OAKLAND -- Like the rest of the Oakland Athletic League, the Oakland Tech High football team begins the season looking up at two-time defending Silver Bowl champion McClymonds.
But with a returning All-City quarterback and some talented skill players, Bulldogs coach Delton Edwards is hopeful his team can be a contender this year.
"I see it as a three-team race between us, Fremont and Mack," said Edwards, in his 17th season. "Skyline's looking pretty good too."
The Bulldogs finished last season just 4-7, but went 3-2 in the OAL to reach the playoffs where they lost to Skyline.
Leading the charge this season is junior James Lewis, a second-team All-City pick last year at quarterback. Edwards also will lean on tailback Lamarr Davis and wide receiver Jahi Davis, who are both juniors.
"Our strength is going to be our skill people, but depth-wise we're in trouble," Edwards said.
The line will led by senior two-way star Alem Amores, a 6-foot-3, 305-pounder who Edwards said carries a 4.52 GPA and SAT score of 1,500. Sophomore Henry Haung also should be strong in the trenches.
Even though Lewis had a strong sophomore season, he can't get too comfortable. Edwards said sophomore Noah Suszckiewicz is good enough to take Lewis' job away.
Tech's roster took a hit when 10 players were lost to eligibility. Many of those were lost due to the OAL's policy requiring student-athletes to be on track to graduate. Beyond simply
The Bulldogs are also seeing a hit in numbers despite a rise in enrollment interest at the school. With a new fine arts academy, Edwards said there's a long waiting list to get accepted to the school and the increased interest in the school's academics is leading to fewer athletes being able to get in.
"We're not getting the quality athletes that used to be able to still get in here," Edwards said. "We're getting some of the Bishop O'Dowd kids and some of the kids that usually go to Catholic school. We're really becoming Technical High. It's one of the best educations you can get in Oakland."
8/31 PINOLE VALLEY 7 p.m.
9/7 MARSHALL-S.F. 7 p.m.
9/14 PITMAN-TURLOCK 7 p.m.
9/22 at Arroyo 1:30 p.m.
9/28 BENICIA 7 p.m.
10/12 CASTLEMONT* 3:30 p.m.
10/19 OAKLAND* 3:30 p.m.
10/26 at Fremont (C. Flood)* 3:30 p.m.
11/3 at Skyline* 2 p.m.
11/9 McCLYMONDS* 1:30 p.m.
* League games