High school football kicks off 2022 season this weekend

High school football kicks off 2022 season this weekend
Jordan Palega of Clayton Valley Charter, Sean Murphy of Concord High, and Aidan Vanhoose of Mt. Diablo High.

CONTRA COSTA COUNTY, CA (August 24, 2022) — High school football officially kicks off its 2022 season this Friday and Saturday with four local schools hosting their opening games, De La Salle and Ygnacio Valley going on the road and College Park sitting out this first weekend.

Any local football season preview always begins with national power De La Salle. However, in the past decade Clayton Valley Charter has made plenty of its own headlines with three State Bowl game appearances and the memorable 2019 season when they lost more games than any year since 2011 but ended up with the school’s first state football championship.

A look at the full landscape of local high schools also shows teams looking to return to North Coast Section playoffs (Northgate and Mt. Diablo) as well as schools hoping to put some more games in the win column this fall (Ygnacio Valley and Concord).

And then there’s College Park. The Falcons ended 5-5 in 2021 but a victory in the final game of the Diablo Athletic League Valley Division season against Northgate would have given the Pleasant Hill school the Valley championship and a berth in the NCS playoffs.

Painful 2021 for Spartans

High school football kicks off 2022 season this weekend
De La Salle’s Connor Flanaghan.

On some levels, De La Salle had a painful season to forget. They lost to Saint Francis of Mountain View to end a steak of 318 games over 30 years without defeat to a team north of Fresno.

At the end of the season following the Spartans 29th consecutive NCS title victory they were denied the automatic Open Division State Bowl berth and then were stunned on their home field in the NorCal Division I-AA Regional championship by Folsom to miss out on a State Bowl game for the first time ever.

This year’s squad returns seven of the Spartans 14 all-East Bay Athletic League players from last fall. Those include Connor Flanaghan, a tight end committed to Notre Dame, and lineman Derek Thompson, who is headed to Harvard.

Justin Alumbaugh has a schedule in his 10th year as head coach perfectly suited for De La Salle to get back to their normal position atop NorCal football. They host both Folsom and Saint Francis who handed them narrow defeats last year and will also face Serra of San Mateo in a nationally televised game Sept. 2 in Concord. Serra, coached by DLS legend Patrick Walsh, was chosen over the Spartans for the State Open Bowl berth last December.

Ugly Eagles get transfer QB

Clayton Valley Charter coach Tim Murphy returns for his 11th season in charge of the Ugly Eagles and will have transfer quarterback Christian Aguilar in his arsenal.

Last December it was Aguilar who quarterbacked Pittsburg over CVHCS in the NCS playoffs as he filled in for star QB Jaden Rashada, who has made news himself this summer about his college plans in Miami and rumored huge likeness fee he will be receiving.

Aguilar moved and enrolled at Clayton Valley Charter for the spring semester. The senior transfer and junior Mason Lovett are competing for the starting spot to operate the unique Ugly Eagles offense.

Concord High’s Paul Reynaud has a group of seniors leading his team with hopes of racking up a number of victories after a one-win 2021 season. That lone victory came over winless Concord neighbors Ygnacio Valley, who have a new coach in Rae Jackson Sr.

Mt. Diablo will have a very young squad for coach Donald James as only a handful of seniors are on the roster. James will especially miss four-year quarterback D’Antonio Jerome, who helped the Red Devils to their historic unbeaten 2021 spring season championship.

Northgate had a great 8-3 season last fall, but a consequence was that the Broncos switched places with Alhambra and are now in the tougher DAL Foothill Division after going unbeaten in the Valley Division in 2021.

Week 1 – Aug. 26-27

       (2021 records shown)

De La Salle (10-3) at Monterey Trail-Elk Grove (8-6)

Deer Valley (2-8) at Northgate (8-3)

Salinas (8-1) at Clayton Valley Charter (9-4)

Newark Memorial-Newark (5-6) at Concord (1-9)

Lathrop (6-4) at Mt. Diablo (4-7)

Aug. 27 – Ygnacio Valley (0-10) at Washington-San Francisco (2-7)

College Park (5-5) bye

Week 2 – Sept. 2 

College Park at Foothill-Pleasanton

Northgate at Ukiah

Alameda at Concord    

Del Oro-Loomis at Clayton Valley Charter

Serra – San Mateo at De La Salle

Ygnacio Valley, Mt. Diablo byes

2022 Season Schedules

Clayton Valley Charter (Open Div./Div. 1) – 8/26 Salinas, 9/2 Del Oro-Loomis, 9/9 at Canyon Springs-North Las Vegas, 9/16 Turlock, 10/1 at Jesuit-Carmichael, 10/7 at Amador Valley-Pleasanton, 10/14 at San Ramon Valley-Danville, 10/21 California-San Ramon, 10/28 at Monte Vista-Danville, 11/4 De La Salle.

College Park (Div. 3) – 9/2 at Foothill-Pleasanton, 9/9 Oakmont-Roseville, 9/16 Hercules, 9/23 at Northgate, 9/30 at Livermore, 10/7 Concord, 10/15 at Berean Christian, 10/21 Ygnacio Valley, 10/28 Mt. Diablo, 11/4 at Alhambra.

Concord (Div. 4) – 8/26 Newark Memorial-Newark, 9/2 Alameda, 9/9 at San Lorenzo, 9/16 at Richmond, 9/23 Arroyo-San Lorenzo, 10/7 at College Park, 10/14 Ygnacio Valley, 10/21 at Alhambra, 10/28 Berean Christian, 11/4 at Mt. Diablo.

De La Salle (Open Div./Div. 1) – 8/26 at Monterey Trail-Elk Grove, 9/2 Serra-San Mateo, 9/9 Saint Francis-Mountain View, 9/16 at Cathedral Catholic-San Diego, 9/23 Folsom, 10/7 at St. Mary’s-Stockton, 10/14 at California-San Ramon, 10/21 Monte Vista–Danville, 10/28 at Amador Valley-Pleasanton, 11/4 at Clayton Valley Charter.

Mt. Diablo (Div. 4) – 8/26 Lathrop, 9/9 at American-Fremont, 9/17 at Arroyo-San Lorenzo, 9/24 at San Lorenzo, 9/30 at Richmond, 10/7 at Ygnacio Valley, 10/14 Alhambra, 10/21 Berean Christian, 10/28 at College Park, 11/4 Concord.

Northgate (Div. 3) – 8/26 Deer Valley, 9/2 at Ukiah, 9/9 Fremont-Oakland, 9/16 at Bethel-Vallejo, 9/23 College Park, 10/7 Miramonte, 10/14 Las Lomas, 10/21 at Campolindo, 10/28 at Benicia, 11/4 Acalanes.

Ygnacio Valley (Div. 6) – 8/27 at Washington-San Francisco, 9/9 Justin-Siena – Napa, 9/16 at Kennedy-Fremont, 9/23 Bradshaw Christian-Sacramento, 9/30 Stone Ridge Christian-Merced, 10/7 Mt. Diablo, 10/14 at Concord, 10/21 at College Park, 10/28 Alhambra, 11/5 at Berean Christian.

Jay Bedecarré
Jay Bedecarré
Sports and Schools Editor at The Concord Clayton Pioneer | sports@pioneerpublishers.com | Website

Jay Bedecarré is a long-time resident and writer in Concord and Clayton. He began his newspaper writing career while still a senior at Mt. Diablo High School and he has been part of The Pioneer since its inception in 2003. Jay also operates Bay Area Festivals, presenting events around the San Francisco Bay Area including Bay Area KidFest annually in Downtown Concord.