsity team halfway through his freshman year.
Harris is one of 28 returning varsity players for the Panthers, who ended last season on a nine-game losing streak.
This year should be different, though. "We knew we'd be a pretty good team, but it was big for our program to get that first win," Lucido said. "There were a lot of nerves with kids wanting to get that first win because of the season we had last year. Now we have to keep it rolling."