By Mike Kinney
The Pinole Valley High School Spartans football program captured its first ever state title on Saturday, defeating Mendota High 34-21 in the Division 7-AA California State Championship.
The victory marks the first time a West Contra Costa Unified School District (WCCUSD) program has earned a high school state football title.
The Spartans earned their bid to play in the state championship after defeating Justin-Siena (Napa) 7-0 on Nov. 25, capturing its first North Coast Section title in 43 years.
According to the San Jose Mercury News, quarterback Maddux Wu stepped up his passing game when his team needed it most, completing 8 of 11 passes for two TD passes and 186 yards in the victory at Mendota High. Ellis Shamsis-Deen caught both TD passes and scored on a 72-yard TD run, while James Gordon III added a 1-yard TD run.
Pinole Mayor Pro Tempore Devin T. Murphy lauded the team and its supportive community for a “phenomenal accomplishment.”
“The entire community is extremely proud of our high school and players,” Murphy said. “It is a great accomplishment, congratulations to all of the players, coaches, parents students and educators.”
Added Contra Costa County Supervisor John Gioia, “The Pinole High school community deserves recognition for its support of academic and athletic success. Let’s support our students.”