PD Preps Insider: Middletown appeals football forfeits


Middletown High officials were busily preparing documentation Tuesday for an appeal of their two football forfeits. Whether they get a chance to present the evidence to the North Coast Section is another matter altogether.

Last week, Middletown reported to the NCS that it had inadvertently used a player in victories against Salesian and Healdsburg without filing the proper transfer documents. The section forced the Mustangs to forfeit both wins.

Middletown principal Bill Roderick was waiting for clarification from NCS commissioner Gil Lemmon before scanning the various supporting documents and e-mailing them to the NCS. He was hoping to hear back Tuesday afternoon or this morning. Middletown also was taking care to get the paperwork right.

“You basically get one shot,” Roderick said. “We want to make sure it’s done correctly.”

Big yardage for Calistoga

Calistoga High running back Dylan Alvarado enters the fifth week of play ranked second in rushing in the North Coast Section with 691 yards. He trails only Pittsburg’s Harris Ross, who has 969 yards rushing in four games.

Alvarado, a 5-foot-8, 170-pound senior, averages 10.3 yards per carry and 172.8 yards per game. He ranks 22nd in California in rushing, according to maxpreps.com. The unbeaten Wildcats are 4-0 largely due to the efforts of the senior who also shines as a linebacker and punter. Alvarado’s impressive season includes a 270-yard, three-touchdown performance last week in a 32-14 win against California School for the Deaf. He rushed for 184 against South Fork and 183 in a win against Cloverdale.

Alvarado faces his biggest test yet at home Friday against NCL II/Bay Valley challenger Emery (3-1). Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. at the Napa County Fairgrounds.

Ross is a 5-foot-11, 193-pound senior who has already accepted a scholarship to play for the University of Hawaii. He gained his 969 yards on 88 carries.

Mendo’s busy Salmans

Preston Salmans did a little bit of everything for the Mendocino football team in its 54-6 win against Rincon Valley Christian on Saturday.

Salmans, a junior, accounted for seven touchdowns — three rushing, two passing and two on interception returns — for the defending NCL III champions.

Mendocino (3-0, 1-0) has won 14 consecutive games. The Cardinals’ last loss was a 38-34 defeat against Anderson Valley on Oct. 15, 2011. The Cardinals host Potter Valley at home this Saturday.

Stafford making a splash

The Cardinal Newman boys water polo team played five games last weekend at the Jim Healy Tournament.

Though the Cardinals (5-6) lost three of five at the tournament, Cardinal Newman sophomore Jack Stafford played well, scoring 19 goals in four games (Cardinal Newman won one game by forfeit).

Stafford even filled in admirably in goal in Saturday’s overtime loss against Napa, registering eight saves.

Stafford has 44 goals this season in 11 games.

Softball ride for MC’s Veler

Maria Carrillo senior Brittney Veler has given a verbal commitment to Providence College, and plans to sign a letter of intent Nov. 15 to play softball at the Big East school. 15. The Friars have offered Veler a full scholarship.

A first-team All-NBL pick and second-team All-Empire selection as a junior last spring, the second baseman hit .513 and led Maria Carrillo in home runs as the Pumas went 20-6 and advanced to the North Coast Section Division 2 quarterfinals. But Veler’s real advances came over the summer when she moved in with her grandparents in Southern California to play with American Pastime Gold, an elite travel team. Veler excelled in several major showcases and was the only player from the team selected to participate in the TCS All American game, in which she rapped two hits against signed Division I pitchers.

Silver lining to tough loss

Santa Rosa’s big loss to Deer Valley might not hurt the Panthers in a bid for the North Coast Section playoffs.

By winning at Antioch a week earlier, Santa Rosa split its games with fellow NCS Division 1 teams for the season. One consideration in qualifying for the section playoffs is a .500 or better record against opponents in the same division. Other factors include at least breaking even in league or overall.

The largest of the Empire’s large schools based on student population, Santa Rosa is the region’s only NCS Division 1 program.

In addition to Santa Rosa, the North Bay League features six Division 2 football teams and one in Division 3.

So the Panthers scheduled a pair of large schools from the East Bay among Santa Rosa’s 10 regular season games to improve the team’s playoff chances.

A winning record should help a Santa Rosa playoff bid. The Panthers (2-1) are ranked 18th in NCS Division 1. The section playoffs typically feature more than a dozen teams with 16 the limit.

Empire teams earn top rankings

Coming off nonleague play Empire football teams are included in several major rankings.

Making the Cal-Hi Sports Bay Area Top 25 overall are Cardinal Newman at No. 16, Casa Grande at No. 19, and Rancho Cotate at No. 21.

The rankings for state playoff positioning by division have a pair of Empire teams in the top five for Northern California: Casa Grande, Division 2; Cardinal Newman, Division 3.

In the North Coast Section division rankings, MaxPreps has a handful of Empire teams in the top five: Casa Grande and Windsor in Division 2; Cardinal Newman in Division 3; Middletown, Calistoga and St. Vincent in Division 5.

Irresistible force vs. immovable object

A high-scoring offense faces a stingy defense when Kelseyville plays at St. Helena Friday.

Kelseyville (3-0) leads all Empire football teams in scoring with 164 points. St. Helena (2-1) is tied for fewest points allowed in the region with 21 total.

This week’s featured NCL I game could be the most competitive between the schools since Kelseyville last defeated St. Helena, in 2010. That season also marked Kelseyville’s last North Coast Section playoff appearance. St. Helena reached the NCS Division 4 semifinals a year ago.

Press Democrat Staff Writers Phil Barber, Michael Coit and Ted Sillanpaa contributed to this report.

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