Cal's first two football commits in the 2012 class, San Ramon Valley quarterback Zach Kline and De La Salle linebacker Michael Barton, are facing off in the North Coast Section Division 1 High School Football Championship at the Oakland Coliseum today. De La Salle sacked Kline 7 times and cruised to a 40-3 win over the Wolves when the two teams met during EBAL league play back on October 28. Will Kline and the Wolves be able to overcome Barton and the fearsome Spartan defense today?
LOOK OUT ZACH! DON'T HURT HIM MIKE!
Bear Territory's Ryan Gorcey has a nice preview of the game and some good quotes from Mr. Barton.
Good news for those of us who won't make the trip to the Coliseum for the game, it'll be on TV! East Bay Prep Corner's Ben Enos gives us the scoop on the broadcast:
Got the official release today that the North Coast Section Division I title game between De La Salle and San Ramon Valley will air live on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday.
Good crew in the booth too, with Roxy Bernstein and Mike Pawlawski up top being assisted by Dapper Dan Dibley on the sideline. It will re-air Monday, Dec. 12 at 4:30 p.m. on CSN California and then Tuesday, Dec. 13 at 3 p.m. on CSNBA. It will also be available On Demand
Fitting and awesome that Roxy and Pawlawski will be broadcasting a game with Kline and Barton in it. Get used to it, guys.
Join us after the jump for a quick preview of Kline's Wolves and Barton's Spartans. Go Bears!
San Ramon Valley Wolves
San Ramon Valley enters the contest at 10-3, and 5-2 in the EBAL. They dropped their first game of the season to a good Folsom team, and then their last two league contests to DLS and crosstown rival Monte Vista. The Monte Vista loss was avenged in the semifinals last week when SRV dropped MV 37-21. No doubt Kline and the Wolves will be looking for a little more revenge today.
Kline had a statistically stellar season, throwing for 3325 yards on a 68.4 completion percentage with 35 touchdowns to only 7 interceptions. He also tallied 8 more scores on the ground. For his efforts, Zach was named the First Team, All-EBAL quarterback. Oh, and he also was named the Gatorade California Football Player of the Year. So that's not too shabby. Way to go Zach!
The Wolves will be heavy underdogs to the juggernaut Spartans, but you can bet Zach and company will give it their all. Keep an eye on Kline's teammates TE Sean Miller and RB Jordan Weiss. Good players, the both of them.
De La Salle Spartans
De La Salle overcame an early loss to Florida powerhouse St. Thomas Aquinas to go 11-1, and 7-0 in EBAL league play. They win games behind a methodical, disciplined, and effective veer option rushing attack on offense and a fast, swarming and suffocating defense, which Mike is a pillar of.
Barton had a great season, leading DLS in tackles for the second straight year with 87 (a little over 7 per game). He was selected to the First-Team, All-EBAL at Linebacker. Because of the big game today, he won't be taking his official visit to Cal until January, but he hopes to make it to Berkeley for a portion of this weekend to help recruit. Here's what Tom Lemming had to say about Mike:
He shows brilliant closing speed, can quickly accelerate to the ball, and is as versatile as they come. Known for shooting gaps and hammering ball carriers, he also has the ability to quickly turn and run to defend against the pass. His instincts and diagnostic skills are second to none. He flows to the ball extremely well and does a good job of avoiding traffic, and once he gets there he knows how to hammer home his message.
Barton will be a great addition to the Bears and should be easy to spot in today's game. Also keep an eye on junior linebacker Michael Hutchings, who has a Cal offer for the 2013 class. Junior DE Austin Hooper is another one to watch...he sacked Kline 4 times in the first meeting between the two teams.
So who's gonna watch these two future Golden Bears duke it out? Who are you rooting for? Watch the game and drop some thoughts in the comments!