Football Preview: Miles and Co. lead Sacred Heart’s strong senior class

Sacred Heart Cathedral senior running back Valentino Miles will be the focal point of the Irish offense after a sparkling 2010 campaign. (Photo by Doug Ko)

Sacred Heart Cathedral senior running back Valentino Miles will be the focal point of the Irish offense after a sparkling 2010 campaign. (Photo by Doug Ko)

By Jeremy Balan

Against Mitty the difference was a point, against St. Francis it was three, against rival St. Ignatius it was 10. If one of those games swings the other way, Sacred Heart Cathedral could have been looking at a Central Coast Section football championship in 2010.

But they didn’t, and each loss compounded what was a season of missed opportunities for the Irish.

The disappointment of last season still stings, but with the most talented core of skilled players in the City returning, Sacred Heart figures to have some of those same opportunities again.

“We want to return to the postseason and to do that we need to be above .500,” said Sacred Heart head coach John Lee. “We obviously want to compete in the [West Catholic Athletic League], but it has to start with [sweeping the non-league schedule]. We got it done last year and then just came up that short. We don’t want to repeat that.”

Devon Villanueva will lead an undersized Irish offensive line that has plenty to prove in 2011. (Photo by Doug Ko)

After a breakout season in 2010, senior running back Valentino Miles will occupy the spotlight, and Lee expects him to carry the ball 20 to 25 times per game in the Irish’s spread option attack.

The strong and compact runner excelled between the tackles with a tremendous burst of speed last season, and he is not short on his own expectations heading into the fall.

“If they keep giving me the ball, I’m going to keep producing yardage,” Miles said. “Two years ago, there was a SH running back named Dasarte Yarnway who put up some really big numbers. I want to beat those numbers and be Sacred Heart’s best running back ever.”

While Miles will be the constant on offense, an almost entirely different line will be in front of him.

The mammoth Irish offensive line was one of their greatest strengths last season, but this year’s version will be considerably smaller in comparison, headed by senior Devon Villanueva.

“We have a lot of inexperience on the [offensive line] and we’re small,” Lee said. “The smallest kid on the offensive line last season was [Villanueva] at 265 and he’s the biggest kid now.”

Villanueva is returning from a horrific knee injury in last year’s St. Ignatius game, and is now almost at 100 percent.

“Our line is going to be smaller in size, but heart-wise, we got it,” Villanueva said. “It’s our responsibility to get ‘Tino as many yards and touchdowns as possible. It starts with us first.”

The core of skilled position players may be returning, but one of the biggest hurdles for the Irish this season will be limited numbers. Used to seeing a roster total that pushes 50, Lee expects around 35 this season, accentuating the importance of do-everything senior Zach Tapel.

With limited numbers, Sacred Heart will rely heavily on do-everything senior Zach Tapel. (Photo by Doug Ko)

As he did last season, Tapel will be on the field nearly every down, as a running back and slot receiver on offense, linebacker and safety on defense, and as a kick returner on special teams.

“I’m just going to step up and do whatever the coaches want me to do, whether it’s catching the ball, running the ball or blocking,” Tapel said. “I’ll do whatever I can to help the team win. I’m trying not to leave the field at all.”

Another position of interest is at quarterback, where the Irish will be tasked with replacing first-team All-City quarterback Sean Murphy.

Senior Jack Harrington, Murphy’s backup last season, is the early favorite to take over, but Lee has not officially named him as the starter. Lee said that last season’s junior varsity starter, Jerry Peralta, could take the job as well.

“Jack Harrington has an early lead, but Jerry Peralta has worked his butt off all summer,” Lee said.

The pieces are in place for an Irish return to the postseason, but the elephant in the room is St. Ignatius. Lee has only won one game against the Wildcats in his seven years at Sacred Heart, and he downplays the importance of the game, but there is still a sense of weight and frustration with Lee and the rest of the team regarding their cross-town rival.

“Everyone brings that up. I’ve beaten them once in seven years,” Lee said. “Don’t get me wrong, it’s a big game, but Riordan is a bigger game for me, just being honest. The trophy we play for, I played college ball with that guy. There’s people out there who say, ‘SI plays to win and Sacred Heart just plays to compete.’ They’re not in my head. We play to win. This school puts too much emphasis on that game. We have rallies, for the baseball, basketball and the football game. Why don’t we have that for Mitty or for Valley Christian? Those games are just as important.”

