High school football 2023 preview: MVAL/WACC Shoreline Division

High school football 2023 preview: MVAL/WACC Shoreline Division


(Predicted order of finish)


Coach: Robin Morris

2022 record: 5-4-1

What to expect: Alameda’s league MVP A’Jhuan Parker transferred to El Cerrito, but the majority of the talented core returns for an encore. It starts with senior QB Eli Slez. He will throw to seniors Will Roizen and Gabriel Speed, who as a trio have all made all-Shoreline teams. Morris described senior LB Sinisa Finau as “aggressive and a gifted athlete.” Sophomore Hayden Arndt is a breakout candidate, with Morris saying that Arndt “attended lineman camps and was fine-tuning his game” during a productive offseason. 

 Season opener: Aug. 26 at Ygnacio Valley, 2 p.m.


Coach: Brad Tubbs

2022 record: 5-6

What to expect: Longtime coach Brad Tubbs has turned Newark Memorial into a consistently competitive unit, winning exactly five games and making the playoffs in each of the previous three full seasons. Junior WR Matthais Vaka and WR Iven Takkher should be top targets in the passing game, and linemen Marc Ieremia and Christian Ortiz are expected to shine on both sides of the line after being named to last year’s all-league team. Diego Arreola Velazquez was all-BANG as a kicker last season. Junior RB Jovany Moreno-Gutierrez and senior TE Gerardo Zavala-Rangel will both see time at LB, too. Newark Memorial starts the season by hosting DAL Valley championship favorite Concord in Week 1. 

Season opener: Aug. 25 vs. Concord, 7 p.m.


Coach: BJ Hagood

2022 record: 4-6

What to expect: Last season was a definitive step in the right direction for the program under coach BJ Hagood, improving from 1-9 to 4-6. Kennedy got a huge season out of the league’s defensive player of the year Junaid Khan, who is expected to have another monster season at linebacker. Senior RB Maynard Lorenzo made the all-league team last season, and senior offensive lineman Aaron Wright is a sturdy 230 pounds. 

Season opener: Aug. 25 vs. Mt. Eden at Washington-Fremont, 7 p.m.


Coach: Bryan Blackmon

2022 record: 3-7

What to expect: American will have to replace several graduated all-league players, but should still have some standout athletes on the roster. Senior safety Cruz Madrigal was named to the all-Shoreline team last season and is expected to be a leader in the secondary. Junior linebacker Juan Rodriguez is listed at 220 pounds and can play tight end, too. 

Season opener: Aug. 25 vs. Pinole Valley, 7 p.m.


Coach: Jeffery Pride

2022 record: 4-6

What to expect: Second-year coach Jeffery Pride is expected to have one of the most-crushing blockers in the East Bay leading the line in 6-foot-6 and 310-pound tackle Kamani Fifita. Junior Owen Thomason made all-league at linebacker last season, as did senior offensive lineman Peyton Sanchez. Arroyo starts the season with a trip to Antioch, which made the Division I playoffs last season. 

Season opener: Aug. 25 at Antioch, 7 p.m.


Coach: Antoine Stocker

2022 record: 0-9

What to expect: Expecting coach Antoine Stocker to lead San Lorenzo to its first winning season since 2009 is unrealistic, but the Grizzlies should be able to get a few wins this season. After a tough start that sees the team go on the road for three straight weeks, the Grizzlies end the season with three consecutive home games. 

Season opener: Aug. 25 at Richmond, 5:30 p.m.

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Coach: Jordan Seiden

2022 record: 0-6

What to expect: The good news for the Highlanders is that they’re back on the field after cutting the 2022 season short due to low numbers. The not-so-great news is that they’re set to play 10 road games while Witter Field gets renovated. Senior safety Brayden Hong and senior WR Dominic Alexandre could have big seasons for Piedmont in their final HS season. 

Season opener: Aug. 25 at Pierce, 7 p.m.

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