Question: Back in 1998, after De La Salle had beaten Nevada Union pretty handily for the second time, the Sacramento Bee ran an article describing why Sacramento area coaches did not want to play the Spartans. If I am not mistaken, Mike Alberghini was one of the coaches interviewed. Why don't you reprint that article and interview some coaches and see if they feel the same way. If they have changed their minds, they could schedule De La Salle. After all, Concord is not that far away.
-Dennis Giuntini, Susanville
Answer: Scheduling a De La Salle is no easy matter. As the nation's top-ranked team, the Spartans can pick and chose who to play against in their non-league games. This season they played Elder of Cincinnati and Southern California power Mission Viejo, in addition to Serra of San Mateo and Palma of Salinas. So they may have no interest in playing Grant or another Sacramento team for that matter. In checking our archives, Alberghini talked about a potential De La Salle-Grant matchup in a 2002 Bee article, but said at that time it would only make sense for his school to play later in the season because the Pacers are slow starters. "We'd have to play them early, which we wouldn't want to do," Alberghini told former Bee sportswriter Darrell Moody. "Too many people (would) think it's the most important game of the year. If we played De La Salle in Week 1 or Week 2 and lost, then it would take time to recover. I saw De La Salle play Nevada Union for two straight years, and they (Nevada Union) didn't recover for four or five weeks." Alberghini told us earlier this week he hopes to talk to De La Salle officials after Saturday's state bowl game about scheduling a future contest, so he's definitely interested.
- Bill Paterson