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Cazares wins Western Athletic Conference MVP
Omar Leon, leader of Central Valley High School's varsity boys soccer program, nominated several of his players for MVP at the Western Athletic Conference year-end coaches meeting on Oct. 29 at Pacheco High School in Los Banos.

He felt that Daniel Ochoa and Gerardo Cazares were both deserving because they played key roles while leading the Hawks to a first-place finish the league standings (8-0-2).

"I thought both of them should have been co-MVP," Leon said. "But I couldn't vote for my players. I didn't make the final decision."

Cazares, a senior midfielder, claimed the top prize.

Gerardo tallied six goals and four assists in league play.

"Everybody knew who he was when I mentioned his name," Leon said. "He sets the tone and speed of the game. He has great vision. He's a great decision maker. He'll be very tough to replace."

Ochoa, a junior striker, and six other Hawks were selected to the WAC first team. Seven of Central Valley's 11 starters were recognized.

Daniel led Central Valley with 11 goals and seven assists

"He has speed," Leon said. "He has strength. He has a rocket on his left foot. He's a complete player. He'll be even better next year."

Jose Ramirez, co-MVP of the Valley Oak League in 2009, earned first-team honors for the third time during his career. The senior midfielder managed to collect three goals and three assists this year despite being slowed by knee and ankle injuries.

"He constantly motivated all of the other players," Leon said. "He was like a second coach."

Ochoa, Jonathan Ramos (D/MF, Jr.), Hugo Contreras (D, Jr.), Edwin Garcia (HB, So.), Israel Heredia (D/MF, So.)and Andres Cazares (GK, So.) will try to lead Central Valley to its fourth straight league title and fifth consecutive playoff appearance in 2011.

The Hawks won VOL titles in 2009 and 2008.

Central Valley finished runner-up at the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV championship tournament the past two seasons.

"I think we can be just as good next year," Leon said. "We're losing key players. But we have some younger kids who have a lot to offer."

None of Ceres High's players earned all-league honors.

Koeurn Phe, head coach of the third-place Bulldogs, forgot to submit nominations via e-mail.

Ceres High's Ramon Corona (F, Sr.), Cesar Hurtado (MF/F, Sr.), Edgar Campos (MF, Sr.) and Huberto Luna (D, Jr.) all had productive seasons.

"I blame myself," said Phe, who couldn't attend the all-league meeting because he had to help run the concession stand at one of the Bulldogs' football games. "The information was there. I got too occupied. I had another school function to do."

Ceres High compiled a 6-3-1 record in WAC play.