2011 Schedule – WCAL games in bold
Scrimmage: Fri. 8/26 – vs Deer Valley @ Kezar Stadium, 4 p.m.
Week 0: Fri. 9/2 – vs. Terra Nova @ Kezar Stadium, 7 p.m.
Week 1: Sat. 9/10 – @ St. Mary’s (Albany), 1:30 p.m.
Week 2: Fri. 9/16 – vs. Jefferson (Daly City) @ Kezar Stadium, 7 p.m.
Week 3: Bye
Week 4: Sat. 10/1 – vs. Bellarmine (San Jose) @ Kezar Stadium, 2 p.m.
Week 5: Sat. 10/8 – @ Riordan, 2 p.m.
Week 6: Fri. 10/14 – @ St. Francis (Mountain View), 7:30 p.m.
Week 7: Fri. 10/21 – vs. St. Ignatius @ Kezar Stadium, 7 p.m.
Week 8: Fri. 10/28 – @ Valley Christian (San Jose), 7 p.m.
Week 9: Sat. 11/5 – @ Serra (San Mateo), 2 p.m.
Week 10: Fri. 11/11 – vs. Mitty (San Jose) @ Kezar Stadium, 7 p.m.

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(Photo Illustration by Josh Jalil)

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105 Comments on "Football Preview: Miles and Co. lead Sacred Heart’s strong senior class"

  1. WCAL Observer | August 14, 2011 at 12:04 PM |

    SH is majority girls now. They are down to a 35 player roster. Make it all girls and send the boys to Riordan and get it over with already.

    • Bob the Builder | August 15, 2011 at 1:19 AM |

      the sad thing is man, Riordan sports has drop in the last couple of years and SH has the best raw talent in the city, not saying their potential always works out like in the last few Bruce games. SH has a pretty good rising program rite now, hopefully the talent will even out between the 3 major SF WCAL and we can see some good games in the years to come too.

      • Johnny Drama | August 15, 2011 at 8:29 AM |

        SHC has the best talent, I agree, with this senior class. After this year, there will be a HUGE drop off in talent at SHC. This years Junior class at SI is the most talented class in the city and the Soph class is pretty even between SI and Riordan. With Arenas and a few transfers into Riordan, the edge in the Soph class may go to Riordan. We will see how this years frosh classes look as far as talent. I would disagree in saying that SHC has a rising program, in fact I would go as far as saying it is in decline. An Arenas leaving SHC for Riordan speaks volumes, in my opinion. In the end, what happens on the field or the hardwood is what matters. We will see.

        • Johnny Drama-I have to agree with you. I just heard about that kid Arenas transfering from SHC to Riordan. Isn’t his family all SHC and his brother playing basketball for the irish? I hear Mr Daly is doing a good job attracting kids into Riordan. Riordan will have 2 bigtime QB’s as sophomores in Arenas and Masoli. SHC needs to reload and find away to coach these kids to the promise land. Lee is a big hearted guy and good for the kids but maybe not a head coach at this time. SHC needs a play caller and bottom line is beat the city schools…All 3 schools have great kids with good talent, comes down to coaching period!!

          • Johnny Drama | August 16, 2011 at 10:56 AM |

            @Irish Fan, His family bleeds green. His dad was a big time hoops player in the early 80’s, one of the better players during that era. This caught alot of folks by surprise but it shows the resurgence on Phelan under Daly. Another post mentioned SHC’s frosh class is really talented with inner city kids. I”ll believe it when I see it as the city does not produce talent like it used to. I’m glad SFP will be around to cover these games this year.

            • @ JD

              Marty was and will always be a shooter! He never played D, but he could shoot like there was no tomorrow! Too bad the coaches at SH didn’t realize that with his oldest son, cause that kid can hit all day from behind the 3 point line!

              Yeah all the brothers went to SH, but he had nephews that went to Riordan so with his second son going there he can add some purple to his wardrobe.

              • Marty was weak. overrated B team player!!!

              • I watched the kid marty jr play last year and he shot lights out. How can you call a 15 yr old overrated? I saw a smart kid who was having fun on the court. So Fan tell me what you observed to say that the kid is weak? Remember the kid never told us he was a star!!

