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CV grad Cervantes checks another goal off list by earning college soccer scholarship
Alexis Cervantes
Central Valley High School grad Alexis Cervantes (second from right with his parents and siblings) will join the Stanislaus State men’s soccer team this year. Cervantes celebrated the major milestone with family, friends, teammates, coaches and staff during a June 5 signing ceremony. - photo by Contributed to the Courier

A three-year member of Central Valley High School’s varsity boys soccer team, Alexis Cervantes realized a long-term personal goal last month by earning a college athletic scholarship.

The 2024 CVHS grad will stay close to home while he furthers his playing career and education at Stanislaus State in Turlock.

“I had this dream since I was little,” said Cervantes, a standout winger/forward. “There were definitely some moments I doubted myself. I wanted to quit. I continued the journey. I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be.”

Central Valley High School celebrated Cervantes’ big milestone with a signing-day ceremony on June 5 at the campus gymnasium.

Alexis’ parents Martin Cervantes and Oliva Silva attended the event, along with two of his three siblings in Ivan (16) and Nathalie (9). Valeria (14) couldn’t make it due to a conflicting schedule.

“Having my family there was very special,” he said. “I do everything for them. I wouldn’t be the player and person I am without them.”

Friends, coaches, teammates, teachers and staff were also in attendance.

“It was overwhelming,” Cervantes said. “I was nervous and excited. Having the support made me feel good. It was really fun. I appreciate everything CV does for its students and athletes.”

Cervantes weighed his options prior to committing to Stanislaus State.

He also drew interest from UC Merced, Cal Poly Pomona, Old Dominion and Tulsa.

Stanislaus State compiled a 4-10-4 overall record and placed ninth in the California Collegiate Athletic Association standings with a 1-6-4 mark during the 2023 season.

“I was in talks with several different schools,” Cervantes said. “Stanislaus State was the best choice for me. It’s close to home. My family will be there to support me and go to all of my games. I’m excited for the new opportunities to come. College is a big thing.” 

A spectator at Warrior Stadium in the past, Cervantes will contribute as a player in the future.

“I was there as a fan,” he said. “Now, I’ll be on the field playing. That’s very exciting.”

“Freshmen year, it’s about developing myself—getting bigger, stronger and faster,” Cervantes added. “I’m going to work hard. I’m going to try to get minutes on the field. I’ll play wherever I can help the team.”

Cervantes enjoyed a success-filled soccer career at Central Valley.

His teams had a combined record of 57-20-9, won one conference title and secured three playoff berths.

“Our teams were very good over the years,” he said. “I enjoyed all the traveling and games. It was fun while it lasted. It’s sad that it’s over.”

Cervantes helped lead the Hawks to a 21-7-1 overall record, first-place finish in the Central California Conference (11-1-0) and Sac-Joaquin Section Division-I playoff berth this past winter.

He tied for second on the team with 14 goals and dished out four assists.

Cervantes totaled a team-high 22 goals, to go along with three assists en route to earning second-team all-CCC honors as a junior.

He had six goals and one assist sophomore year.

“I somehow manage to get the ball in the net,” Cervantes said. “I have the right attitude and mentality. Discipline is a big part of it.”

Cervantes learned how to play soccer at age of five.

He was a member of Modesto Youth Soccer Association’s recreational league for seven years.

He suited up for Ceres Earthquakes (grades 5-8) and Modesto Ajax (grades 10-11) travel teams for a combined six seasons.

“I fell in love with the game,” Cervantes said. “I feel free playing. It’s stress-free.”

Cervantes saw big gains in his overall game after spending two seasons with the Mountain View Los Altos Soccer Club of the Elite Clubs National League.

“The competition was much better,” said Cervantes, who traveled to the Bay Area three to four times a week to train. “Everybody is good. It definitely helped me improve in a lot of ways. It was a whole different world. I got to travel across the United States.”

Cervantes will continue to blaze his own path.

A first-generation college student, Cervantes will major in business administration at Stanislaus State.

“I’m the oldest,” said Cervantes, who had a cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 at Central Valley. “I try to set a good example for my younger siblings. That’s the most important part.”

In June, Cervantes became the first person in his family to graduate from high school.

“Seeing all that my parents do for me and my siblings, I’m very grateful,” he said. “It’s definitely motivation. I’m working hard for them so they know their hard work is paying off. They came over here to chase after a better life. I want to take advantage of opportunities they never had. There is some pressure on me going into college. I’m ready for it. I’ll try my best.”

Cervantes will pursue his long-term athletic goal of becoming a pro player following college.

He could follow in the footsteps of former Central Valley High School standout players Ozzie Ramos and Gerardo Flores.

“I’m focused right now on where I’m at,” Cervantes said. “I do want to play professional soccer. I learned college was a pathway. Semi-pro and pro teams will be looking at me. I can’t wait to get started.”