Football: Riordan schedules Lincoln and Mission for next two seasons

Riordan quarterback Zach Masoli could be set for a breakout season in the fall and will have an increased spotlight in games against Lincoln and Mission. (Photo by Aaron Perez)

By Jeremy Balan

With the fall season still over seven months away, word has broken of a pair of early treats for City high school football fans.

Archbishop Riordan High School has scheduled Lincoln and Mission for non-league games in the 2012 and 2013 seasons.

Riordan will play Lincoln on the road in Week 0 of next season, then the Mustangs will head to Phelan Avenue in 2013. The Mission game is slotted for Week 2 this season, with a date at Kezar Stadium tentatively scheduled for 2013. Riordan will play St. Mary’s of Albany in between the two City teams to round out its non-league schedule.

Lincoln running back Demetrius Williams will be entering his senior season in the fall with an opportunity to take down Riordan in non-league play. (Photo by Devin Chen)

It is the first time since 1998, when Riordan took down Lincoln 49-0, that the Crusaders have scheduled an Academic Athletic Association opponent and could be the first time Mission and Riordan have ever played in football.

It is also the first time a San Francisco West Catholic Athletic League school has taken on a AAA opponent since St. Ignatius beat Lowell 35-8 in 2005.

“I just thought it would be a chance to play good, quality teams that aren’t far away,” said Riordan head coach Richard Sweeney, who will be entering his second season with the Crusaders. “Something that really excited me when I went to the St. Ignatius-Sacred Heart Cathedral [Central Coast Section] championship game at AT&T Park was what a great atmosphere it had. If this excites San Francisco, that would be great.”

Sweeney made sure to select two of the best AAA programs, with Mission being defending champs and Lincoln being the most successful program over the last 10 years, with four Turkey Day championships.

It also helped that Lincoln head coach Phil Ferrigno is a Riordan alumni and in the school’s Hall of Fame.

“I obviously love Riordan and it’s great to go back and play, but it’s about the kids. It isn’t about me,” Ferrigno said. “But I won’t tell you it doesn’t mean a lot to me.”

While playing another City school in non-league play is enough of a reason for Lincoln and Mission fans to get excited, both Ferrigno and Mission head coach Joe Albano spoke to the importance of gaining respect for the often-slighted AAA.

“If we don’t start playing the upper-echelon leagues, we’ll never be considered for a state championship,” Ferrigno said. “We want to throw our hat in there and I just want to get our program in a better place, and if we have to play Catholic schools to accomplish that, that’s what we’ll do.”

“The kids are excited, because they always see things on Riordan and the private schools,” Albano added. “We always read all the postings and how everyone thinks the AAA is a joke. Like anyone, we want respect, and this gives us an opportunity.”

Sweeney dispelled the underlying presumption that City WCAL schools have avoided playing AAA teams because the matchups provide a lose-lose situation for the Catholic schools, in which a win would be expected, but a loss would be disastrous. Instead, he focused on the excitement of his players.

“Our kids are fired up about it and that’s all I care about,” Sweeney said.

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  1. RC Cola says:

    Its on like Donkey Kong… Rivalries in the making…

  2. 2012 says:

    Dang why this couldn’t happen when I was playing. Lincoln and going to with this game. Mission should be a question for next year.

  3. 79 says:

    Man is Bigga I’m tellin yaw !!

  4. Mission Player #64 says:

    i wish i wasn’t a senior so i could play in this game against Riordan ot sounds like a lot of fun to play a WCAL school

  5. JJ says:

    I didn’t even know Lincoln had the most successful football program in the AAA in the last 10 years; I thought it was Washington?? Anyways, Good luck to Mission and Lincoln trying to stop a QB with D1 potential. Final score predictions: Riordan 43. Mission 24 & Riordan 49. Lincoln 20

    • joe schmoe says:

      all thanks to doom running over cats on the field

    • the man says:

      Lincoln 4 section titles & 7 playoff appearances since 2002. 5 straight championship games winning four in a row. 100% graduation rate.

      • ARHS Stats says:

        The AAA had one of their better overall seasons by the AAA Football teams, with a couple of AAA teams winning non-league games.

        The AAA won 7 non-league games last season, which is alot better than two prior seasons, I believe.

        Lincoln won 4 League games and lost their 3 non-league games.

        Mission won 6 League games and 1 non-league game and lost their other 2 non-league games, but with competitive scores.

        If Riordan had played these two teams this last season, Riordan would have received 1.5 Bonus Points after they won their last league games prior to the Playoffs.