              • Another Fan not that Fan | August 18, 2011 at 9:52 PM |

                I think the fan #2 was talking about the Marty Senior not Marty Junior and Fan #1 was talking about Marty Senior in HS but that Marty Junior should have been out on the floor more with his dead on marksmanship from behind the 3 pt line.

  2. I’m surprised they don’t have a 50-man roster this time. Maybe they should get some more Marin County people. Just grab a 70 or a 101, stop at Geary and walk two blocks. What’s that??

    Also, John Lee is right. They should have a rally for every team. The SI game is always the big one but the others are important too.

    You forgot to mention “that guy” is Nick Stanfel. Irish will keep it at home again.

    Go Irish!!

  3. WCAL Observer | August 14, 2011 at 12:24 PM |

    Good article and Lee was pretty up front about goals and abilities.
    With only a 35 man roster and SHC already a majority female institution (more every year) it begs the question; With the changing demographics is it time for SHC to become an all girls school with a struggling ICA and have Riordan absorb the boys. SHC has no football or soccer facilities and has to bus players just to practice. Lee has done a tremendous job with what he has to work with but times are a changing. Two really healthy institutions would be great for the community and the students.

  4. lets go Irish. Lets make it back to CCS

  5. SI’s senior class is just as talented as SH if not more so

    • name their talent

      • Bob the Builder | August 15, 2011 at 1:21 AM |

        SH has more raw talent in my opinion. BUT raw talent always doesn’t equate to wins. Look at the last couple of Bruce Games both basketball and football. both are good programs and hav a great rivalry.

    • Agreed. They have lots of solid players and just because none of them are superstars that dominate SanFranPrep’s articles doesn’t mean that they aren’t talented. SI’s talent is “spread around” rather than relied on.

  6. I’m not sure how the Riordan game is more important. I do agree that more emphasis should be put on other WCAL games though. It seems like none of the city schools have much support at football games besides the Bruce.
    That’s a pretty damn easy out of conference they’re playing, however at best I still see them going 4-6, possibly 5-5.

    • Sunsetdistrict | August 18, 2011 at 11:08 AM |

      The Bruce-Mahoney is a big series, no doubt. Honestly though, it became such because of the females. In the 70’s it was simply the SI-SH game. With Riordan coming back, the Riordan game will once again be the game for the men.

      • That’s the dumbest thing I’ve heard in a long time.

        • The trophy series started in the 40’s. It originally was meant to be just an inner-city trophy but the WWII memorial idea came about around 1946 or so.

  7. What a joke! The Riordan game is Bigger than the SI game? Sounds like someone forgot to tell this guy its the oldest rivalry west of the Mississippi, Winning a trophy no one knows about against a team that is starting from scratch shoudnt be what a coach strives for. if the school takes it too seriously, this guy doesnt take it seriously enough. 1 out of 7 in the big game??? how many coach’s would keep their…never mind.

    • John Lee knew Nick Stanfel personally, therefore to him the Riordan game is more important. Also, it’s the oldest rivalry west of the Rockies. Centennial and Central of Colorado beat us out by a year. It’s at least the oldest Catholic school rivalry in the country.

    • I agree thats a joke, the SI vs SHC game is the biggest of the year for both schools. If SHC could win 1 then coach Lee will admit it. Man up Lee and take the challenge cause it will always be a huge game period…SHC vs SI for the Mahony=huge game!!

  8. John Lee is an astute historian of football, a great motivator dedicated to his alma mater. However to say that the SI game is just another game IS avoiding the elephant in the room (aka, dont win the game; convince others its not that important). It is the one game alums will go out their way to attend and it is getting harder and harder to witness.

    Best of luck to Coach Lee and the Irish. Alums want your boys to “compete” with the other WCAL teams, but would like to have a wine against SI (and the Stanfel Trophy would be nice too). Anything after that is gravy.

    • Frankly, I’ve had enough of “witnessing” this yearly debacle… on all three levels. I almost gave up on the basketball game at USF until we beat them the last two out of three.

  9. Not the oldest rivalry west of the Mississippi – second behind Pueblo (CO)Central-Centennial by one year (also one in Kansas). But it is the oldest Catholic (or private) school rivalry in the nation (all others are public).

