League play for high school spring sports is mostly underway this week as outdoor athletes in track and field, baseball, softball, lacrosse, tennis and golf have worked their training and competitions around the numerous rainy days, making fields sometimes unplayable. Swimmers, on the other hand, have just dealt with being wet in and out of the pool.
The Diablo Athletic League Foothill Division begins a double round-robin schedule next Tuesday while the Valley Division starts Apr. 9. Both divisions conclude DAL play May 9. Clayton Valley Charter and Northgate are in the highly-competitive Foothill Division while Valley Division includes local schools Ygnacio Valley, Mt. Diablo and Concord.
The East Bay Athletic League Mountain Division schedule starts this week through May 3 before the league playoffs are May 7-10.
De La Salle has won three consecutive North Coast Section Division I championships and five of the last seven. In their recent run the Spartans were ranked second nationally in 2016 and 2018.
The NCS playoffs begin May 14-15 with the finals set May 24-25.
The DAL has a single division in both boys and girls lacrosse. Eight schools, including Clayton Valley Charter and Northgate, are fielding teams in each league. Teams are playing a single round-robin weekly schedule that runs through Apr. 26. The league playoffs are Apr. 30 and May 3 and NCS tournaments for boys and girls begin May 7.
Carondelet won its first NCS softball championship since 1999 last spring, ending a run of Division II titles by Alhambra and Concord, who had won every title since 2010 except 2011. Concord reached the semi-finals last year after winning the DAL Foothill championship. Carondelet took second in the EBAL.
The DAL softball schedule mirrors baseball with the double round-robin Foothill schedule running from next Tuesday to May 9 while the Valley Division is Apr. 9 – May 9. CVCHS, Concord and Northgate are in the Foothill Division while Mt. Diablo and Ygnacio Valley are in the Foothill.
NCS playoffs begin May 14-15 with the finals May 24-25.
Swimming & Diving
Five aquatic powerhouses (including Northgate) are in the DAL Foothill Division with dual meets concluding Apr. 15, same date for the Valley division where CVCHS figures to be the favorite. The DAL championship meet is Apr. 25-27.
Concord Community Pool hosts NCS May 2-4 and the CIF State meet is in Clovis May 10-11.
DAL tennis matches run through Apr. 24 and the DAL championships are Apr. 25-27. The Section team championships are May 7-11 after the singles and doubles tournament May 3-4.
Track & Field
Clayton Valley Charter made a big splash at the CIF State Meet last June and the Ugly Eagles figured to do well again this year. Senior Cameron Reynolds, who is headed to UCLA in the fall, finished second in the state last year in the 400 meters and 4×400 relay. His classmate Daylon Hicks was second in the high jump at state last year and is currently ranked No. 1 in the state.
This spring, Reynolds is No. 1 in the 200 and second in the 400 in early-season NCS rankings. Hicks tops the high jump charts.
Concord middle distance star Rayna Stanziano will be looking for a potential state title this May in her final season and currently is No. 1 in the 800 and 3200 in NCS and third in the 1600.
Other local athletes who are No. 1 in their events are Kelly Kern (Carondelet, pole vault), Amy Christensen (Northgate 100 hurdles), Airiana Dargan (Concord, long jump), Austin Kresley (Northgate, 100), CVCHS boy (4×100 and 4×400 relays) and CVCHS girls (4×400 relay).
The DAL track and field dual meet schedule on Wednesdays goes through Apr. 10 while the EBAL ends a day later. The DAL and EBAL league meet finals are May 4. The EBAL Trials are Apr. 26, a day before DAL Trials.
The Tri-Valley NCS Championships are May 11 in Dublin, the NCS Meet of Champions May 17-18 at Diablo Valley College and the State Meet May 24-25 in Clovis.
The double-round robin DAL Valley schedule runs April 25 with matches on Tuesdays and Thursdays. All local schools except Northgate are in the Valley. The Broncos are part of the Foothill Division that plays matches through Apr. 25.
NCS playoffs are Apr. 30 – May 9. NorCal championships are May 14-18.
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.