Best New Sports League

Western Alameda County League: Foothill Division

Playing against someone who is not very competitive is a recipe for boredom or sadism. The local high school scene recognized this fact, and blew up the two most high profile leagues to end the 2011-2012 school year. The Alameda Contra Costa Athletic League (ACCAL) has hosted Berkeley High for years, but it hasn’t been much of a competition. The Yellow Jackets win in nearly every sport in nearly every season and have been able to treat league play like practice, enjoying a victory lap the minute the first whistle is blown — partly as a result of the school being twice the size of most of its opponents, but mostly a result of its ability to build quality while its rivals imploded. To restore balance, the Berkeley teams are now part of a new league — the Western Alameda County League: Foothill Division. When the coin is tossed this fall, Encinal (Alameda), Bishop O’Dowd (Oakland), San Leandro, Hayward, and Castro Valley will be Berkeley’s new neighbors, meaning that while the Red and Gold may not be able to sweep through its league, it may get something more important — a good game.


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