  10. what does Sacred Hearts offensive line look like for this year?

    • Irish till I die | August 20, 2011 at 8:53 PM |

      they are looking stronger everyday. i had my doubts earlier this summer but all doubts are gone now. SHC o-line will hold shit down

    • one of the shc linemen | August 21, 2011 at 9:34 PM |

      we came a long way and we are no doubt getting better every week.

  11. lets go IRISH!!!

  12. SH has the skill, SI has the line. If that line for the Irish can work hard in games and not get dominated, then SH could be staring at another CCS Championship. Don’t get me wrong, SI won’t be an easy win. They have a big line and a few good skill players. In that game, SH usually has more talent, but Si is always prepared more thouroughly for these big games. My prediction is the irish going 6-4, or with a close win, 7-3. For si,i think they could very well be 5-5, 4-6, or 3-7.
    ***All you football fans, word is that SH has a very talented freshman team and have some talented inner city kids, as well as a kid who could be one of the better quarterbacks the have had in a long time. He also has an other brother who is a lineman for the Irish. The Freshman squad will be competing all year with SERRA and MITTY for the league title.

    • It’s good to hear that SHC has a good frosh team. I like to watch them play and not just for the free donuts from the mothers club.

      • Let me guess, you’re on the team, right? The best freshmen are the quarterback and running back, both of whom play on the JV team.

        I’ve seen SHC play for years and years and this is the worst Frosh team I’ve ever seen us put out there. They’ve given-up 204 points in 5 games. The only team they’ve beaten was Riordan 6-0 which shows how bad they are.

        • Riordan has 9 Freshmen playing on JV’s this year.

          So the Riordan Freshman team will have a hard time winning a game this season, when almost a whole starting unit of player’s is playing on JVs.

  13. One key piece that would make the Irish more talented is Taylor Johns. If only he stop listening to outside influences and make the best choice for him which is football. Johns is 6’5 and plays “big” but on the next level 6’5 you better be able to take defenders off the dribble and hit a 20 ft outside shot. He doesnt. But at 6’5 and at WR or TE, this could with his athletic ability can be a great pass catcher and make a legitimate D1 college football team.

    • I agree 100%, Taylor Johns told me he feels he’s not wanted or needed after games where he is being thrown to 1 time to 3 times a game. Remember they had the other 6ft5 kid Josh Fox who was a good reciever and quit cause he claims he wasn’t being used correctly and felt he was wasting his time. I agree that both these kids had a better chance to go D1 in football over basketball. Anyways good luck kids!

      • it’s true that both Johns and Fox would be better off playing football (more college opportunities), but their reasons for quitting football are pretty legitimate. Lets not forget that Lee rarely throws the ball. And when he does, the slot receivers and running backs usually see the majority of the throws, not the “#1” or “#2” receivers.

      • fox only played freshman year. taylor is overrated. he never worked hard, his heart was not in football

  14. I dont buy Lee’s excuse either. He cant admit that SI year after year beats up SH. You know the reason why SI beats SH every year in football? Because he lacks any offensive imagination. SI KNOWS whats coming. SI knows which lanes to plug up. SI knows you stack 8 or even 9 in the box!

    When Phil Freed was the coach, yes he lost to SI too, but his play calling had variety. He ran play action and actually passed! If he had as much talent as Lee has now…. Its just unacceptable that 1 out of every 10 years SH can say they won the football game. I would accept 3 out of 10. =)

    • Coach Freed’s play calling variety was to run left or right. I think that Coach Lee has better play calling but am sickened by his downplaying the Bruce Mahoney game. With so many years playing out of league, the Bruce used to be all we had! Now it would be the icing on the cake of a WCAL Championship. The Riordan game has always been a distant second!

    • I agree with Ari Gold, it seems that SI knows what SHC is going to run before SHC knows. SHC’s offense is too predictable and boring. SHC has had more talent for the last 3 to 5 yrs and Coach Lee can’t get a win. Lee should call the offense and live with the outcome like a true coach. SHC has good ball players again this year so in time we’ll see if Lee decides to step up to the challenge and call the Offense. The city schools will get even soon with the transfers Riordan is getting and the fact that SHC is too predictable…Go Irish!

