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Central Valley JV soccer coach resigns
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The Central Valley High JV boys soccer team's inaugural season came to an abrupt end on Tuesday, Oct. 4 at Ceres River Bluff Regional Park.

”That wasn't supposed to happen,“ said athletic director Jeff Rocchi.

”I'm hopeful this will be resolved, we can move on and continue the season.“

Added head coach Jaime Sanchez: ”I didn't tell them to quit. I didn't even speak. They're in high school. They have their own minds.“

Said principal Fred Van Vleck: ”We don't want the program to dissolve. We want to do what's best for the students at Central Valley High School.“

Approximately 18 players decided to quit after being given an ultimatum by Rocchi. They took off their green jerseys, set them near Rocchi's feet and stormed off the field. The unfortunateevent took place following a loss to Buhach Colony. The game was stopped midway through the second half. The Thunder won by forfeit because the Hawks used an ineligible player in the first half.

Rocchi overreacted before addressing the team.

”Isidro Aguilera was taking off his jersey because he was hot. And Jeff Rocchi jumped on him for no reason,“ Sanchez said. ”He said, ‘Put your jersey back on or you're done for the rest of the season. And that goes for all of you guys.'“

Sammy Saldate, Abimael Galindo, Ricardo Reynoso and Jesus Larios undressed first.

”I'm tired of this,“ Saldate said. ”All he (Rocchi) cares about is the football team. He watches all of their games.“

Several players claimed the football program received special treatment.

”There's absolutely no favoritism towards the football team,“ Van Vleck said. ”It was a miscommunication.“

Added Rocchi: ”Every kid is treated the same.“

Sanchez met with Van Vleck and Rocchi on Wednesday.

”They agreed to give me a second opportunity (if the team was reassembled),“ Sanchez said. ”I'm still head coach. At this time, I got an assistant coach. He's one of the campus supervisors.“

Van Vleck and Rocchi held a parent meeting after school on Friday. Sanchez was unable to attend because of a conflicting schedule. One of his children had an appointment.

”It went well,“ Van Vleck said. ”It lasted 45 minutes.“

Sanchez resigned on Monday at lunchtime. He said he would have been fired if he didn't.

”That was the best way to go,“ he said. ”I'm just going to focus on my family and get on with my life.“

Said Van Vleck: ”He wasn't given an ultimatum. He resigned. I really can't get into the details because it's a personnel thing.“

Sanchez knowingly used two ineligible players, including one in the Central Valley/Buhach Colony game and another in the consolation championship of the Atwater tournament on Oct. 1. According to section rules, teams must forfeit any games in which an ineligible player participates.

”It was a dumb call on my part,“ Sanchez said. ”I made a mistake.“

Said Van Vleck: ”Ethically, it's our responsibility to promote academics along with athletics.“

Added Rocchi: ”I'll notify the league and CIF out of courtesy. Our integrity is at stake. We won't suffer any consequences because frosh-soph don't have playoffs.“

Sanchez didn't get a chance to say good-bye and/or good luck to his players.

”They (Van Vleck and Rocchi) told me not to talk to them,“ Sanchez said. ”They got my number.“

Jesse Padilla, girls basketball coach and campus supervisor, will coach the team for the remainder of the year. - By DALE BUTLER / Staff reporter of the Ceres (Calif.) Courier