By Rodney Woodson
For the third consecutive time a program that current Contra Costa College coach Alonzo Carter took over has been able to bring home a conference championship — the latest the 2012 Bay Valley Conference crown for the Comets.
In 1999 Carter was named the Warriors coach at McClymonds High School in Oakland. Two years later his team won the Oakland Athletic League title. At Berkeley High School he took over the Yellow Jackets in 2006 and brought home the Alameda Contra Costa Athletic League championship in 2008.
“Really, I do have a blueprint (for success),” Carter said. “Every kid wants to go to a four-year school. If (a football) program makes that the main goal, it will lead to success.”
CCC’s football program was dismal prior to Carter’s arrival in 2010, at least as far as wins and losses were concerned. Implementing his 10-step vision of success, the Comets went from 4-6 in 2010, to 6-4 in 2011.
In his third year, the process proved true, helping the Comets to an 8-3 overall record, a BVC title and a Living Breath Foundation Bowl Championship.
The Comets finished 5-0 in BVC games.
Carter said that every year he raises the bar for his athletes in terms of wins, academics and athletic goals. In 2011 the team failed to win the BVC thanks to a one-point loss at Solano Community College.
This past season Carter was honored not only as the BVC Coach of the Year, but also the Region III Coach of the Year as well.
He said when he first accepted the job as coach of the Comets he was introduced to the other coaches at a conference in Visalia.
“I was introduced to the other coaches as the coach at CCC and other coaches looked at me funny,” Carter said. “One of them blurted out, ‘That’s a shit job.’ I felt empty and incomplete. To be in the same place this year, sitting among the other regional coaches of the year, felt (gratifying).”
The first point of emphasis of 10 in Carter’s team vision blueprint for success is for athletes to graduate and move on to four-year schools. Other points of emphasis include creating team pride, training hard with a purpose and, most importantly, he said, academic credibility.
His belief in the importance of academics is an attribute he said that was instilled in him at Cal State-East Bay by a familiar face.
“My academic foundation came from my EOPS counselor (CCC President) Denise Noldon,” Carter said. “Because of her I stayed in school. I’m trying to give that back.”
Goals for the 2012 season were winning more than six games and winning the BVC, which would have resulted in a bowl invitation.
“We just worked hard,” defensive back Anthony Beaver Jr. said. “We practiced before the summer, during the summer and obviously during the season.”
The squad began the season with a disappointing 2-3 record before conference play, but won five straight games to close conference competition, culminated by a 33-14 win against Los Medanos College solidifying the BVC title.
CCC defeated Monterey Peninsula College 39-25 to win the Living Breath Foundation Bowl.
Although the team led the BVC in rushing yards and ranked 10th in the state with 221.7 yards rushing per game, CCC’s staple was on the defensive side of the ball. The Comet defense was stingy and finished the year ranked second in the state in yards allowed per game, giving up just 281.8 per contest.
The Comet defense also led the state in interceptions with 28.
Teams were not able to keep the ball long against CCC because of its stingy defense, which helped CCC lead the state in time of possession, keeping the ball for 34 minutes each game.
“I don’t see why any football player wouldn’t want to go here,” defensive coordinator Otis Yelverton said.