        Riordan needs to hope both these teams win 4 to 7 league games next season, and maybe win 1 or 2 non-league games.

        Riordan wants to beat both teams but Riordan also wants both teams to win 7 games before the Playoffs start.

  6. polyswagggg says:

    its about times the city school getting exposure…city school have long way before they can compete with this private school but at least they competeing….

  7. Cats Pride says:

    “state championship”???? did he seriously just say that? I mean no offense, but none of the schools in the city are anywhere near a state championship, you could probably get a city all star team and it wouldn’t be qualified to play in the state championship game. I know the coach has to get his team excited and pumped, but still a state championship is a lofty thing to say. Has he ever seen De La Salle play?the road for a ring goes through concord.

    • JJ says:

      Are the top teams in the AAA such as Lincoln, Washington, and Mission all in Division 1 ? Because if so, I agree they will never win a State Championship, as long as that school in Concord is there. But I think SI can win a State Championship in football, if they get some lucky bounces in their favor. Campolindo in Moraga almost won a State championship in D3 this past year, and the score of Campo vs O’Dowd and SI and O’Dowd was very similar, as both Campolindo and SI pretty much dominated a good O’Dowd squad.

      • jbalan says:

        Mission is D-III, Wash and Lincoln are D-I

        • WCAL Alum says:

          JJ. SI for a State Championship in football? They have the facilities, the have the enrollment. One small barrier-going undefeated in the WCAL. More than a lucky bounce. No disrepect

          • JJ says:

            All SI needs is a couple D1 prospects in their system, and SI should have a shot at a D3 state championship. In 2006, they only lost 1 game in the WCAL. I believe they also had a couple D1 prospects on that team: Matt Summers-Gavin (currently a starting offensive lineman at CAL) & Chris Blohm (although not D1, was still starting TE for an Ivy League powerhouse). Chris McCaffery was the starting QB, but he pursued baseball in college, rather than football. Maybe Igor Olshanky, Jr might be there in the class of 2024.

          • Cats Pride says:

            completely agree – to get a state bid you basically have to go undefeated – maybe one or two losses for SI, so WCAL is definitely the biggest barrier

            • JJ says:

              You won’t be considered for a State Championship if you have 2 losses, I believe. If Bellarmine lost 1 game in the WCAL, the CIF could’ve picked another team to represent Northern California in the D1 state championship game.

  8. GCJ 01 says:

    This will be great for City football. My hat goes off to Riordan for their willingness to play the AAA’s best.

  9. wcal says:

    Riordan has fallen from a dominating CCS championship four years ago to playing AAA teams. Calpreps has the pre-league teams rated as a 1, a 0 and a -17, yes MINUS SEVENTEEN! Spin it any way you want but that is sad.

  10. City Lights says:

    Ferrigno said state championship. Whaaat? First you got people on this site talking about kids going to the NBA and now a AAA school is going to state?! I love ridiculousness.

    Maybe if Ferrigno can summon LOU Ferrigno, the original Incredible Hulk from the TV series back in the day, to play both ways for Lincoln they can go to state.

    If you don’t know who I’m talking about:

    • jbalan says:

      Let me add a little context to his quote. Ferrigno was speaking to where he wants his program to be, not saying they will be in a state championship this season. In a sense, he is right, speaking for the AAA as a whole. To increase the stature of the AAA as a league, however long it may take, winning against quality non-league opponents is a must. If a AAA team were to beat three quality opponents in non-league play, then go undefeated in league, they want to be in the conversation. I’m sure the McClymonds team from a couple of years ago feels the same way.

      • GCJ 01 says:

        Agreed. If I do recall, that McClymonds team got left out. But again, the AAA and the OAL shoots themselves in the foot by being their own section. Having a CIF section that consists of one league doesn’t really help your chances at going to a State championship game. All of the other Sections consists of many leagues with top tier schools. However, I think the AAA is taking the right steps to ensure they at least get “looked at” and maybe considered for a State championship game in the future. First, however, we need to strengthen our league. It can and will be done.

    • JJ says:

      How do you know that none of the kids from the City will make the NBA? There’s alot of People in the Bay Area who wasted $100 on a Jeremy Lin Warriors jersey.

      • Johnny Drama says:

        I also have his Knick Jersey because he IS in the NBA. Your logic is flawed man because almost all NBA players switch teams…there are 6 Shaq jerseys.

