PD Preps Insider: Newman coach names his MVP

Cardinal Newman quarterback Jordon Brookshire had 261 rushing yards on 35 attempts in the Cardinals’ 41-27 victory over Novato in Saturday’s North Coast Section Division 3 playoff game. Halfback Craig Lucey ran for 240 yards on 34 attempts. Each scored three touchdowns. Brookshire would read the intentions of the defender who had outside containment, and decide whether to keep the ball or hand it to Lucey. It seemed to work almost every time.

And yet it was another Cardinals back whom coach Paul Cronin wanted to talk about after the game.

“I don’t think people understand what Zack Stoltz does,” Cronin said. “Zack plays fullback, and he does so much offensively. He’s gotta figure out what guy Jordon’s reading and go block the other guy in the last second. Zack Stoltz is our team MVP and has been all year.”

Stoltz, a senior, didn’t carry the ball once for Cardinal Newman against Novato, though he did have a team-high three catches for 30 yards.


Rancho Cotate’s 38-13 victory against John F. Kennedy in Fremont on Friday is even more impressive when you consider that the Cougars were missing one of their best players for the NCS Division 2 opener.

Two-way lineman Oscar Nava, a 6-foot-3, 320-pound behemoth with surprising agility, went to midfield as a team captain for the pregame coin toss, but did not suit up for the game. He got hurt against Maria Carrillo on Oct. 17 and hasn’t played since.

“He’s scheduled to maybe come back (this) week,” Rancho coach Ed Conroy said. “He’s a question mark still, but we’d love to have him back.”

The Cougars’ next game is Friday at Las Lomas. Nava has committed to Sacramento State, where he is expected to play defensive line.


Rancho Cotate and Cardinal Newman tied for the North Bay League football championship this year with 6-1 records. Rancho beat Newman head to head. So the official league champion is … Cardinal Newman?

It isn’t that the NBL uses a strange calculus to determine its football champion. It uses no formula at all. Unlike most leagues, the NBL goes straight to a number draw, an exercise of pure chance, to crown a champion. The Cardinals won the draw this year.

The lottery had an immediate impact on Rancho Cotate. The Cougars were the No. 7 seed in the NCS Division 3 playoffs; opponent John F. Kennedy was a lower seed at No. 10. But Rancho had to travel to Fremont because Kennedy was a league champion. If the Cougars had been deemed NBL champs, they would have hosted the game. Ed Conroy’s team managed to win anyway.

Rancho Cotate athletic director Henry Sarlatte said he plans to recommend a change in the NBL’s by-laws at the next league meeting.


Austin Meyer chose a fine time to nail his second goal of the soccer season.

The Stanford senior, who plays midfield for the Cardinal, netted a goal with his right foot deep into overtime against rival California. The goal ended the game and gave Stanford its first Pac-12/10 conference title since 2001.

The dramatic finish, on the heels of Meyer’s overtime goal against San Diego State Nov. 2, earned Meyer Pac-12 player of the week honors.

Meyer, a four-year standout at Maria Carrillo who was named team and NBL MVP his senior season,, is a fifth-year senior at Stanford. He graduated with a degree in English and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in journalism.


Two athletes with local ties were back in the Bay Area recently competing with the Oregon lacrosse team at Cal’s Pac-12 rugby sevens tournament. Steven Hutchinson, an all-league running back at Windsor, and Lucas Silveria, a Terra Linda grad who later played at SRJC, played key roles for the Ducks in the tournament. A knee injury knocked Hutchinson out of the competition, but he was replaced in the Oregon lineup by Silveira, who scored two goals in one match on the second day of the tournament.

Perennial power Cal won the tournament, outscoring its six opponents 226-10, and the Oregon team finished in 11th place.

Phil Barber and Kerry Benefield contributed to this report.