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In support of our weekly highlights show that airs every Sunday at 4:30 p.m. on KRON TV, Channel 4, in San Francisco, here's the latest top 20 rankings for the 2002 football season. Presented by the good folks at Team Dealer, Inc., our Bay Area Top 20 rankings includes teams from the CIF Central Coast and CIF North Coast sections only plus teams from Solano and Napa counties of the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section.

(After games of Nov. 16; last week's rank in parentheses)

1. (1) De La Salle (Concord) 9-0

Defeated Ygnacio Valley of Concord, 35-0.

2. (2) San Leandro 9-0

Defeated Hayward, 43-21.

3. (3) Monte Vista (Danville) 10-0

Defeated San Ramon Valley of Danville, 46-44.

4. (4) Skyline (Oakland) 9-0-1

Defeated Oakland, 76-6.

5. (5) Foothill (Pleasanton) 8-1-1

Defeated Amador Valley of Pleasanton, 35-22.

6. (6) Los Gatos 10-0

Defeated Saratoga, 42-13.

7. (13) Salinas 9-1

Defeated North Salinas, 29-6.

8. (14) Palma (Salinas) 9-1

Defeated Hollister, 41-20.

9. (9) Piedmont Hills (San Jose) 10-0

Defeated Oak Grove of San Jose, 14-7.

10. (8) San Ramon Valley (Danville) 8-2

Lost to Monte Vista of Danville, 46-44.

11. (7) Valley Christian (San Jose) 9-1

Lost to Serra of San Mateo, 7-6.

12. (11) Miramonte (Orinda) 10-0

Defeated Concord, 58-0.

13. (12) Rancho Cotate (Rohnert Park) 10-0

Defeated Piner of Santa Rosa, 52-15.

14. (15) Logan (Union City) 7-2

Defeated Kennedy of Fremont, 30-8.

15. (16) San Lorenzo Valley (Felton) 10-0

Defeated Watsonville, 35-14.

16. (10) Hayward 9-1

Lost to San Leandro, 43-21.

17. (17) McClymonds (Oakland) 8-2*

Defeated Oakland Tech, 28-14.

18. (18) Terra Nova (Pacifica) 10-0

Defeated Half Moon Bay, 48-14.

19. (19) Berkeley 9-0

Defeated El Cerrito, 13-7.

20. (20) Novato 10-0

Defeated Drake of San Anselmo, 48-14.

*Note: Does not include losses by forfeit.

Notes & Highlights

Going undefeated for the regular season might look easy for a program like De La Salle, which has done it now for 13 straight years going back to 1989 when its last regular season loss took place, but it really is quite an accomplishment. Congratulations to all of the teams in the Bay Area who did it, including two small schools that are not in the rankings above -- Cloverdale and John Swett of Crockett. Cloverdale and John Swett both will be ranked this week in our own Div. IV state rankings.

Valley Christian and Hayward were two teams that lost in their regular season finale, although the Farmers' loss was to No. 2 San Leandro while the Crusaders fell to unranked Serra. With four losses, it's too much to put the Padres in the rankings. But the four losses are all to strong opposition. Anybody out there think Serra is the best team in San Mateo County this year even with its losses, and even in front of unbeaten Terra Nova? Knocking off Valley Christian would certainly add fuel to that debate.

The win by Salinas over North Salinas clinched the Tri-County League title for the Cowboys, who finished one game in front of Palma in the final standings. The Chieftains are thus denied in their attempt to win a 19th straight league title, which would have improved upon their own state record. And with Palma's streak of league titles now stopped, Dos Palos of the Central Section now has a chance to break that record next season. Dos Palos won its 18th straight league title last weekend and will go for No. 19 in a row in 2003.

Because San Ramon Valley could just as easily be 10-0 instead of 8-2 due to two heart-breaking losses at the finish of close games vs. Monte Vista and Foothill, it was decided to keep the Wolves ahead of Miramonte in the overall rankings. It also didn't make sense to drop Valley Christian down behind Miramonte after losing by just one point to Serra, especially because the Warriors are in the CCS Div. I playoffs and Miramonte is in the much weaker NCS East Bay 2A playoffs. That's why the Matadors actually dropped a spot in this week's rankings even though they won 58-0.

Check back on Monday for our state overall top 20 and our state rankings by division.

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