The Patriots hosted ACCAL titleholder Berkeley on Wednesday.
Heritage’s crosstown rival Liberty earned a No. 7 seed after going 13-2-9 this season. The Lions played Diablo Valley Athletic League champion Clayton Valley on Wednesday.
Freedom, the No. 12 seed, traveled to face Monte Vista.
The second round of the playoffs starts Saturday; the third on Feb. 23. On Saturday, Feb. 26, champions will be crowned.
Deer Valley, the BVAL champion, and Pittsburg will be the two lone local representatives in this year’s NCS boys soccer playoffs.
The Wolverines, which earned the No. 3 seed after finishing 16-2-6 (6-1-2 BVAL), faced Richmond at home on Wednesday. The Pirates, seeded 13th, went 12-6-4 in the regular season (3-3-2 BVAL). Pittsburg started its playoff run on Wednesday, traveling to face Alameda Contra Costa Athletic League champ Berkeley.
Local wrestling teams are gearing up for the BVAL tournament, held Friday at Heritage. Liberty already claimed the overall league title and is one of the favorites to emerge as victor of the tournament this year, led by 145-pound senior Jesse Baldazo.
The California Wrestler ranks Baldazo sixth in the state in his weight class. The magazine ranked Lions 135-pound senior Nico Serrano 21st and 112-pound sophomore Austin Solari 26th.
Last weekend, Liberty took home third at the NCS dual competition, losing a close match to James Logan. Head coach Greg Chappel accepted responsibility for the loss, as a lineup snafu forced the Lions to forfeit a match. Taking that overall performance into account, Chappel said he likes where his team is right now, heading into the league tournament and next weekend’s NCS team tournament.
“I thought we wrestled to our potential (in the dual meet),” Chappel said. “Once they make weight, then we just have to wrestle to our ability and maybe upset somebody or keep doing what we’ve done if we’re the No. 1 ranked team.”
The Lions face stiff competition at the BVAL tourney from a talented Freedom team, which finished second in the regular season. The Falcons boast a few ranked grapplers, led by 119-pound junior Roman Garcia, No. 13 in the state according to The California Wrestler. Senior captain Zack Wiley, at 130 pounds, is ranked 22nd in his weight class. Freshman Ricky Coster, 112 pounds, could also be a factor in the postseason.
Freedom head coach John Parsons feels that his team underachieved this season and has a chance to bounce back on Friday.
“We’ve got some guys that are sick and some guys that are beat up, but we’ll be all right,” Parsons said. “Hopefully they’ll come back, gel as a group and win the tournament. … They need to get out there and push Liberty to the brink.”
Antioch placed third in the league standings, but had a rough time in the NCS dual meet. The Panthers drew one of the top teams in the state in the first round, De La Salle, and lost 67-12. In the consolation bracket, Antioch lost to fifth-seeded Castro Valley 61-9.
The Panthers will lean upon their senior leadership – wrestlers such as 160-pound Lucas Hudson and 140-pound Joe Baynes.
Heritage High School will host a spring volleyball clinic for boys and girls in grades three through eight. The clinic is scheduled for Monday, March 14 through Thursday, March 17 at the high school from 9 a.m. to noon. The cost for each player is $100 and space is limited. To obtain an informational flyer, e-mail Janet Hannigan at firstname.lastname@example.org.