Winter sports teams aim for post­season after busy holiday schedule

Winter sports teams aim for post­season after busy holiday schedule

Winter sports teams aim for post­season after busy holiday schedule
Coach Ronnie McGee has his Mt. Diablo High girls basketball team off to a 4-2 start. The Red Devils team includes, front row from left, Mariel Busine, Andheya Aurelio and Hilari Ramos; back row, Yasmine Garrett and Noelani Boyd. (Jay Bedecarré photo)

CONCORD, CA (Jan. 3, 2022) ― The business of league play for both Diablo and East Bay athletic league teams heats up in earnest at the start of the new year leading up to North Coast Section and CIF post-season championships.


Three high profile new local coaches will be taking their teams to the hardwood for full seasons in their traditional wintertime period after basketball has had pandemic-related impacts the past two school years.

Carondelet’s Kelly Sopak guided the Cougars to a 10-1 record in an abbreviated May season. The famed club coach has his team taking part in six tournaments and EBAL league play. Among his charges are point guard Talana Lepolo who is committed to national champion Stanford and UC Davis-bound Nya Epps.

Clayton Valley Charter’s boys coach Frank Allocco Jr. was in charge of the Ugly Eagles for the April-May spring season and his team was 12-3.

De La Salle has a new but familiar face on board as head coach this winter. Alumnus Marcus Schroeder moved over from his Saint Mary’s College coaching duties to take over for another De La Salle grad Justin Argenal who is now head coach at Dominican University in San Rafael.

The Spartans are off to a 3-0 start despite losing four-star recruit Chris Bunch. The 6-7 small forward transferred to Wasatch Academy in Utah for his senior season. He is committed to Syracuse next fall.

Carondelet and DLS start EBAL play Jan. 4.

For Diablo Athletic League boys teams, Clayton Valley Charter, College Park and Northgate are in the Foothill Division while Ygnacio Valley, Mt. Diablo, Concord and Berean Christian are in the Valley. The girls teams are in the same divisions except College Park girls are in the Valley.

North Coast Section playoffs begin in mid-February.


DAL girls divisions include Clayton Valley Charter, College Park and Northgate in the Foothill division with Berean Christian, Concord, Mt. Diablo and Ygnacio Valley in the Valley. The Valley division begins league play this week while the Foothill division league games start Jan. 4.

Boys Foothill division includes Ygnacio Valley, Northgate and Clayton Valley Charter with Berean Christian, Mt. Diablo, College Park and Concord in the Valley Division.

Perennial top soccer teams Carondelet and De La Salle began EBAL play in December. Both schools switched home and away assignments with their league opponents starting when the Cougars hosted Cal High and De La Salle visited Cal on Dec. 14.


De La Salle reeled last February with the sudden death of head coach Mark Halvorson, who led the Spartans to unprecedented heights in wrestling including mentoring state champions Kyle Parco and Peyton Omania. The Spartans are now led by alumnus Jonathan Clark, who will try to build on that legacy which includes a run of the past six NCS team and dual meet championships.

The Spartans don’t wrestle any EBAL dual meets and are automatic league entries in the NCS dual meet championships Feb. 5.
In the DAL CVCHS, College Park and Northgate wrestle in the Foothill division with Berean, Concord, Mt. Diablo and Ygnacio Valley in the Valley.

Winter sports schedule

DAL League Jan. 4 – Feb. 11
EBAL League Jan 4. – Feb. 11
EBAL Championship Games Feb. 12
NCS Feb. 13-26
NorCal Championships Mar. 1-8
CIF State Championships Mar. 11-12

DAL Foothill Season Jan. 4 – Feb. 10
DAL Valley Season Dec. 7 – Feb. 10
NCS Championships Feb. 16-26
Norcal Championships Mar. 1-5
CIF State Championships Mar. 11-12

DAL Valley Matches Jan. 5 – Feb. 2
DAL Foothill Matches Jan. 22 – Feb. 2
EBAL League Matches Jan. 5 – Jan. 27
NCS Dual Team Championships Feb. 5
DAL Championships Feb. 11-12
NCS Championships Feb. 18-19
CIF State Championships Feb. 24-26

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.