April 14, 2024
Top players and predicted order of finish in the six-school MVAL/WACC Mission Division.

MVAL/WACC MISSION DIVISION

(Predicted order of finish)

No. 1 BERKELEY 

Coach: David Perry

2022 record: 7-4

What to expect: All-BANG wide receiver Jackson Harris may have graduated, but coach David Perry can still count on production from elite players on both sides of the ball. Senior quarterback Drew Henderson passed for 38 touchdowns and is the best QB in the league. Three-star athlete B.J Thurman will be “the next great wide receiver to come out of Berkeley” while also rushing the passer on defense, Perry said. The coach believes halfback Jalen Harris has college-level athleticism as both a DB and running back, and linemen Eli Cohen-Moulton and Terrance Phillips will set the tone in the trenches. Junior linebacker Lucas Cord was called a “tempo setter” and a model of consistency on defense. 

Season opener: Aug. 25 at Miramonte, 7 p.m.

No. 2 HAYWARD

Coach: Virgil Hart

2022 record: 5-5

What to expect: Four-year starter Kennedy Braziel is the definition of a tough dual-threat, passing for more than 1,000 yards and rushing for 10 touchdowns last season. He gives coach Virgil Hart stability under center, and junior lineman James Fukofuka, who is listed at 395 pounds, and senior WR Eusebio Goncalves bring more experience to the offense. Senior WR Emmanuel Sega led the Farmers in receptions last season and should have another big season, and junior RB Mateaki Paongo is a bruising runner who will once again be a pass-rushing presence on the edge. 

Season opener: Aug. 25 vs. Bethel, 7 p.m.

No. 3 MT. EDEN

Coach: Raymoses Leal

2022 record: 5-5

What to expect: First-year coach Raymoses Leal has big shoes to fill as the man tabbed to replace legendary East Bay coach Paul Perenon, who stepped down in the Spring. Leal says senior tight end Tristan Robinson, who was a standout on the basketball team before switching to football, has great athleticism and energy to go along with a 6-2 frame. Senior Kyree Fudge, alongside fellow senior WR/DB Isaac Jones, is expected to lead a young offense. Leal says sophomore RB/LB Johnathan Santiago has “lots of upside” and could complement senior Giancarlo Peralta, who will be charged with leading the linebacker and running back rooms. 

Season opener: Aug. 25 vs. Kennedy-Fremont at Washington-Fremont, 7 p.m.

No. 4 WASHINGTON-FREMONT

Coach: Fernando Sotelo

2022 record: 4-6

What to expect: Coach Fernando Sotelo has some exciting talent returning to Washington, a team that has the talent to challenge Hayward and Mt. Eden near the top of the league. Senior WR Marques Polk returns as both a dynamic pass-catcher and DB, and senior Gabriel Abrihim will contribute as both WR and kick returner. Cameron Redd has a chance to make an impact at RB as a sophomore, and junior Esean Johnson returns as the starting QB after a promising sophomore season. 

Season opener: Aug. 25 at Dublin, 7 p.m.

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No. 5 IRVINGTON

Coach: Anthony Jackson

2022 record: 5-5

What to expect: First-year coach Anthony Jackson’s team will rely on a pair of physical runners to carry the Vikings offense. Jackson described senior Jacob Santos as “bruising,” and the bowling ball of an RB will be joined by junior Matty Forbes, who is also a threat catching the ball out of the backfield. TE/LB Kian Shirkhodaei is a physical presence on both sides of the ball, and senior Isaiah Nurie-Rodas was called Irvington’s “biggest, most imposing returning lineman.”

Season opener: Aug. 26 vs. Novato, 7 p.m.

No. 6 ENCINAL

Coach: Derrick Lyons

2022 record: 1-9

What to expect: After a tough first season, which included a single victory over island rival Alameda, coach Derrick Lyons expects an experienced Jets team to be more competitive this season. Senior WR/LB Kaleb Westbrooks will be the captain whom Lyons said “leads by example,” and junior Bruce Osborne will be a banger on the offensive line and at linebacker. Marco Garcia, a 230-pound junior, will be back at defensive end, but will also be asked to be a big target at TE for the Jets passing attack. 

Season opener: Aug. 25 vs. Hercules, 7 p.m.

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