Alameda Football Season Preview

Arianna Zalder -- An Encinal ball carrier is tackled by a Berkeley High defender in last Friday’s scrimmage at Stargell Field.

Alameda Football Season Preview

The 2022 high school football season begins Friday, August 26 and both the Alameda Hornets and Encinal Jets are in action.

The Encinal High School (EHS) football team went through lots of changes since the end of their 2021 season that saw them finish 9-2 overall and first in the Mission Valley Athletic League (MVAL)/ West Alameda County Conference (WACC) Mission League. Previous EHS track coach Derrick Lyons takes the reins as the new head football coach after former head coach Keith Minor stepped down after five years. Minor took the head job at Moreau Catholic of Hayward.

Lyons said he is optimistic about this season, despite all the turnover on the roster.

“It’s been fun watching these guys develop and grow over training camp,” said Lyons. “Last week’s scrimmage showed we’ll be able to compete with everybody we play this season. A lot of people are doubting us but that’s okay.”

This season the Jets moved up a division to the MVAL/WACC Foothill League. They will be in the same league as notable teams Bishop O’Dowd of Oakland and Tennyson High of Hayward. Making the transition even more difficult is the Jets will only play two of their 10 regular season games at Stargell Field. Lyons said they had to swap some of their scheduled home games for road games because they were unable to hire referees in time.

“Personally, it doesn’t matter to me,” said senior receiver/cornerback Marques Singleton to the Encinal High Horizon publication. “I feel it’s easier to lock in on the bus so it’s fine.”

To outduel their league rivals, the Jets will call upon a young and inexperienced bunch to perform well on the field. Some of the new starters this year include starting quarterback Kyle Lorenzo who is replacing last year’s starting quarterback and captain Garrett Deatherage.

“Kyle doesn’t have a lot of experience as a quarterback, but what he has done is shown us he can develop,” said Lyons of the senior. “He’s getting better every time he touches the field.”

Lyons mentioned Kyle as one of the standout players he believes will have a big impact on the Jets’ season this year. He also mentioned Kyle’s twin brother, senior wide receiver/cornerback Kenneth Lorenzo, Singleton and senior right guard Marco Garcia.

“Marco is playing with a lot of wisdom,” said Lyons. “Marques and the two-headed twin monsters can be game changers for us.”

The Jets will begin the season with a nonleague game against De Anza High of El Sobrante on the road. The Jets will look to win their sixth straight Island Bowl against Alameda High School (AHS) on Friday, Sept. 23. Last year the Jets won the Island Bowl 41-7. Lyons said the big game will have a little extra meaning for him because he is an Encinal graduate, while Alameda High’s head football coach, Robin Morris, is an Alameda High graduate. But he has implored his players to focus on the matchups in front of them and not the Island Bowl.

Alameda High
The Alameda Hornets are looking to rebound from a 2-7 season last year in 2022. Though it did not show in their record, the Hornets were competitive in many contests last year. AHS lost three games by single digits last year (Washington High of Fremont 18-14; San Lorenzo High 16-13; and Irvington High of Fremont 22-20).

The Hornets will begin the season against Richmond High School on Friday, August 26 at Thompson Field. Unlike the Jets, the Hornets will play seven of their ten games at home this season.

The Hornets play in the MVAL/WACC Shoreline League.

Alameda High Football Instagram   The Alameda High football team hold a practice before the season begins on Friday, Aug. 26.