Football Season Begins
The 2018 high school football season is picking up earlier than usual with both Alameda and Encinal high school teams beginning their seasons tomorrow.
The Jets (11-1 last year) will begin the season with a battle against Washington of Fremont at Stargell Field.
After dominating the West Alameda County Conference (WACC) Shoreline League for two years, the Jets have moved up to the WACC Foothill League. They are now in the division with Bishop O’Dowd of Oakland, Berkeley, Castro Valley, Piedmont and San Leandro. The Jets were 9-1 in their two-year stint in the Shoreline League. Both years the Jets won the league title.
The Jets are going to have to compete this year without many of their key contributors from last year. Quarterback Theori Oliver, running back Taj Banks Jr. and wide receivers Kenden Robinson Jr. and David Hamilton are all gone from an offense that averaged more than 40 points per game last season.
The Jets will turn to Xavion Babers at quarterback. Theori’s younger brother Teddy Oliver will also be a key contributor to the Jets’ offense. Keith Minor is in his second season as head coach.
The Hornets (4-7 last year) will begin the season against College Park of Pleasant Hill on the road.
Last year, the Hornets finished tied for second place in the Shoreline League at 3-2. The Hornets’ other league opponents include Mt. Eden of Hayward, Hayward High, San Lorenzo High, Arroyo of San Lorenzo and Tennyson of Hayward.
Unlike the Jets, the Hornets will return with plenty of weapons from last year. Running back Elijah Twigbe was first-team All-WACC last year and is expected to have an impactful season this year. Also returning is Padraig Lane who earned second-team All-WACC honors at quarterback last fall. Lane should play some downs as receiver with senior Andrew Millpointer also returning at the quarterback position.
Senior Mauricio Reyes earned all-league honors at safety last season. The Hornets’ secondary should be a strength with Darryl Brown also returning at cornerback, where he was an honorable mention all-league selection. Lane will also see time in the secondary.
Paulo Sunia is in his second year as the Hornets’ head coach.