Football Previews

Football Preview: Sacred Heart Cathedral using the cards it’s been dealt

By Jeremy Balan

As a man of countless mantras, it’s no surprise Sacred Heart Cathedral head coach John Lee has another one ready for the 2012 season, but it’s far from a trite sports cliché.

The quote, which he has borrowed from Vince Lombardi, speaks directly to how the Irish are positioned heading into the 2012 season, as the school in the City that lost the most talent from 2011.


Football Preview: Lincoln has picked itself up from the pavement

By Jeremy Balan

Only two players from Lincoln High School’s 2010 football team will be on this year’s squad, but that season still bothers coach Phil Ferrigno.

The Mustangs’ 0-11 record in 2010 is one of the lowest points in the program’s history and it provided a wake-up call to the most decorated Academic Athletic Association football program of the 2000s.

A 4-7 record in 2011 and a first-round playoff exit doesn’t exactly have Lincoln supporters jumping for joy, but the Mustangs have officially picked themselves up from the pavement.


Football Preview: Mission looking to overcome Turkey Day hangover

By Jeremy Balan

A year ago, the Mission High School football team was highly motivated.

A loss to Balboa in the first round of the playoffs in 2010, after an undefeated league season, led to Mission’s first Academic Athletic Association football championship in 57 years last season.

With a key core of graduating seniors long gone, the attitude is significantly different at summer practice on 18th street.

Like the bloated, sleepy feeling after a big Thanksgiving dinner, the Bears are experiencing a Turkey Day hangover.


Football Preview: Marshall rallying behind new coach, new expectations

By Jeremy Balan

There’s a line that some around the City say with a snicker about the Thurgood Marshall High School athletic programs.

There’s more untapped talent walking around the hallways at Marshall than on the field — at any school in San Francisco.

Whether that’s true is almost impossible to determine, but it speaks to the problem at the school in the southeast corner of the City, or at the very least the perceived problem.


Football Preview: Galileo youngsters a year older, hopefully a year wiser

By Jeremy Balan

The Galileo Academy football team had one of the youngest groups in the Academic Athletic Association in 2011 and, in several moments last season, that inexperience was glaringly evident.

With 20 players from last season’s 31-man varsity roster being underclassmen, including 12 sophomores, the Lions missed the playoffs for the first time since 2008, and in the roller-coaster year, the lows were stunningly low.

The first low was a 55-14 home loss to Berean Christian that exposed a weak offensive line. Then came a 66-6 loss to Mission, a 53-19 loss to Balboa and a 62-14 loss to Washington.

When things went bad, the young Lions didn’t know how to stop the bleeding.


Football Preview: Balboa can’t afford slow start

By Zack Farmer

A number of issues plagued the Balboa football team last season.

Injuries, eligibility issues and cohesiveness all played a part.

All of them reared their ugly heads in the team’s Sept. 10 non-league game against Oakland Tech, when the Buccaneers lost a lead in the final minute to fall 26-21.


Football Preview: Lowell not shying away from running ways

By Josh Levine

After a 5-5 season, including scoring 24 points on a stifling Mission defense in a first-round Academic Athletic Association playoff loss, Lowell is looking only forward.

Sticking with their infamous double-wing offense, the Cardinals are setting their eyes on the biggest prize in the AAA – Turkey Day.


Football Preview: Washington has plenty of motivation for 2012

By Jeremy Balan

You don’t have to dig very deep to find out what will be motivating the Washington High School football team this season.

A disappointing 12-7 loss to Mission on Turkey Day that ruined what would have been an undefeated Academic Athletic Association season, was followed by the curious and abrupt departure of head coach Karl Finley on June 26.

The mention of either moment sets off an emotional response from the returning core of seniors.


Football Preview: Washington already facing hurdles in title defense

By Bonta Hill

The last stop on the preseason football preview train brings us to a school that accomplished a feat that no other Academic Athletic Association school can boast about — win a championship in football, baseball and boys’ basketball in the same season.

The feat wouldn’t have been possible by Washington without success on the gridiron last fall.




Football Preview: Shrugging off 2010 is St. Ignatius’ top priority

By Bonta Hill

The 2010 football season for St. Ignatius was a tumultuous one for the program, to say the least.

After going winless at home on their way to a 2-7-1 record, the Wildcats were rocked by a midseason coaching change — one that saw longtime head coach Steve Bluford relieved of his duties.

But the Wildcats have convinced themselves that 2010 is fully out of their minds, and that it won’t have any effect on this year’s team.