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Dawgs, Hawks lauded for productive seasons
The 2007 fall high school sports season came to a close in November. Now's the perfect time to highlight the accomplishments of individuals and teams at the varsity level.

Female Athlete: A year after suffering a devastating loss in the finals of the Valley Oak League girls tennis singles tournament, Ceres High's McKenzy Harden rebounded with an undefeated sophomore campaign. She won all 32 of her matches, including 28 during the regular season and four at the conference championships.

Male Athlete: Hadon Lopez starred on Ceres High's football team as a freshman. The 5-foot-8, 165-pound middle linebacker registered 81 tackles, returned an interception for a touchdown and recovered a fumble in just six games. He missed four league contests with a fractured right pinkie sustained in the Bulldogs' VOL opener against Manteca. Lopez put off surgery and played against East Union and Central Valley.

Team: Led by McKenzy Harden, Logan Harden, Angie Prak, Tiffany Ornells, Sydney Featherstone, Natalie Flores and Christina Villavong, Ceres High's girls tennis team qualified for the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II playoffs. The Bulldogs managed to place second in the VOL standings (11-3) despite being hit hard by graduation.

Coach: Under first-year coach Omar Leon's guidance, Central Valley's boys soccer team secured a Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV playoff berth by virtue of its third-place finish in the VOL (9-3-1). Leon made sure his players stayed focus on the task at hand after the Hawks were forced to forfeit their first three conference games (one win and two ties) for inadvertently using an ineligible player. Central Valley concluded its conference schedule with eight wins, including six shutouts and a tie.

Game: Ceres High beat crosstown rival Central Valley twice in volleyball in 2006. The Hawks rallied from a two games to none deficit to defeat the Bulldogs 3-2 (23-25, 19-25, 25-19, 25-19, 15-13) in the first meeting between the two programs in 2007 at Phil de la Porte Gymnasium. The victory sparked a wild celebration as Central Valley earned its first-ever conference win in its two-year history, snapping a 19-match losing streak. Sophomore all-league second-team honoree Kaela Causey had nine kills, five digs and four aces ... To everyone's surprise, the second-ever meeting between Central Valley's and Ceres High's football programs went down to the wire. The Hawks avoided the upset by posting a thrilling 25-20 victory over the Bulldogs. Senior all-purpose player Gerald Garcia returned the opening kickoff 95 yards for a score, caught a 9-yard touchdown pass from Trevor Mew and broke up a potential TD in the end zone.

Individual Performance: Ceres High's Hadon Lopez had a productive night against Central Valley. He scored two touchdowns. His 24-yard interception return evened the score at 7-7 early in the second quarter. His 6-yard TD run brought the Hawks within five points midway through the fourth quarter. He also tallied a season-high 17 tackles on defense.

Honorable Mention: Central Valley girls golfer Brooke Davis qualified for the Sac-Joaquin Division IV tournament for the second straight season. The senior was also named to the All-VOL first team ... A late addition to Ceres High's cross country team, Central Valley transfer Dustin Espinoza advanced to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III cross country championships. The senior didn't qualify for state but did beat rival Jose Cuevas of Weston Ranch. Cuevas finished ahead of Espinoza at the sub-section and league events ... Ceres High boys soccer player David Estrada made the All-VOL first team for the second year in a row. The sophomore forward tallied a

team-high 11 goals and seven assists in leading the Bulldogs to a fourth-place finish (5-7-2) ... The Ceres High varsity volleyball team upset playoff-bound East Union 11-25, 25-10, 25-20, 15-25, 15-11 in VOL play. The stunning victory came two weeks after the Bulldogs suffered a heartbreaking 23-25, 19-25, 25-19, 25-19, 15-13 loss to Central Valley. Second-team VOL honoree Chelsea Lomeli led the Bulldogs with 25 assists.