A BRAND NEW LEAGUE
Well, a new school year is upon us and a whole new league is here too. The Vine Valley Athletic League. This league consists of Petaluma, Casa Grande, Sonoma Valley, American Canyon, Napa, Vintage, and Justin Siena. So if you are a first time reader from the Napa and American Canyon Area, welcome to YSN365.com.
As for the teams in this league, it should be a very competitive league for most of the teams. Petaluma is off an 8-2 shortened season due to the fires. Had key wins over Terra Linda, 52-44, and Casa Grande in the Egg Bowl, 20-14. Napa was 3-6, but played a very tough schedule including Nevada Union and Archbishop Riordan. Vintage finished tied for second in the Montecello Empire League with Wood last season, with Vacaville being the league champ. Vintage’s game with Vacaville was canceled due to the fires, so who knows what could’ve happened. The Crushers did come up with the win in The Big Game over Napa 14-7 last year. American Canyon is off a Solano County Athletic Conference Title, going 7-4 overall and 4-0. That league consists of the likes of Vanden and Benicia. Sonoma Valley was 3-5 last season, and ended the regular season with an upset over up and coming NBL Redwood division El Molino on the road, 27-20. All of Justin Siena’s victories last year came in Marin County Athletic League play. They defeated San Rafael, Novato and Drake, all in convincing fashion. Finally, Casa Grande, they’re off a 4-7 season and an NCS Playoff win. A lot of new faces for the Gauchos, including one on the sidelines. Former SRJC, Analy, and Montgomery offensive coordinator Keith Simons joins the Casa Grande coaching staff. Should make for a very interesting year.
Petaluma Coach Rick Krist returns for his 9th season as head coach for the Trojans. He’s coming off one of his best seasons as head coach in which they were 8-2, defeated Terra Linda on the road after trailing by 24 points on three separate occasions, and defeating Casa Grande in the renewal of the Egg Bowl last season, 20-14. Coach Krist feels the new league will be a step up in competition, “Huge challenge, with our strength of schedule. With two Division 1 teams, and we are division three. I love the challenge of competing with those teams. “
Petaluma lost a lot of great players from last year’s squad, including linemen of the year Luke Haggard, and fullback and linebacker Jacob Rollstin. There are some new faces for the Trojans, but also, some familiar. Cole Powers, who came on in the second half of last season will be under center. In front of him, a trio of starters return on the offensive line, Nick Siembieda, Matt Salyers and Daniel DeCarli, and Nick Ayers. Back of the year Garrett Freitas returns as he was a force on offense and special teams for Petaluma last year. Ayers and Derrick Pomi will anchor the Trojan defense, along with sophomore Jack Hartman seeing some time as well.
Casa Grande head coach Dennis Brunk comes back for his second season as head coach, and has some new faces. One of them, is Alex Johnson. Johnson played last year at Healdsburg High. He carried the ball 125 times for 685 yards last season. He also led the Greyhounds defense with 58 tackles last season at linebacker. He will be a huge addition to the Gauchos as they lost a few kids to transfer. He will have to sit a few games due to the CIF NCS transfer rule, but when he’s on the field, he could be a game changer. They will have QB Jaden Bosarge back for his senior season. He threw for 719 yards with a 51% completion percentage and 8 touchdowns.
Trent Garrett will be the QB for the Dragons this season, who had an even shortened 8 game schedule last season. Guillermo Hurtado will be there to provide solid defense on the outside. The Dragons, non league schedule is Cloverdale, Kennedy, El Camino and El Molino
(#5) AMERICAN CANYON
The Wolves have a new head coach, John Montae. He will start fresh with a new QB, Vance Eschenburg. One player that isn’t new, is Eddie Brydsong. He carried a heavy load for the option Wolves. He had 119 carries for 679 yards last season and 8 touchdowns. That also included four 100+ yard games. Alfredo Calderon will be a stopper on defense, collecting 43 tackles last season. Derrick Conner and Kekoa Wilson were one of the best sophomore duo’s in the SJS, with Conner registering 27 tackles and Wilson recording 28. With another year under their belt, they should be a force for other teams to have to deal with.
Napa had a down season, at just 3-6 last season. They’re a traditional power, so it may just be a fluke. They have Isaiah Newton returning, along with Jonny Torres on the offensive side of the ball. They have a new head coach. Well, interim head coach. Tom Petithomme, the school’s Athletic Director will take on the role of football coach for the season.
Vintage is looking to have a big year in the VVAL. Troy Ghisletta and Michael Webber will be dueling for the QB job. Whoever doesn’t get the job, could still be a threat out of the backfield, when they both got experience back there last season. Pedja Zivkovic may also be someone they rely on. As a sophomore, he carried 37 times for 216 yards.
The Braves were young last season. Good thing is, they will have an experienced QB coming back who had a good season. He completed 49 of 82 passes for 12 touchdowns. That’s good for a 59% completion rate. Conrad Say will be the rock in the backfield. He rushed 87 times for 429 yards, including a pair of 100+ yard games. Their defense may have some young and inexperienced guys in there, as most of their defense that had 23 sacks graduated. John Horn and Colby Bates combined for six sacks, so they will be looked at as leaders for the Braves on defense.
|Fri 08/17 Deer Valley (Antioch, CA) at American Canyon (CA), 7:00pm|
|Fri 08/17 Petaluma (CA) at Montgomery (Santa Rosa, CA), 7:30pm|
|Fri 08/17 Justin-Siena (Napa, CA) at Piedmont (CA), 7:00pm|
|Fri 08/17 Pitman (Turlock, CA) vs Napa (CA) at Turlock (CA), 7:30pm|
|Fri 08/17 Casa Grande (Petaluma, CA) at Windsor (CA), 7:30pm|
|Fri 08/17 Vintage (Napa, CA) at Wood (Vacaville, CA), 7:30pm|
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