I’m not sure why I suddenly need a fan in my apartment up here by Skyline College, but I do know this from last weekend’s prep football action:
MORIAN WALKER JR. CAN PLAY: The Valley Christian two-way star has never been shy about getting his name and countenance out there for the larger public and media to see. But is this guy the real deal or all hype?
Friday night suggested the former as Walker had a long scoring run to put Valley Christian ahead 7-0 and a clutch, 81-yard catch to help lift the Warriors past Milpitas, 22-21, in a game VC trailed 21-7 early in the second half.
Walker’s emergence will be crucial with star receiver Collin Johnson lost for the season due to a shoulder injury incurred against Oak Grove.
I’D RATHER CLOTHE THAN FEED MILPITAS FROSH LINEMAN JUSTIN SCREMPOS: OK, so providing clothes and shoes for this behemoth (6-foot-7, 290 pounds and just turned 15) is probably no picnic either, but what would it take to feed this kid for a week?
Consider that after Milpitas’ tough, 22-21 loss to Valley Christian on Friday night at Levi’s Stadium, Justin and his mom Sandi hit In-N-Out Burger and the freshman put away two “4×4’s” – which according to the burger chain’s web site is “four 100 percent pure beef patties, hand-leafed lettuce, tomato, spread, four slices of American cheese, with or without onions, stacked high on a freshly baked bun.”
Two of those monstrosities checks in at 4,000 calories (sorry Michelle Obama) and would cause the average adult to gain five pounds just by looking at them.
Sandi didn’t flinch when asked what mom and son did after the game:
“Of course we went to In-and-Out! Win or lose. Plus it was Justin’s 15th birthday.”
Hope he saved room for cake and ice cream.
FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS ARE HERE TO SAY: Yeah, they’re a lot of work for many people – just think back to all of the red tape Wilcox had to cut through last year when the initial FNL was scheduled before the first CCS games were allowed. Wilcox was granted a waiver by CCS to play before that normal first contact date, then the whole FNL schedule of games got moved anyway due to the turf problems at Levi’s.
As detailed in a Prep2Prep column Monday, tackling the special day is a challenge for schools like Watsonville who are giving up home dates to play in the big stadium. There are tickets to sell, fans and media to deal with, the headache of getting your team to and from the game, etc. But in the end, it’s a memory-maker for players and families. That’s the reason it’s great and why every school in the CCS should be scurrying around trying to get in this event every year.
RIORDAN IS ON THE RISE: Riordan football has had its high points in the past 50 years.
The so-called “Unholy 11” teams of the late 1960s were talented with players like Carl Braboy and Ralph LaMar, even though they did not win championships.
The Crusaders did manage WCAL titles in 1971 and ’72 and made the CCS title game in ’72. And coach Ken Peralta, featuring a double-wing, led the Crusaders to a WCAL championship in 2000.
But Riordan has not had a winning record since 2007 when coach Mike Langridge led the Crusaders to a 9-3-1 mark and a CCS Medium Schools title. That team beat Serra 20-3 and tied St. Francis 21-21, both notable accomplishments.
Outside of 2007, Riordan has not won more than four games in a season in the last 10 years. It had five coaches during that span.
All of which matters little to this year’s Crusaders, who probably don’t even remember what they had for breakfast much less what happened in 1969.
The 2015 Crusaders are 2-0 under new coach Kevin Fordon after wins against Sacred Heart Prep and Menlo-Atherton. That and Fordon’s De La Salle pedigree must have Crusader alumni at least a little excited.
Against M-A in a 26-9 victory, Rocco Russell had 10½ tackles including 3½ sacks for a defense that allowed minus-21 yards of rushing.
Said Fordon on the Riordan school site: “Defense and special teams won the game for us. Offensively, we have to play much better if we are going to compete in the (West Catholic Athletic League).”
Ah, the WCAL. It’s a meat-grinder. All of the southern-most WCAL teams and Serra are strong. It’s uncertain how Riordan will do in league, but so far the early returns are encouraging.
Riordan is at St. Marys-Albany at 1:30 p.m. Saturday.
WCAL BYE WEEK IS A GOOD THING: Most WCAL teams are off this week, resting their minds and bodies for the start of league play Oct. 2-3.
Valley Christian can re-charge this week after exchanging blows Friday night with physical Milpitas. The same goes for Bellarmine after its successful business trip to two-time defending section champ Aptos. St. Ignatius and Sacred Heart Cathedral can probably use a break and Mitty will try to catch its breath after scoring all of those points in non-league under new coach Keith Burns.
As for Serra, it’s been on R and R since taking a 40-0 halftime lead against South City on Friday night, but now the Padres will need to gear up for Bellarmine on Oct. 2 at San Jose City College. Both teams have only had that date on their calendar circled forever.
Meantime, St. Francis is looking like the SF old under coach Greg Calcagno, sitting at 3-0 with three arguably win-able games in front of them before meeting Bellarmine on Oct. 23 in Mountain View. No telling how good the Lancers will be by then.
Overall, in fact, the league is nails. Five teams are unbeaten, Serra’s loss is to De La Salle and SHC (1-2) and SI (0-3) have five of the league’s six losses.
As for most WCAL teams taking this week off – yeah, it’s good for the Catholics (and VC) and good also for the publics, who figure to have the spotlight fixed more intently on them this weekend.
John Murphy is the Web Content Manager of Prep2Prep. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow hm on Twitter at @PrepCat