June 19, 2024
Top players and predicted order of finish in the six-school Peninsula Athletic League De Anza Division.

PENINSULA ATHLETIC LEAGUE DE ANZA DIVISION

(Predicted order of finish)

No. 1 HALF MOON BAY

Coach: Keith Holden

2022 record: 7-4

What to expect: The Cougars are invariably low in numbers but high in toughness, well-coached and difficult to prepare for with the variety of things they do on offense. They are inexperienced this season but committed to the ground game. Aiden Vasquez, an all-league lineman a year ago, is the top returning player. He’ll be joined on the line by Vince Vella. Those two will be among the blockers tasked with opening holes for running backs Harrison Tobias and Adler Halterman. Hermes McClellan is a standout on defense at linebacker.

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

No. 2 THE KING’S ACADEMY

Coach: Dante Perez

2022 record: 8-3

What to expect: RB Jeaden Underwood and QB Reid Black both return for TKA after putting up big numbers last season. Underwood rushed for 1,312 yards and 14 touchdowns. Black threw 21 TD passes with only four interceptions. Perez called sophomore WR Kyle Welch “electric.”  LBs Lukas Morris and Matthew Kennedy are third-year varsity performers. Morris also is a key player on offense as a fullback and tight end. Senior safety Miles Clark will play a big role on defense.  

Season opener: Aug. 25 vs. Mountain View, 7 p.m.

No. 3 PALO ALTO

Coach: Dave DeGeronimo

2022 record: 7-7

What to expect: After a slow start last season Paly finished strong, won a CCS D-V title and returns a number of key players. RB Jeremiah Madrigal rushed for 803 yards and 10 TDs. He’ll run behind highly-recruited LT Ikinasio Tupou and RG JJ Stallworth. QB Declan Packer threw for 1,728 yards and 19 TDs. Leading receiver Jason Auzenne (30 catches, 455 yards, 7 touchdowns) returns. Other pass-catching targets include Jeremiah Fung and Isaiah Walker. Joey Kessler and Serra transfer Johnny Latu are part of a talented linebacking group on defense.

Season opener: Aug. 25 vs. Fremont-Sunnyvale, 7 p.m.

No. 4 MENLO SCHOOL

Coach: Todd Smith

2022 record: 8-6

What to expect: Menlo is 24-8 since Smith took over as head coach in 2020, but lost 16 seniors off last season’s CCS championship team. Mike McGrath, Jack Freehill and Ben Salama are competing to be the starting QB for a program traditionally associated with the passing game. RB Willis Johnson and WRs Brady Jung and Harry Housser will be looking for touches in the offense. Parker Ashton (6-1, 215) and Bradford Tudor (6-3, 210) have promise on the line.

Season opener: Aug. 26 vs. American Canyon, 2 p.m.

No. 5 HOMESTEAD

Coach: Milo Lewis

2022 record: 4-7

What to expect: The quarterback position is an area of concern for Homestead. Whoever gets tabbed to call signals will have a big target to throw to in senior tight end Wyatt Hook (6-6, 233), an Oregon State commit who caught 40 passes for 557 yards last season. The offensive line and running game are expected to be strengths. On defense, Max Ward is a solid cover cornerback. Gustavo Escobedo and Connor Chung were among the team’s top tacklers a year ago as juniors. 

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

No. 6 HILLSDALE

Coach: Mike Parodi

2022 record: 6-4

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What to expect: Not backing away from a challenge, Hillsdale is moving up to the De Anza despite just a third-place finish in the Ocean Division last season. Erick Waugh went 3-0 at quarterback last year after moving from wide receiver. Elliott Regan figures to be the primary ball carrier. Wide receivers Drew Rollolazo and Trajan King will provide Waugh with experienced targets. Tripp McCann will lead the defense playing linebacker and also see time as a receiver on offense.

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

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