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Central Valley eyes soccer playoffs, pair of titles
Central Valley High School's varsity boys soccer program accomplished two of three objectives in 2008 by capturing the Valley Oak League championship and participating in the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs.

The Hawks fell one win shy of a Division IV finals berth.

The 2009 squad is inching closer to its second consecutive conference crown and third straight postseason appearance.

"We're trying to prove a point," junior offensive midfielder Jose Ramirez said. "We didn't get lucky last year. We were one step away from our main goal. That's our motivation."

The Hawks are unbeaten through their first 13 league games (11-0-2) because they have a talented cast of players and great team chemistry.

Ramirez, Antonio Cabrera, Daniel Ochoa, Billy Chanthavong, Bobby Chanthavong, Larry Hernandez, Gerardo Cazares and Trinidad Sandoval deserve much of the credit.

Jose is a third-year varsity starter,

Antonio, Daniel, Billy, Bobby, Larry, Gerardo and Trinidad are second-year starters.

"We got a lot of leaders on the team," said Jose, who shares captain honors with Cabrera.

Ramirez leads the team in assists (17).

"When he's not on the field, you can tell there's a missing piece to the puzzle," Hawk head coach Omar Leon said. "He's the complete package. All the players trust him. There's not a lot of Joses out there."

Ramirez enjoys being a major contributor. He's set up Cabrera (23 goals, 14 assists) and Ochoa (12 goals, two assists), Central Valley's top scorers, countless times this season.

"My teammates count on me," Jose said. "I don't want to let them down."

Ramirez and the Hawks have dominated the VOL for nearly two seasons. Central Valley would gain state-wide respect by bringing home a blue section title banner.

"It would be so great if we could do it," Ramirez said. "We're confident. We have a pretty good team."