Padecky: Analy seeking stage to show team’s strength


Analy's football team is 7-1 overall and 4-0 in the Sonoma County League this season. (Photo by Alvin Jornada, The Press Democrat)

Analy’s football team is 7-1 overall and 4-0 in the Sonoma County League this season. (Photo by Alvin Jornada, The Press Democrat)

SEBASTOPOL — Trent Herzog and Dan Bourdon have been talking. That sentence alone is worth an entire column.

They are talking about what could happen. They are talking about what, frankly, should happen, if you’re like me and you like to dream and like to see a dream mature into a reality. And what a reality it would be.

That would be Analy playing Casa Grande in football.

“About a month ago, I called up Dan to see if he would consider playing us,” said Herzog, Casa’s coach. “He said he would. I asked him what weeks are free for Analy in the 2014 preseason. He said weeks one and three. That’s where it is right now.”

Oh, that the two coaches could have put something together for this season. It would be a game that would have the feel of an NCS playoff game: Analy, 7-1 and the class of the SCL, versus 7-0 Casa, the pride of the NBL. That won’t happen this year. They are in different leagues for the second consecutive year. They also will play in different NCS divisions during the playoffs: Casa in Division 2, Analy in Division 3.

“I would love to see how it would turn out this year,” said Bourdon, Analy’s coach. “I would love to play a superior team.”

How would Analy stop, or try to stop, Casa quarterback JaJuan Lawson?

How would Casa stop, or try to stop, the Analy offensive line from blocking holes big enough for a sumo wrestler to run through?

Those questions, unfortunately, will have to remain just a conversation at a high-end coffee bar that serves speculation along with a lime twist in a triple espresso.

Sure, by this time next year the landscape may have changed dramatically. Lawson will have graduated to play somewhere on Saturdays for an NCAA university.

And the 13 seniors starting for Analy also may take with them most of the skills that made the Tigers 7-1.

After all, Analy was just 5-6 in 2010 and nobody was talking about Casa-Analy dream matchup three years ago.

“But I think we have created some stability in our program,” Bourdon said.

Typically, a high school team doesn’t like to schedule an opponent from a lower division because it provides no obvious uptick to postseason seeding, impressions being almost as important as the victories themselves. Herzog, however, possesses no such apprehension.

“A good team is a good team,” said the Casa coach. “Dan has built a great program over there. It would be a pleasure to play them.”

This year, however, Analy did open its season against Division 1 Pittsburg.

“We needed a game and Pittsburg needed a game,” Bourdon said. “It was out of desperation for them. I know they would have preferred not to do it.”

Especially after the game. Analy won, 37-21.

How much will that victory influence Analy’s playoff seeding? It has to have some impact, since Pittsburg is 5-2 right now.

On the other hand, Analy’s only loss, 23-13, was to Miramonte. Miramonte is also 5-2 but plays in Division 3.

Right or wrong, the X factor in any playoff seeding of an SCL team is perception.

“Outside the area,” Bourdon said, “I don’t think the SCL has a high degree of respect.”

That was never more obvious — and it may never be more obvious — than how Analy was viewed in 2012.

Analy was 10-0 when it entered the NCS playoffs. In the regular season, the Tigers beat Miramonte, 41-34, and topped San Marin, 35-7. It wasn’t Analy’s fault that Miramonte was only 7-5 and that San Marin was just 7-7.

And it wasn’t Analy’s cross to bear either that it went undefeated in the SCL. The Tigers played their schedule. They had four games in which they scored at least 60 points, and one other in which they scored 55. They shut out three SCL teams. It was the best football season in school’s history.

Their reward?

The Tigers were seeded fifth in Division 3 of the NCS playoffs.

“I think the SCL will be well-represented in the playoffs,” said Bourdon, without mentioning that a 5-5 record may grant a team entry in the NCS but will not grant the SCL perception points.

What did make a difference: That the 2012 Analy Tigers won their first two NCS games, only to lose in the semifinals to the eventual Division 3 champion, El Cerrito.

What will make a difference: That the SCL teams to make the 2013 playoffs win their first-round games.

What will always be the difference: That people always notice when you beat someone outside the neighborhood.

Sonoma County may not be known as the hot seat of prep football in Northern California, but such opinions always carry a short shelf life.

Victories, championships, star quality players, all of that moves people off a sedentary opinion.

In other words, nothing succeeds like success.

Why wait for the headline in 2014 when Casa plays Analy? Make a headline now, next month, in the NCS playoffs, when if they win, SCL teams will win for everyone, not just themselves.

So that 2014 Casa-Analy game, if it comes about, would be a dream bigger than big, sort of like a season within a season. That kind of big.

You can reach Staff Columnist Bob Padecky at 521-5223 or

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