Northgate, De La Salle boys spear NCS spring titles

Northgate, De La Salle boys spear NCS spring titles

Northgate, De La Salle boys spear NCS spring titles
Northgate’s boys volleyball team posted four 3-0 victories in four matches at the North Coast Section Division II playoffs this month. It was the school’s third boys NCS volleyball title after previous championships in 1993 and 2009. (Photo courtesy Northgate Athletics)

CONCORD and WALNUT CREEK, CA (May 14, 2024) — Northgate got off to a great start in this spring’s North Coast Section competition as the Bronco boys won the Division II volleyball championship and were second in the lacrosse playoffs. De La Salle claimed the D’I swimming and diving champ­ionship but were denied another lacrosse title as the three-time defending champions were defeated in the title game.

Top seed Broncos volleyball had as good a run as possible with four consecutive 3-0 victories in the tournament, defeating Windsor, Livermore, Alameda and No. 2 seed Campolindo in the finals. The victory over Campo was the third in four meetings this year between the Diablo Athletic League rivals. Northgate was 31-3 heading into the Northern California CIF playoffs this week.

Defending champion De La Salle was third seed in D-II and lost to Campo in the semi-finals.

Local swimming & diving champs

De La Salle won its third successive NCS boys swimming and diving team championship at Concord Community Pool earlier this month. It is the eighth overall for the Spartans, breaking a tie with neighbor Ygnacio Valley, which won seven Section swimming titles. Locally, Northgate also has three boys titles and Concord High two. (Photo courtesy De La Salle Athletics)

De La Salle notched its third successive NCS boys swimming and diving team title while Carondelet finished second to Campolindo on the girls side as the Cougars tried to defend their 2023 title.

The Spartans had no first-place finishes but team depth including a third in the 200 freestyle relay racked up a winning point total. Northgate took sixth in the meet.

Clayton Valley Charter junior Molly Gray once again dominated the girls diving competition for her third successive NCS title. But that was just a prelude to last week’s CIF State Meet when the Ugly Eagles diver finally nabbed her first state one-meter diving title after finishing second as a freshman and sophomore.

Northgate’s Mason Wendler and Clayton Valley Charter’s Diego Castaneda were the outstanding local boys performers at NCS. Wendler was first in the 100 free and second in the 200 free while Castaneda won the 100 back title. Northgate won the boys 400 free relay.

Carondelet was not able to repeat as NCS champions, but the Cougars did win the 200 medley relay, Elisabeth Butler won the 100 butterfly and Madison O’Connell was a double winner in the 100 backstroke and 100 free. O’Connell followed up her NCS exploits with a championship in the 100 back at the State Meet last weekend in Clovis, helping the Cougars to a second-place team finish.

Baseball, softball playoffs starting

De La Salle baseball has been almost as dominant as the school’s football and wrestling programs over the past 15 years, but the Spartans are seeded second heading into the start of NCS playoffs this week.

Almost as surprising is the fact that crosstown rivals Clayton Valley Charter, which lost last spring’s Section championship game to DLS, did not make the tournament with a rare overall losing record that came about with the Ugly Eagles dropping their final five games of the season.

East Bay Athletic League rival Granada of Livermore is top seeded in the Division I playoffs with De La Salle second. The two schools met once this season with Granada prevailing 5-4.

College Park is seeded third and could face DLS in the semi-finals if each wins its first two games. The Falcons are the last team to deny the Concord school an NCS title in 2015.

Ygnacio Valley played a freelance schedule this year and it landed the Wolves a berth in the Division IV tournament.

In Division I softball, College Park is also the third seed while CVCHS is 12th. Carondelet is eighth seed in D-II and Diablo Athletic League champion Northgate is No. 11 in D-II.

Track and field reaches season climax

De La Salle won the Tri-Valley NCS meet last Saturday and hopes to contend for the championship this Friday and Saturday at Dublin High in the NCS Meet of Champions. Trey Caldwell (3200), Anthony Dean (triple jump) and Jayden Nicholas (400M) all won their events at the Tri-Valley meet to spark the team victory, which also included a first place by the Spartans 4×100 relay.

Taking second in their events were Sophomore Jaden Jefferson in the 100 and 200 meter sprints, Darrell Cenido in the 110 high hurdles and freshman Chase Young in 300 hurdles.

Clayton Valley Charter boys were ninth in the meet including a first-place finish in the 4×400 relay.

The Ugly Eagles girls were fourth in the team standings led by Cal-bound Zoe Lahanas who won the 800 meters and Vivienne Magu runner up in the long jump. The CVCHS 4×400 relay was third.

Carondelet’s Malia Velasco won the 100 hurdles.

De La Salle second in LAX

Third seed De La Salle’s lacrosse team wasn’t able to defend its NCS D-I lacrosse championship but the Spartans upended No. 2 Redwood 13-12 in a thrilling overtime semi-final to reach the championship game before losing to Marin Catholic for the second time this season. The Spartans had won three successive NCS championships.

Northgate boys, also seeded third, made it to the Division II finals with three straight victories before losing to top seed Justin-Siena of Napa.

Carondelet made it to the D-I girls semi-finals before losing to top seed and eventual champions San Ramon Valley for the second year in a row in the playoffs.

Jay Bedecarré
Jay Bedecarré
Sports and Schools Editor at The Concord Clayton Pioneer | | 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.