PREDICTED FINISH

1. Bishop O'Dowd

2. Encinal

3. Berkeley

4. San Leandro

5. Castro Valley

6. Hayward

Realignment has produced quite a interesting group of football teams in the first season of the West Alameda County Conference-Foothill Division.

It certainly has its share of dominant programs. It not only has three defending league champions; those teams were all undefeated in league play last year. Bishop O'Dowd High was 7-0 in the Hayward Area Athletic League, Berkeley was 6-0 in the Alameda Contra Costa Athletic League and Encinal was 7-0 in the Bay Shore Athletic League.

Bishop O'Dowd has the returning HAAL Offensive Player of the Year in Dominic Miroglio, and other returning first-team all-league Dragons include wide receiver/kick returner Dominic Gomes and defensive back Kevin King. A young Encinal squad will be quarterbacked by a Ve'e again -- for the last two years it's been Andrew Ve'e, but Andrew has graduated and this year Austin Ve'e will be the Jets' signal-caller.

Berkeley also is young and talented, and it will be helped by the powerful foot of kicker Sam Boyden. "Right now, 38 yards on in is a green light. How many high school coaches can say that?" Berkeley coach Fred Sims said.

Berkeley

COACH: Fred Sims, third season


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2011 RECORD: 7-4, 6-0 ACCAL

TOP RETURNEES: K/P Sam Boyden, Sr.; WR/DB/KR Akil Bordelon, Sr.; TE/DE Xavier Nelson, Sr.; LB/RB Marlon Walker, Jr.; LB/RB Michael Lazarus, Jr.; QB Lamont Smith, Jr.; OL/DL Jordan Carroll, Jr.; OL/DL Deandre Diggs-Ray, Sr.; WR/DB Marquise Garcia, Sr.; TE/LB Akil Stewart, Sr.; WR/DB Jakari Simpson, Jr.; WR/DB Marce Stewart, Sr.; OL/DL Ashton Smith, Sr.

TOP NEWCOMERS: LB/RB Haram Hairston, Jr.; WR/DB Travis Dennis, So.; TE/LB Joel Boykin, Jr.; OL/DL Omari White, Jr.; TE/LB Tyler Borden, Jr.; RB/DB John Adams, Jr.; WR/DB Yambo Teague, So.

KEY LOSSES: RB Rudolpho James, LB/RB Devyne Adams, DB/WR Robert Johnson, OL/DL Marlon Butler, UTL Sir-Devonta Stewart, DB/WR Cameron Roquemore, OL/DL Jose Maldonado, TE/DL Josh Easterbroch

OUTLOOK: Sims doesn't have a huge squad as far as numbers, but said it's a talented group. "Its football IQ is good, even though it's young. There's no fluff; it's quality from the first to the last guy," he said. The Yellowjackets have six returners on offense and seven on defense. The biggest guy on the offensive line is talented tight end Xavier Nelson (6-foot-4, 235 pounds). Five running backs will try to replace the big-play capability of James and Sir-Devonta Stewart.

Bishop O'Dowd

COACH: Hardy Nickerson, third season

2011 RECORD: 9-3, 7-0 HAAL

TOP RETURNEES: QB Dominic Miroglio, Sr.; WR/DB Kevin King, Sr.; WR/DB Dominic Gomes, Sr.; DE/OL Elliot Brue, Sr.; RB/SS/LB Isaiah Johnson, Sr.; WR/DB De'Zhon Grace, Sr.; DE Julian Soto, Jr.; RB Antonio Burnett, Sr.; C Bruce Johnson, Sr.; LT Shaka Kendricks, Sr.; OLB/DE/TE Jack Burley, Sr.

TOP NEWCOMERS: RB/DB Bryce Grandison, So.

KEY LOSSES: LB/FB Hardy Nickerson Jr., TE/DE T.J. Daniel, RB/DB Daniel Jones Jr., C/LB Ignacio Madrid, RB/DB Ryan Maas, DL Nehemiah Mitchell, FS Brendan Royal

OUTLOOK: Miroglio, who has orally committed to UCLA to play baseball, has two years of varsity starting experience at quarterback entering this season. The Dragons have four starters returning on both offense and defense. "I think we have a chance to be pretty good," Nickerson said. "It depends how we play early in the season. We have some key positions to fill. It will be interesting how those guys step up in those key positions."

Castro Valley

COACH: Nic McMaster, fourth season

2011 RECORD: 6-5, 5-2 HAAL

TOP RETURNEES: RB/DB/K Nick Lima, Sr.; TE/DT Trevor Trammell, Sr.; RB/DB Patrick Cheek, Sr.

TOP NEWCOMERS: RB/LB Demareyeh Lane, Jr.; RB/DB Robert Taylor, Jr.; RB/LB Nick Alfaro, Jr.

