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August 26, 2009 > Colts and Cougars look for redemption, Eagles look to get better

Colts and Cougars look for redemption, Eagles look to get better

By Jeff Weisinger

With the high school football season just a mere two weeks away from kickoff, James Logan, American and Newark Memorial look to improve from their records in 2008. Let's recap and take a look into what might be in store in the Mission Valley Athletic League (MVAL) in 2009.

James Logan High School:

For the first time in over 10 years, the James Logan Colts suffered their first losing season, finishing 5-6, despite making the first round of the playoffs, where they went one-and-done at Freedom High in Oakley, losing 33-14.

"It's going to be a tough road," Colts head coach George Zuber said before the start of the 2008 campaign. Logan only had five returning players from the 11-1 season the year before, and their experience was not enough for the Colts to continue their MVAL dominance.

Logan started the season 0-3 before earning their first win at Newark Memorial in the league opener. They would finish with a 5-1 league record, only losing against Washington 14-7.

For the Colts to rebound from their 5-6 record, they'll need to start off on the right foot by winning their opener against Fremont High (Oakland) on September 4. Logan starts the season with four straight nonleague games, hosting Fremont High and Monte Vista, then traveling in back-to-back weeks to Foothill and Deer Valley before kicking off the league schedule on October 2 when the Colts host the Irvington Vikings.

American High School:

The only thing that can be said about a 1-9 record is that the Eagles simply couldn't get the job done.

After barely losing the opener 14-13 to Benicia, the Eagles came back the following week and were blown out 48-7 by Oakland High. They went 0-9 before defeating Mission San Jose 16-3 in the season finale.

In his seven starts quarterback Joshua Bell only threw an average of 80 yards a game, and finished the season with no touchdown passes and 12 interceptions. He finished the year with 338 passing yards and a 34 percent completion rate. The Eagles running game gave American some hope with Antwain Martinez's 623 yards and five rushing touchdowns on the year.

The Eagles needs to stiffen up on defense in order to win more than one game in 2009, after allowing an average of 28 points per game in 2008.

American will have a chance to avenge an 0-3 start when they travel to Benicia, Oakland Tech and Tennyson to kickoff the first three weeks of the season before hosting Mission San Jose on October 2.

Newark Memorial:

Since going a winless 0-10 in the 2005 season, the Newark Memorial Cougars have not had a losing season. And despite following a 9-2 record in 2007 with a 6-4 record in 2008, the Cougars still remain one of the more dangerous teams along with Logan and Washington in the MVAL.

Newark Memorial might be one of the few teams that can start their first four games 3-1 and finish their last four games 3-1. Their only blemish during the year was back-to-back losses in early October to Logan and Washington, and in the season finale against Kennedy, eliminating the Cougars from a shot at the playoffs.

The Cougars kickoff the 2009 campaign hosting Alameda High on September 4, before traveling to Castro Valley the week after. Newark Memorial plays four nonconference games before playing Kennedy at Tak to kickoff the league schedule on October 3.

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