East Bay teams received No. 1 seeds in the top three divisions when the North Coast Section's high school football playoff brackets were announced Sunday.
De La Salle, which has won the past 20 Division I titles, is again No. 1 in the most high-profile bracket after going 10-0. El Cerrito was the only other East Bay team to complete a perfect regular season, and it was rewarded with the No. 1 seed in Division III.
In Division II, a one-loss Clayton Valley Charter team earned the No. 1 spot over unbeaten Rancho Cotate-Rohnert Park. But perhaps the bigger surprise in that division was that Arroyo was not listed in the 12-team field.
Coach James Barnes said he was shocked when he looked at the bracket to see that his Dons, who finished 6-4 and took second in the West Alameda County Conference-Shoreline Division, were not included when the top four seeds received byes.
The third-year coach said he completed the at-large application after his team beat Alameda on Saturday, but the NCS website shows his application was not received or processed.
"We qualified the last two years and submitted the paperwork the same way," Barnes said. "We're not trying to bump anybody, but there are teams that have (a first-round bye). There's no reason my kids shouldn't be playing. We'll play anyone anywhere."
Barnes contacted the NCS office regarding the missing application but said he was told applications are not accepted after the 10 p.m.
There were a couple surprises in the Division I bracket, but nothing too curious.
Freedom (8-2), which won the Bay Valley Athletic League championship, earned the No. 6 seed behind three East Bay Athletic League teams, De La Salle and No. 3 James Logan.
The BVAL went 1-3 against the EBAL in nonleague games earlier this year, which seemed to factor heavily into the seeding.
In Division III, there were 18 teams that met the qualifying criteria, but the selection committee didn't have to face a tough decision on whom to leave out when Eureka and Petaluma did not apply. Heritage was eligible in Division I by virtue of its 3-2 league record but also didn't not apply after going 3-7 overall.
Justin-Siena of Napa received the No. 1 seed in Division IV over No. 2 Valley Christian-Dublin and two-time defending champion Salesian (No. 3). Ferndale is the No. 1 seed in Division V.