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His team had just beaten Bellarmine in a playoff game. The final score was decisive. Serra had won 41-0.

But after the semifinal matchup last November, winning coach Patrick Walsh was genuinely complimentary about the direction league rival Bellarmine was headed under Jalal Beauchman.

The Bells coach had just completed his first fall season after starting his coaching career at the storied San Jose private school in the pandemic-shortened spring season earlier in the year.

“Jalal Beauchman and staff are five years ahead of schedule,” Walsh said that afternoon on Serra’s home field. “I am very tight with Jalal and very tight with many guys on the staff. Just being in this league for 21 years, the league is better when Bellarmine’s good. I am very proud of Jalal.”

Nine months later, as fall camp opened Friday across the Central Coast Section, is Bellarmine ready to take that next step? Are the Bells primed to join powerhouses Serra and St. Francis atop the West Catholic Athletic League?

Last season, Bellarmine beat St. Ignatius and Valley Christian but was soundly defeated by Serra (twice) and St. Francis.

“Those guys over they have done an amazing job with their programs,” Beauchman said this week. “Our head isn’t in the sand. We hear a lot about the talent that’s going to those schools. I still think everyone is trying to play catch-up to those guys.”

Even so, Bellarmine has been on an undeniable ascent since Beauchman took over from the highly successful Mike Janda, and its playoff placement last fall amplified the rise.

The Bells were seeded third in the CCS Division I bracket. Given that the section ranks its playoff teams one through 40 and then divides them into groups of eight from the top down, Bellarmine was the third-best team in the section in the eyes …read more

Source:: East Bay – Entertainment

      

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