Grizzlies ranked among ESPN RISE’s Top 25 teams in California

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By Brandon Eiges

Cal High's football team has been blazing hot, pulling off a record of 5-0. Photo by Kyra Uson.

While the fall weather has started to get hot, the Cal High football team has remained a consistent heat throughout the entire school year.

After back-to-back wins for the first time in history against Monte Vista on Oct. 1 and San Ramon Valley on Oct. 8, Cal has gained statewide recognition for only the second time in school history.

Leading sports news station ESPN, and their high school affiliation Web site, ESPN RISE, recently came out with their Cal Hi Sports Top 25 Football Rankings for the entire state. An undefeated season and multiple impressive performances later, Cal has cracked the top 25 for the week of Oct. 11.

Head coach Eric Billeci and the rest of the Grizzlies are currently ranked 23rd in the state.

Before Cal’s dominant performance against San Ramon Valley last Friday night, the Wolves were ranked 23rd. Cal took that spot after its 38-19 win at San Ramon Valley. Cal also beat Monte Vista 45-3.

“This year so far it looks like (Cal) is going to be the one with the best shot at the green monster (De La Salle),” said ESPN RISE Deputy Editor Mark Tennis, who contributed to the rankings. “We’ve been especially impressed with the last two outings.”

This is the second time ever that Cal has been ranked in the Top 25 teams in the state. Former head coach Tony Sanchez, now with Bishop Gorman, Nev., helped Cal enter as one of the elite teams in all of California in 2007 during Cal’s one-loss, EBAL championship winning season. Cal ended up crushing all of their opponents in NCS only to lose to De La Salle in the NCS championship 37-0 at the Oakland Coliseum.

With the homecoming game tonight against highly improved Livermore, I believe that Cal should have no problems improving to 6-0 with a win over the Cowboys (3-2 overall, 0-2 EBAL)

After Livermore, Cal will have a tough stretch of games. An Oct. 22 match up against All-American brothers George Atkinson III and Josh Atkinson, both who have made verbal commitments to attend Notre Dame on football scholarships, and the Granada Matadors seems to be Cal’s biggest challenge until Nov. 12 against EBAL, state, and national powerhouse De La Salle, ranked second in the state. Cal will host the game against the Spartans, but has to travel to Granada for that game.

Seniors Drew Reil and Kyle Alvarez have the Grizzly offense tearing through opponents. The nine-headed monster in the Grizzlies backfield, led by Kyle, is averaging more than 265 rushing yards per game. Kyle alone is accounts for about 107 yards rushing per game, gaining 11 yards per carry.

Drew, on the other hand, has been the man leading Cal’s passing game throwing for 11 touchdowns in five games and completing more than 70 percent of his passes as Cal has averaged more the 41 points a game.

But as the offense gets most of the credit for the Grizzlies domination of EBAL opponents, the defense led by senior linebackers Kelly Fielder and Marcus Prenot have held their five opponents to only 59 points combined all season.

If you would like to see this weeks ESPN RISE Cal-Hi Top 25 Football rankings, visit this link:
ESPN RISE 10-11-10 Cal-Hi  Top 25 Football Rankings