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CV, CHS boys soccer standouts garner special recognition
Central Valley High School's varsity boys soccer team won the Western Athletic Conference crown outright with a 10-1-1 record.

Ceres High placed second (9-3-0).

For the third year in a row, the Hawks had the top individual player in league.

Central Valley's Daniel Ochoa was named Most Valuable Player in a vote by the conference's coaches on Nov. 2 at Pacheco High School.

Ochoa follows in the footsteps of former Hawk teammates Gerardo Cazares (2010, WAC) and Jose Ramirez (2009, Valley Oak League).

"There's no question he's the best player in the league," Bulldogs head coach Koeurn Phe said. "He's very determined and physically fit. He's like a running back."

Ochoa scored a conference-leading 20 goals and dished out a team-high three assists in 11 games.

"Having a player like Daniel made a difference in the games," Central Valley head coach Omar Leon said. "He grew up as a person and an athlete. His desire to learn made him a better player. He earned the respect of a lot of people."

Central Valley's Hugo Contreras, Daniel Hernandez, Omar Orozco, Samuel Martinez and Anthony Calvo, and Ceres High's Rafael Mercado, Roberto Hernandez, Huberto Luna and Jose Saldivar were also recognized for their outstanding.

"Our whole team contributed this year," Leon said.

Contreras, Mercado, Roberto Hernandez and Daniel Hernandez made the WAC first team.

Orozco, Martinez, Calvo, Luna and Saldivar earned second-team, all-league honors.

With Contreras, Martinez and Daniel Hernandez leading the way, Central Valley's defense posted six shutouts.

Orozco ranked second on the team in scoring with nine goals.

Calvo was one of the Hawks' starting midfielders. He had five assists.

Mercado, Luna, Saldivar and Robert Hernandez, Ceres High's four team captains, helped limit opposing teams' offenses to 19 goals in 12 games.

"The strength of our team was our defense," Phe said.

Mercado was a three-year starter at fullback.

"He was our most versatile player," Phe said. "He was our emotional leader. He played with a lot of energy. You don't question his effort."

Luna, a two-year starter, played stopper.

"I was very disappointed he didn't get first-team recognition," Phe said. "He was one of our key players. He was very valuable to the team."

Saldivar excelled while contributing at left fullback

"He had his own distinguished style of playing," Phe said. "He wasn't afraid to sacrifice his body."

Coach Leon believes several of his Hawk players, including Calvo, Diego Duran and Ozzie Ramos, will be in the running for the conference's top award in 2012.

"We could get another MVP next year," he said.