KEY LOSSES: G/LB Forrest Ferguson, C/DT Anthony Viveiros, LB/FB David Valladares, DE/OL Austin Gayle, RB/DB Jesse Sellers, DE/OL Austin Gayle, WR/DB Jon Marsh, RB/DB Alex Cardoze, RB/DB Mickey Cardoze

OUTLOOK: The Trojans graduated a lot of talent from both interior lines and linebacker, so those are areas that need to be addressed. But Castro Valley still returns five offensive starters. The Trojans have multiple options at the running back position including Taylor, a transfer from Arroyo who played quarterback for the Dons. Lima is a returning first-team all-league kicker. Middle linebacker Nick Lerschen is a player to watch.

Encinal

COACH: Joe Tenorio, seventh season

2011 RECORD: 11-2, 7-0 BSAL

TOP RETURNEES: OT/DT Aaron Ve'e, Sr.; RB/FS Corey Sails, Sr.; QB/OLB Austin Ve'e, Jr.; ILB/RB Abraham Hill, Sr.; RB/SS Isaiah Hunter, Jr.; OT/DT Alex Penrose, Jr.; G C.J. Souza, Sr.; ILB/TE Kealii Pedro, Jr.; RB Tyrell Carrigan, Jr.

TOP NEWCOMERS: OLB Taivale Tautalatasi Jr., 5-10, 170; C Kapena Kahuanui, Jr.; CB Brandon Ferrel, So.; WB D'Quan Williams, Jr.

KEY LOSSES: QB/LB Andrew Ve'e, RB/LB Jon Trodder, WR/DB Bo Banks, TE/DT Eric Penrose, RB/LB Kaniela Kahuanui, RB Nahim Paschal, TE/ILB Alex Amiri

OUTLOOK: The Jets are young at certain positions, but have a strong nucleus of veterans. "I definitely still expect to go out there and be a winning team," Tenorio said. Encinal returns five starters on both offense and defense, including two-way starter Aaron Ve'e, a first-team all-BSAL pick last season at offensive lineman. Sails and Carrigan will lead the Jets' ballcarriers, as the Jets will look to replace the offense provided by Trodder, Banks and Andrew Ve'e last year.

Hayward

COACH: Justin Redemer, second season

2011 RECORD: 3-7, 2-5 HAAL

TOP RETURNEES: QB/MLB Thompson Pulu, Sr.; OL/DT Casey Meafou, Sr.; OL/DT Misieli Ohuafi, Sr.; DE/TE Dartise Jones, Jr.; RB/S Sam Mahe, Sr.; RB/S Dana Carter, Sr.; RB/CB Kyle Foote, Sr.

TOP NEWCOMERS: QB/DB Margani Ellison, Jr.; TE/DE Paul Mateialona, Sr.; DT Tavita Lolohea, Jr.

KEY LOSSES: OT/DT Alex Fifita, WR/DB Mayori Ellison, OL/DL Paul Fifita, RB/LB Terrell Clayton, RB/S Lamonte Savoy, LB Will Caro

OUTLOOK: The Farmers have a wealth of returning starters, including six on offense. Offensively, Pulu runs the veer well, and he also leads the defense. Other returning two-way starters include Meafou and Mahe. Carter will get his share of carries at running back. "If we can stay healthy, I think we can surprise a lot of people," Redemer said.

San Leandro

COACH: Brad Bowers, 10th season

2011 RECORD: 6-5, 5-2 HAAL

TOP RETURNEES: QB Jose Ferreira, Sr.; OL/DL Anthony Fotu, Sr.; RB/LB Randy Bell, Sr.; OL/LB Deon Barron, Sr.; WR/DB Dream Greene, Sr.; RB/WR/LB Hyakub Herring, Sr.; UTL Stephen Johnson, So.; OT/DE Kalake Fonua, Sr.; RB/DB Robert Aledo, Sr.; RB/DB Christian Carter, Sr.

TOP NEWCOMERS: RB/LB Finau Mataafa, Jr.; WR/LB Faafetai Leuelu, Sr.; RB/LB Ruben Garcia-Ceja, Jr.; RB/LB Bryson Lesure, Jr.; WR/S Reuben Baker, So.; OL/DL Demytrick Aliisua, Jr.; OL/DL Terrance Leota, Jr.; TE/LB O'Brien Younger, Jr.; TE/S Keone Foumai, Jr.

KEY LOSSES: WR/DB/KR Andre McBride, RB/DB J.J. Tillman, WR/DB Osa Aihie, RB/DE David Vilingia, LB/TE Luis Barajas, WR/DB Jamal Ali, G/DT Eddie Ngungutau, G/DT Moses Ngungutau, RB/LB Taylor Leota

OUTLOOK: Besides losing a number of players to graduation, the Pirates suffered a blow in the offseason when two-way starting linemen Eddie and Moses Ngungutau moved to Texas. But the Pirates have rebounded this summer with good line play. "The lineman have stepped up and done a good job and I think we have some special backs also," Bowers said. Bell will get a lot of carries this season. The defense is led by Barron.