CONTRA COSTA COUNTY, CA (Dec. 14, 2022) — Winter sports are well underway with non-league action but the Diablo Athletic League starts its Foothill Division league schedule next week and the East Bay Athletic League begins girls and boys basketball slates a week later, getting a jump before the calendar turns to 2023.
When those leagues do get underway, expect a full dose of Carondelet and De La Salle winter sports success.
The Spartans won last season’s NCS soccer and the Section’s dual and team wrestling championships. De La Salle lost the NCS Open Division basketball title on a missed shot at the buzzer to powerful Campolindo, denying them a clean sweep of winter sports crowns. Carondelet swept girls basketball and soccer crowns in 2022.
De La Salle has accumulated 54 winter sports NCS championships. This impressive total includes 14 Section basketball and soccer championships. DLS wrestling have taken the last seven NCS dual and team titles while winning 14 of the past 15 NCS dual meet titles and 12 of 13 team championships.
In 2022 Carondelet basketball won its 15th NCS championship since 2003 and the Cougars soccer team won the Section title, the school’s second in the past three playoffs and fifth overall.
Clayton Valley Charter made school history winning its first-ever boys NCS basketball championship last season when they defeated Dougherty Valley 76-71 in the Division I finale. The Ugly Eagles are 4-1 this season.
And more history was made locally when the Mt. Diablo High girls basketball reached the NCS Division 5 semi-finals and gained a first-ever berth in the Northern California playoffs. This season’s Red Devils are 6-2.
Carondelet and De La Salle EBAL league play starts Dec. 20 while all DAL schools tipoff league action Jan. 4. The Spartans are off to a 5-2 start in non-league games while the Cougars have 7-1 record in the midst of three December tournaments.
All the local schools are shooting for berths in the North Coast Section playoffs beginning Feb. 14.
De La Salle was ranked No. 1 in the first Bay Area boys soccer poll of the season while Clayton Valley Charter was also considered a top 10 contender.
Carondelet began its soccer schedule with a 2-0 mark at a weekend tournament in Madera looking for a third NCS title in the past four seasons.
The Foothill DAL teams are the first in the area to begin league games on Dec. 13.
NCS soccer playoffs start Feb. 14.
As mentioned, De La Salle has been the king of NCS wrestling for over a decade and there are no signs that will be changing soon. Northgate and Mt. Diablo both qualified for the Division II dual tournament last year. The Broncos won the previous year’s event in 2021.
The dual team competition is Feb. 4 when the first winter sports section titles will be handed out.
The NCS championships are 17-18, a week before the State meet in Bakersfield.
Winter sports schedules
DAL League Jan. 4 – Feb. 9
EBAL League Dec. 20 – Feb. 7
EBAL Boys Tournament Feb. 6-11
EBAL Girls Tournament Feb. 10-11
NCS Championships Feb. 14-25
NorCal Championships Feb. 28 – Mar. 7
CIF State Championships Mar. 10-11
DAL Foothill Season Dec. 13 – Feb. 9
DAL Valley Season Jan. 3 – Feb. 9
EBAL League Jan. 3 – Feb. 9
NCS Championships Feb. 14-25
Norcal Championships Feb. 28 – Mar. 4
DAL Matches Jan. 11 – Feb. 2
EBAL League Matches Jan. 5 – 25
NCS Dual Team Championships Feb. 4
DAL Championships Feb. 11 (Clayton Valley Charter)
NCS Championships Feb. 17-18
CIF State Championships Feb. 23-25 (Bakersfield)
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.