        Im sure your GUY, who will remain nameless would love to have at least 1 NBA jersey. I just wish he could lead us to more league wins than against just Riordan. We have a shot against VC but any player who has a “shot” at the NBA would lead his team to at least a 500 record in league as a junior. Lin won state, the only player in the WCAL that can say he led his team to a state title is Gordon. Lin was dominant in HS, can you say the same about your guy?

        And unlike you who deny any affiliation, I know Jeremy, he is a friend.

        From Wiki…Lin is the first American player in the NBA to be of Chinese or Taiwanese descent….so he has made a significant impact as a trail blazer as well.

        • JJ says:

          Lin is 24 or 25, the guy you want to fail is 16. He still has 8 years to improve. good luck.

          • Johnny Drama says:

            I never said I want your friend, son , cousin, or you to fail. In fact I said I hope he wins more game for our school. You are the one who is disparaging the accomplishments of one of our own who DID make it. Do you comprehend that? He MADE IT TO THE NBA. He won the game, you can’t knock him. So using your analogy, if SD31 has a cup of coffee in the NBA he’s a failure because he has more hype at this age than Jeremy.

            You sound a bit foolish son……..Jumpah is on to something.

      • Jumpah says:

        JJ…my friend…. In his one game appearance in the D league…Check out last weeks
        stats for Mr Lin…28-12-11… Triple double… Now Jeremy is back with the Knicks and had 9pts 6 assists in 20 minutes of action vs the Rockets….. It’s just a matter of time before he gets an opportunity to show how good he is. He’s just got to get through the politics of the NBA (guaranteed contracts) Enjoy the process…You can just say that using Jeremy as an example that anythings possible if Jeremy can make it in the NBA…so can Domingo…………was a bad choice….

        • JJ says:

          I’m so happy that Lin was able to accomplish a triple double not in the NBA,, but in the minor leagues. Maybe he might make the D league Hall of Fame, at this rate.

        • City Lights says:

          JJ, most of us don’t want any of these kids to fail. Ironically, people like you set them up to fail however by filling their heads with a bunch of crap about the NBA and how great they are based on potential vs. actual results on the court.

          Maybe if the “inflate-a-heads” dial back the unnecessary hype, “these kids” will return their focus to TEAM and winning and stop looking around with a scowl trying to blame everyone around them for lack of success in a TEAM environment.

          Or you can continue to tell “these kids” how great they are even when they are scowling and blaming everyone else except themselves for a lack of team chemistry, unselfish play, less-than-stellar production, and a losing record.

          Hopefully “these kids” can find huge success not just for themselves, but their WHOLE TEAM.

  11. JJ says:

    I guess all the players who are or were in the NBA never had a losing record in high school. Hmmmmm. Unless, Jeremy Lin gets significant playing time in the NBA which I seriously doubt, people will forget about him in 5 years. A basketball player named Yuta Tabuse was the 1st Japanese player to make the make the NBA about 5 or 6 years ago, and he fell off the face of the planet. Hopefully, Lin’s NBA career won’t follow the same path. And how come Lin goes to teams with very high Asian-American populations like the Bay Area and NYC? It seems like he’s on the team for “political” reasons. Let’s see if a NBA city with a low asian population picks him up like Indiana.

    • Jumpah says:

      JJ…. Darling….. Did your mother ever tell you it’s better to be thought a fool than to be one by opening one’s mouth and removing all doubt? The bottom line with my problem with your assertion is that Jeremy Lin who’s 23 yrs old (knowledge… JJ… knowledge) made it in the NBA …so can anyone….. He has special talents and skills that you assume anyone Tom, JJ, or Harry can develop! He can really play! New York picked him up because of that reason…and a pg need with injuries to a couple of their players…if not he’d be with the Warriors again with a guaranteed contract… Knowledge is power!

  12. crusader 81 says:

    2 AAA schools in the same season?!? man, we’re about one step away from being sacred heart in the 70’s. wth happened?

    instead of playing against phil’s team, maybe riordan should hire him. although i’d bet salary and benefits in the sfusd are better.

    • WCAL Alum says:

      Yes, they must do what they have to do; no shame in that. But why not; it is a Riordan game I would be interested in watching. Yes those SH teams in 70’s were not very good. Other than beating Riordan in 74, they didnt win another WCAL football league game until Fall 81, against (you guessed it) Riordan.

    • IC Stars says:

      I saw those 70’s team and Riordan’s current teams are far worse. The ’74 team played some good defense and came close to beating St. Francis that year and lost to Bellarmine 3-0. They didn’t start winning again until 1981 when they beat Riordan 15-13 on a safety when they tackled Seagram (a SH transfer) in the end zone.