  15. WCAL Observer | August 15, 2011 at 12:54 PM |

    I haven’t heard anything special about SHC frosh. Sacred Heart Cathedral has a declining male enrollment issue that can only get worse. It should be called Cathedral Sacred Heart. Cathedral Sacred Heart already had one of the schools best frosh athletes transfer to Riordan.

    • You make a great point. Who transfered out cause I hear more want out of SHC and maybe off to Riordan…Thats big news around the city ..I hear a 3 sport star left the irish for Riordan. Remeber Pat Daly is the new president and doing a good job and he can get the old irish school kids to change over and do well at R….

  16. I think that this season for SH will be a long one. Having a roster with less than 50 bodies is asking a lot from your players. Playing the likes of your south bay WCAL foes who always seem to have abundant talent (size, speed & strength) is going to be rough. Given the size of their line I feel that Miles and Tapel will be worn down after mid season. I see maybe 3 or 4 wins this season no playoffs. I don’t see their offense changing that much at all. I agree with other post that their offensive play calling could greatly improve. Someone mention Johns should use his size for football. I can agree with that just look at Kevin Greene he got a football scholarship not a basketball one after only playing his junior and senior years.

    And come on your biggest rivalry is the SI GAME then Riordan. Get outta here with that! There is a reason you only have won one game and that is because you have been out played in all facets of the game. I like Lee but he needs to add a lot of spice to that vanilla offense he has and he knows it. I would not be surprised if this was his last season coaching.

    • Everything you said was spot-on. Lee is a solid coach and a good guy, but he always seems to be a few steps behind SI.

  17. As far as Taylor Johns, in his mind he is only a basketball player. Not a very good one since he misses the majority of his free throws and is too consumed with trying to slam dunk (and failing) instead of playing as a team to gain points. Thank you AAU basketball for keeping another kid out of football.
    As far as the SI game goes, SI doesn’t make a big deal of the game, and this was told to me by an SI coach. I dont blame them for not making a big deal out of it since they win it the majority of the time. I think Coach Lee is trying to get the kids to not mentally screw themselves. There have been years when SH had a better team, but the kids lose the game themselves by making simple mistakes, mental mistakes. Also, comparing the offense with Lee at the helm and the offense from Freed is ignorant considering neither one was/is the offensive coordinator. The year SH did beat SI before they returned to the WCAL is when Coach Lee soley ran the offense. He simply out coached SI. I thonk Lee’s comment was due to the fact that all hear is asked every year all year is “Are we gonna beat SI?” That can get tiresome and old.
    This year will be interesting to say the least.

  18. I think if coach Lee can’t have a good season this year then its time for new blood and more energy. SHC is very boring to watch when so nuch talent is being wasted. Sometimes you have to take chances and let the kids have fun. Time for a new coach is very near for the irish…

  19. Regarding all of the Taylor Johns comments… What if he just likes basketball more than football and wants to focus on what he enjoys more? Would that be so bad?

    I’m not claiming to know his motivations for not playing football, but I don’t think we should be slamming him for doing something he thinks is right for HIS life.

    If his heart’s not in football, you can’t blame the kid for doing what makes him happy.

    • Right, and there’s not one school that wouldn’t take him.

      • I agree, every school would love to have Taylor at their school. I’m being told that he does like football. But feels like too much time on the field to have 1 pass a game thrown his way…Fox mentioned the same exact thing, not being used correctly…Do what makes you happy kids cause high school yrs go fast..

        • If Johns spent the summer and fall working on his mid range game, then no knocking him for not playing football. Who ever said he can only play offense? You can put him at outside LB or SS. If you only get thrown to once a game, then play the other part of the game. Go out and hit someone.

          If he ever had aspirations to make it in professional sports, his avenue wouldve been football like Kevin Greene. Hopefully Greene can make it to the NFL. If not, he can be Mikael Pietrus stunt double.

          • Johnny Drama | August 16, 2011 at 1:20 PM |

            @Ari…my man….hey sorry about your pending divorce!

