The 'Real Coach Carter' leads Mack

Oakland McClymonds football coach Alonzo Carter even knows the Ken Carter of Richmond High School basketball and "Coach Carter" movie fame. But the McClymonds coach has his own claim to fame, having put 60 players in his eight years into NCAA Division I ball, including a ridiculous nine last year.

Alonzo Carter jokingly refers to himself as the "real Coach Carter." Since he's a prominent coach in the East Bay of Northern California, it makes sense.

 

Oakland McClymonds football coach Alonzo Carter even knows the Ken Carter of Richmond High School basketball and "Coach Carter" movie fame. But the McClymonds coach has his own claim to fame, having put 60 players in his eight years into NCAA Division I ball, including a ridiculous nine last year.

 

Three of those nine scholarship players in 2005 were ranked among the top 100 recruits in the nation, Carter said.

 

At 1 p.m. Friday at Laney College, McClymonds (7-2-1) will take on Oakland Skyline (5-6) in the Silver Bowl, with the  Oakland Section championship at stake. "Yeah, people kid me all the time about that Coach Carter thing,"

 

McClymonds' Carter said. "I know Ken Carter and he knows me."

 

Mack (as locals like to call McClymonds) has a rich athletic history. The Warrior alumni read like a who's who of great former Bay Area pro athletes: Bill Russell, Frank Robinson, Vada Pinson, Paul Silas, Jim Hines and current NBA player Antonio Davis, to name several.

 

Mack  should put several more players into the college ranks in the fall.

 

The Warriors are stocked with talent, led by running back Willie Griffin who has gained 1,194 yards this season and scored eight touchdowns and converted 16 two-point conversions.

 

The University of Washington, Utah and Oregon State are hot on Griffin's trail.

 

Then there's offensive lineman Thomas Byrd (6-0, 265) who is being wooed by Boise State, San Jose State and UNLV.

 

And don't forget linebacker Kyler O'Neal (5-11, 200), who is being pursued by Colorado and Nebraska, among others. O'Neal has 85 tackles, including eight sacks and 20 tackles for losses.

 

Other Warrior standouts are: quarterback LaRon Johnson (800 passing yards, nine touchdowns, four interceptions), running back/wideout Andre Island (985 yards, seven touchdowns) and fullback Ishman Anderson, who is 5-11, 240 and has scored seven touchdowns.

 

Mack has played in the Silver Bowl three years in a row, with recent victories coming in 2001 and 2005.

 

Meantime, Skyline missed the Silver Bowl last year for the first time in more than a decade.

 

"It's big for us to get back to the Silver Bowl," Skyline coach Kevin Evans said. "Last year was the first time we've missed it in a while."

 

Skyline has its own storied athletic history, having produced pro basketball great Gary Payton, as well as current National Football League players Gerris Wilkinson (New York Giants) and Marvel Smith (Pittsburgh
Steelers), among others.

 

The Titans looked like they might miss the Silver Bowl two years in a row, limping to a 1-5 record to start the season. But Evans said the players started to pick up their multiple offenses as the season wore on, resulting in four victories in their last five games.

 

In fact, Skyline's only defeat during that span was a 14-7 decision to
Mack, which went 5-0 in the Oakland Athletic League.

 

The Titans led that game 7-0 in the fourth quarter until an 83-yard
kickoff return for a touchdown by Mack turned the game around, Evans said.

 

"Two big plays basically killed us," Evans said. "But if we can keep their running game to under 200 yards like we did the last time and not give up the big play, then I don't see why there's any reason we can't win this game."

 

Quarterback/defensive back Andre Christian leads the Titans. He has passed for more than 100 yards in each of his past two games and had a 283-yard passing game during the league season against Oakland Fremont.

 

Other Titan standouts are wideout Ta'Darrell Randolph (22.8 yards per catch), running back Jordan Foley (more than 1,000 yards rushing), defensive end Michael Snead (being pursued by San Diego State and Colorado) and wideout/defensive back Jordan Norris (second team all-league). Norris had a 99-yard scoring catch against Fremont.

 

A bonus this season for the Silver Bowl/Oakland Section champion is that it will meet the San Francisco Section champion at 4 p.m. Dec. 1 at Laney in the first TransBay Bowl.


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