  13. T&F Coach says:

    I tip my cap for Riordan for scheduling the two AAA teams. Looking forward to the next two seasons

  14. City Lights says:

    Don’t sleep the AD trying to get the extra +1 CIF/CCS playoff point for playing a league champ. He’s hedging his AAA bet by picking two of the likeliest Turkey Bowl champs. I guess it would just be bad luck if Wash or Gal snuck in and won it eh?

    As an SF prep fan, I’m definitely interested in watching these games though. Riordan should crunch both of these teams. ARHS could be 3-0 when they hit the 18 wheeler big rig of WCAL league play. 4-7 +1 bonus pt. could be the difference. Hmmm….

    • ARHS Stats says:

      It is not good for Riordan to schedule two teams from the same league. Especially out of Section Non-League Teams.

      You can get up to 6 Bonus Points from non-league games for WCAL Teams.

      If you schedule two teams from the same league, the most Bonus Points your team can get is lowered to 5 points.

      Your team gets 0.5 or 1 Bonus Points depending on how many games the non-league team wins.
      [ 7 or more wins = 1.0 Points; 4 to 6 wins = 0.5 Points]

      If the Non-League Opponent is a League Champion, you can then add 1 Bonus Point. If they share the championship with other league teams, then you divide the 1 point by the number of teams that are league champions.

      This does not count any playoff games that are played. You look at the non-league team’s standings before they play any playoff games.

    • ARHS Stats says:

      Riordan would only get a League Championship point from either Mission or Lincoln, if one of those two schools won the AAA Round Robin Championship.

      Both Mission and Lincoln could lose one or two league games, finish second and fourth in league and then beat the Round Robin Champion and then play each other in the Turkey Day AAA Playoff Championship.

      With next year’s Football Schedule, Riordan would still have to win 2 WCAL League Games to make the playoffs. The Crusaders would also have to win all 3 non-league games.

      I don’t see this non-league schedule gaining Riordan more than 1.5 points before the Round Robin Championships are decided. And Riordan can not depend on both Mission and Lincoln winning 7 games before the playoffs start, so Riordan needs to win more games to get into the Playoffs. And if they don’t win 4 games before the Playoffs, Riordan gets no points for playing them.

      If 2 of the non-league teams win their league championship, then 2 points could be added and 1 win taken off. But you can not know that until after most of the games have been played .

      If Riordan had scheduled 3 C.C.S. ‘A’ League teams, they might be able to get into the C.C.S. playoffs with 3 non-league wins. Riordan should have scheduled some of the teams that finished in the bottom half of the Mount Hamilton, Bay and De Anza Divisions, since these are all C.C.S. ‘A’ League teams. This schedule would have given Riordan 3.0 points before the games were played

      • JJ says:

        If Riordan needs 2 WCAL wins to make the playoffs, I’m not sure where they will get those “W”s. With the loss of SHC’s high powered running games in Valentino Miles and a new QB next year, maybe they can squeak out a win over SHC. VC, Bellarmine, Serra, and SI will be stacked across the board. St Francis always has a good football program too, as well as Mitty. Hopefully, they can shock one of those teams to make the playoffs. Riordan has a good QB with speed and a cannon arm, so they better have some speedy receivers, so we can witness an exciting brand of Crusader football.

  15. Rocky says:

    AAA best teams aganist WCAL Not So best team??? Help me somebody

    • GCJ 01 says:

      Just because Riordan wasn’t good this year doesn’t mean they won’t be good next year or the year after next. Anything can happen, so, I wouldn’t count them out.

  16. Lincoln student says:

    I wonder where jeremy balan got his tip about lincoln playing riordon??

    • JJ says:

      If you read the article, JB talked to both the Riordan and Lincoln head football coaches, so I assume both or 1 of the coaches told him. This game will be one of the most anticipated games of the year, other than the game when Michigan plays Alabama. Hopefully, the fans of both schools will see a highly competitive contest, rather than a 49-0 or 35-8 blowout. It will be interesting to see Zach Masoli perform next year with 1 year of varsity football under his belt.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Who will be the returning stats for mission next year because I heard big 79 was only a junior he moves good for a big 300+ lbs.

  18. Crusader 88 says:

    Hopefully Riordan can turn the program around and get competitive in league play.

  19. Mustangs says:

    Good luck to them all ! shout out to Masoli !

  20. Coach says:

    Scheduling those cupcakes is ridiculous. I guess Riordan has to get wins somewhere.

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