            There is a big difference, in my opinion, between Greene and TJ. Greene was an absolute beast and has the build for a DE/LB at the next level and should be playing on Sundays when his college career is done. Greene also has an incredible work ethic. Not sure if TJ has the same DNA as KG. I do not know the kid personally but I have observed him during games. Specifically the Mitty game when AG was killing him. His body language was terrible. On the other hand, I saw alot of KG and win or lose, he always played the exact same. The Riordan, SI and SHC games were classics during those years. I was at several games where SHC was getting blasted and KG was giving it 100%. I also saw games where SHC was doing the blasting and KG was at 100% effort. That’s what made him special. No knock on TJ but it is a dis-service to KG to lump them together! Ari, look forward to another season of our playful banter. I’m more of a hoops guy so on a side not, the road to state got a little easier for you with Sac moving up divisions and Ashley to sin city.

            • Drama! I think you were the last person to have the whizzanator!
              Big ups to Jeremy for raising the funds to have another go-round.

              1) No comparison of course. Greene was just a physical specimen with a non-stop motor. Plus a great kid and student.

              2) Johns, may not have the heart of Greene. Not many do. Plus come on Drama. Aaron Gordon craps on everyone. He will crap on Johns. He will crap on Domingo. Johns is still a 2nd team league performer and up. His game is getting up and down the floor and being active. That can translate to a 6,7,8th man on a D1 team.

              3) BOD is still stacked. They wouldve still killed SH last year without Ashley. Only chance is if Fox drops 40 on them. Im excited to see what Fox added to his game this year.

            • Wendell McKines! All that talent and the best he can do is New Mexico State?!?! Plus of course Gordon cant on McKines. Gordon is a junior in HIGH SCHOOl. McKines is a senior in COLLEGE. Apples and oranges my friend.

              • Johnny Drama | August 17, 2011 at 1:16 PM |

                I believe he committed to USF but grades kept him out. He’s gotten significantly better in college as many players do. He was basically a dunker who worked hard on a post-up and midrange game. Taylor Johns is more similar to a WM than KG. WM is a good role model for Johns. WM was the best player on the floor in every pro-am game he suited up for.

  20. I think John Lee looks like Inspector Sledge Hammer.

  21. I think Taylor John’s looks like Mikael Pietrus.

  22. What really happened | August 16, 2011 at 11:33 AM |

    Enough with these Taylor Johns comments. As a player on the Irish team, I’m sick of hearing about it. Yes, I do agree that he wasn’t used properly in our offense and should have gotten more receptions to help us win games. However, he did show up after all of the hard work WE put in during the winter in the weight room, and on the field in the summer and fall camps leading up to the season. His attitude was cancerous and divided a team that already had great chemistry. It was people who wanted Taylor on the team versus those who did not believe he deserved to be there. But this was all in the past, and WE are moving forward as a team. This year, WE have enough talent and potential to achieve great things. And with hard work and determination, goals will be accomplished.

    • Well said. Go Irish!

    • @what really happened… tell coach lee the only way he will beat SI is play action. play off their WRs and guard tightly the TE. This is what theyve done for the last 20 years and for some reason SH still doesnt get it.

      • …and watch for the fake punt. (I don’t mean watch him run after he fakes a freakin’ punt!!!)

    • I hope that is true, but you have to admit that with a small roster of players you guys can not afford to make dumb mistakes and fall behind in scoring. Hey if it’s best that johns isn’t on the team then good for you guys. Wish you all the best this season

      • oh yah thats right IC Stars! the fake punt. they’re always good for that too since their QB is usually the punter and he throws that fake punt pass to the tight end thats wide open and that play goes for 50+ yards.

    • Great job telling it like it is-what really happened. Many people don’t see the truth of work ethic and determination and i’m glad you informed us on the truth…Can’t have cancer on the team and be a close nit team. Work hard irish kids and good things will come your way!! Go irish…

  23. Can someone give me a scouting report on this Arenas kid that transferred? What is he more a football player or basketball player. How tall is he? Why did he transfer? Is he related to Gilbert?

    • Arenas is the son of Marty Arenas who played in the early 80’s for SH. The kid is nice kid, kind of quiet, stands just shy of 6’0, pretty strong kid who hasn’t grown into his body yet. He plays 3 sports. Don’t know about academics but he was held out of games in each sport by his father because of his grades last year at SH, so maybe the move to Riordan was more for their curriculum then sports which is a good thing. If he can mature there then he can be a monster on the field. Wonder who will be the better athlete over the next 3 years, him or Masoli?

      • I remember Marty Arenas. Good player.

