Happy quarterbacks come from EBAL

Luke Finkel
Assistant Sports Editor

For the first time in EBAL history, there are three quarterbacks with Division I commitments in the league at the same time.

The EBAL is the most dominant league in Northern California once again this season, and part of that is because of three of the best signal callers in all of high school football: Zach Kline of San Ramon Valley, Jeff Lockie of Monte Vista, and Bart Houston of De La Salle.

It is extremely rare to have three D-I bound quarterbacks in an entire section, yet alone the same league. And having two of them in the same city is absolutely unheard of.

The highest rated is Kline, the stud Danville quarterback. The Wolves signal caller is headed to UC Berkeley next year to try and be the hometown hero.

“Berkeley has a hell of a coach, and I want to win,” said Zach.

Kline has been ranked as the seventh best recruit in the country by yahoo’s rivals.com. This is the first time an EBAL quarterback has been ranked that high by rivals. Last year, Kline threw for more than 1,500 yards, 10 TDs and had an almost a 70 percent completion percentage. Keep in mind that was his first season as a varsity quarterback.

“Kline has a rocket arm,” said Cal High athletic director Dave Kravitz, who coached the Wolves from 1992-2008. “The best arm I’ve ever seen at the high school level.”

This season, Kline has already surpassed last year’s numbers with more than 1,500 yards and 16 TDs.

This includes a monstrous game against the Grizzlies in which he threw for 437 yards and five TDs.

“It’s a great feeling to have games like this, but you’ve got to stay humble and give your team more opportunities,” Zach said after San Ramon’s 42-38 victory.

The most spectacular thing about Kline’s journey is that Cal coach Jeff Tedford offered him a full scholarship after his first start as a varsity quarterback for San Ramon. He is following in the footsteps of incredible Wolves’ gunslingers.

San Ramon Valley has three D-I quarterbacks in recent years: Sam Keller (Nebraska), who played with ex-San Ramon halfback Roy Heylu,now with the Washington Redskins; Courbin Louks (Nevada); and Joe Southwick (Boise State).

But the Wolves are not alone when it comes to talent at the quarterback spot.

De La Salle’s Houston is bound for the University of Wisconsin next year. He is ranked as the 43rd top recruit in the country, and is going to rise this year.

“It’s an honor to be ranked like that, I must be doing alright,” Houston said with a laugh.
Houston is undefeated as a starter, 26-0, with 2 state championships under his belt already. He is also born to be a leader. He stands at a towering 6-foot-4, and weighs 198 pounds.

His monstrous resume includes two North Coast Section championships. Scouts say he has an “x-factor,” meaning he has the makings of a college quarterback.

“I have a big target on my back,” said Houston. “Everyone is gunning for me.

In his career, Houston has thrown for more than 3,000 yards and 30 TDs.

The third EBAL quarterback is Monte Vista’s Lockie, who is verbally committed to the University of Oregon.

“The chance to play football at Oregon (will be) an amazing experience,” said Lockie. “Being so new to the whole recruiting process, it’s been a lot of fun.”
Lockie already started off the year by shredding the Castro Valley defense for 357 yards and five TDs. It’s these kind of stats that attracted Oregon.

“I want to make most of my opportunities on such a great team at Oregon and leave nothing behind,” said Lockie.

This season, Lockie has 1,574 yards and 16 TDs.On top of being a pocket-passer, Lockie also has the ability to tuck and run. In addition to his 16 TD passes, Lockie has rushed for six scores.

“Playing these guys can make league play really tough,” said Cal High coach Eric Bellici. “They’re all great quarterbacks.”