      • I just met this kid on campus and what a nice kid. He’s quiet but cheerful and told me he’s excited for the change from SHC to Riordan. He stands 6ft tall and 185lbs, I was told he bench pressed 255lbs in the weight room a day ago, so yes a strong kid. He loves football and baseball and enjoys basketball. Good kid, lets see what how it turns out for him.

    • I agree that TJ and Fox were not used correctly on the football field and now both said bye bye to football. Good luck kids on the up coming season in all sports.

  24. Is sf preps saved?

  25. Taylor Johns and Josh Fox will lead the Irish to a State championship this year. If they cant shoot sag off and watch them knock down the shot. You guys act like people cant get better. Aaron Gordon had 15 and Taylor had 13. Go look at the Stats. The year before that Aaron had about 9 Taylor had 20. Word on the street is Coaches are gaining interest in this Taylor. As a friend I have witnessed two D1 coaches call him in one day. No telling how many he may have because the kid isn’t cocky. Taylor love the game of football but he said he refuse to be used on the field. He is 6’5 and only get 1 pass a game? did u see what happened when they threw it to him against Bellermin mitty and SI? So all that talking about he is not good cool it. He and Josh Fox has great chemistry because they played on the same AAU team.

  26. just an off topic observation, I’ve noticed the comment threads on WCAL school sports are much more intelligible and less trollish than AAA ones, to me that shows a big gap in maturity and self restraint between the two leagues and the people associated with them. Not saying that its always like that, but comparing this one to the other one proves otherwise. (I went and played for a AAA school btw).

  27. Hypothetical, say if Riordan had a steep decline of enrollment and cannot be economically viable and had to shut down. Would the students choose SI or SH as their replacement school? Or would they just go to Serra because they enjoy the single-ed experience?

    • In reality, Riordan has gained about 10% more students this year after declining enrollment for the past few years. They also have boarding school students as of this academic year. They have a new President, AD, Admissions Director and Development leader. The real question will be can Sacred Heart Cathedral continue to operate as more than a girls school with their declining male enrollment that will get even worse as more boys opt to go to Riordan. What respectable SF teenager would go to Serra anyways.

    • Serra? They should take a GGT bus up to Marin Catholic.

  28. I think it will be a fun year with the 3 city schools with good players and lots of energy for whatever sport is being played. Football should be exciting with SI-SHC-Riordan and we’ll see who the kings of the city will be in 2011-2012 season. These teams work hard and the coaches put much time in along with the kids doing their best. Good luck to all 3 schools and stay safe!!

  29. mixteam certified | August 18, 2011 at 10:05 AM |

    Hey jbalan,
    Quick question will you be doing basketball previews? Thanks and love your work!

    • We’ll see… It’s hard with everything in fall at full force when basketball starts…

      It may be a little easier this year, but again, we’ll see…

  30. What are you talking about?!? Marty Sr. was flat lights out shooter in HS and dominated…that was a very good sh team along w Eric white, Kevin gogan and carlos roa. That team would be dominant today.

    • That ’83 team would dominate in any era. They won a WCAL co-title that season. Eric White went on to the NBA. I would love to have seen Tim Burke coach this team instead of Gerry Phillips.

      • Who did they share the 83 title with? My memory is fading. I know SI was dominating in the early 81-82 with Middlebrooks, Wilson, and Oyharchabal (sp?). SHC then rolled in 83 with Riordan running the table the rest of the decade. Exciting times for City Hoops!

    • I agree with WCALSF, I talked with some Pro-Am guys who said he was the smartest and sneakiest but slow feet. Marty Sr. is a pro-am legend, check the pro-am guide. I was told he played in Mexico and Australia for 7 yrs then came home and works with kids now. His son Marty jr I saw play and has very deep range and is smart player. His son bobby is more of a football-baseball player who is now at Riordan under the eye’s of Mr.Daly. His 83 team was loaded-Kevin Gogan=NFL, Eric White=NBA, Joey Peterson=NFL, Steven Reyes=MLB, Arenas=oversea’s. But Riordan and SI were good in the 80’s too. Good luck to all kids playing sports this year and stay healthy and safe!!

      • It was a co-title with SI. With the playoff system they were using, the team that finished in first place had to be beaten twice but since both schools shared the first-place “point”, there was no second playoff game…. I like the tournament set-up and the divisional CCS playoff set-up much better.

  31. Taylor Johns | August 22, 2011 at 11:43 AM |

    This is a piece on the SHCP football team so keep my name out of it. Me on the court and the SHCP football team on the field will SILENCE THE DOUBTERS! Good luck to the football team this year. You guys know I will be behind you guys 110%. RESPECT

  32. Josh Weinstein | August 23, 2011 at 4:21 PM |

    Put 8 men in the box to stop Tino Miles, and SH will lose every WCAL game this season. Too one dimensional on offense and not enough bodies. 35 players? C’mon, this isn’t Pop Warner, it’s the WCAL. It would be a shame if SH had to drop out of the WCAL again in football to regroup. The kids deserve better, Coach Lee.

    • Irish won’t drop out of the WCAL any more than Riordan will go 8-man and join the Coastal League.

      • Johnny Drama | August 24, 2011 at 11:08 AM |

        Riordan has more boys in it than SHC from what I hear. It sounds like you wont have them as you’re whipping boy in the near future…….

  33. I agree with all the comments said of Coach Lee…too bad he doesn’t take any of the advice everyone has been trying to give him for years! Is SHC scared to fire him from the head coach position or what!

  34. I don’t think SHC is scared to fire Lee. He himself built that program. I think the issue is who would replace him? Who would spend 7 days a week, 12+ hours a day during the season on preparing scouting reports, watching game film from the previous game and the game coming up, staying AFTER practice with kids that want to spend extra time working on skills? Or the off season, selling his kids to colleges? He has sent a few players every year to the next level. We all know about Yarnway at Cal and Greene at USC, but he has also had kids play at Holy Cross, Sacred Heart University, the Citadel, Menlo, Sacramento State not to mentuion the ones that are at City doing great and could be transferring soon.
    As soon as a season is over, he is already planning for next season, the off season workouts, meeting with kids about the past season and the next to come.
    He does alot for those kids, not for the glory, but because he loves the game and he loves the kids. I don’t think there are many high school coaches out there that do as much as he does.
    He has been coaching over 20 years, and could perhaps use time off, time to regroup, maybe be an assistant or go back to a lower level. The question remains…
    If he was to be replaced, who do you think should replace him?

    • Mike Singletary! SInce hes too stubborn to do anything else but run the ball, this job will be perfect for him.

    • What’s all this “fire Lee” nonsense? With any luck, SHC would have grabbed another CCS title last season. They beat the team that did win it.

  35. I dont think he’s too stubborn. To throw a ball, you need to have a consistent QB with a consistent arm. I don’t think SH has had one of those in a long time, if ever. I think he would throw the ball more if he could without getting it intercepted, etc. He had Seamus Finnegan yes, but he ONLY wanted to throw the ball, HIS way, which was usually overthrown, or with no one around. He was also afraid of getting hit and did not like to run the ball himself if he had to.
    HS coaches have to make do with what they have. Let’s face it, football athletes are not banging down the door to go to any city school. They go to the peninsula or DLS. City athletes go where they get accepted since girls are now taking boys spots. The all girls schools should have tried to stay open a few more years in the 90’s because they would be packed now, and I believe the boys schools would be flourishing.

    • Now what kind of a thing is that to say? Sacred Heart has had plenty of good quarterbacks. If they had more great receivers like Joe Peterson, Domonic Johnson and Mike Halinan they’d set records left and right.

      • John Lee gives his life to the Irish football program, should he have more fun and gamble more on offense? YES but he does alot of things for the kids that too many people don’t know of. In my opinion he should open it up and play fun football then pound the ball irish style. No one should ever question his love and dedication and time he gives to the SHC kids. This year should be fun vs SI and not very talented Riordan this year. The city schools will battle as always. Have fun and be safe kids!!

      • Jason Hill was a pretty good WR at SHC and in college, but he sucked as a pro

        • You would suck too if you had Mike Nolan and Mike Singletary as your coach. Hill still made it to the NFL which would be a dream come true for any kid that loves sports.

  36. Sacred Heart will continue to be good, look at all that talent Riordan has, they still won 0 games. SH admits just as many girls as boys, every year. We will see, I hear SHC has a stacked Freshman class, dunno?

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