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Former Central Valley soccer standouts experience success at Cal State Stanislaus
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Jose Ramirez, Gerardo Cazares and Larry Hernandez accomplished a lot together while starring on Central Valley High School's varsity boys soccer team from 2008-2010.

The Hawks posted a 50-8-9 overall record, advanced to the section finals twice, won three league titles and participated in the playoffs every season.

"They raised the bar," Central Valley head coach Omar Leon said.

Ramirez, Cazares and Hernandez continued their soccer careers at Cal State Stanislaus in 2011.

Jose, Gerardo and Larry all logged playing time during the Warriors' 2012 record-breaking campaign.

"A lot of people came out to support us," Cazares said. "It's been a great experience. We had a lot of fun."

Stanislaus compiled a program-best 12-5-3 overall record, advanced to the NCAA Division-II Championship Tournament for the first time and captured the California Collegiate Athletic Association crown.

The Warriors lost 2-1 to No. 2 Simon Fraser (17-1-1) in the second round of the NCAA West Region Championships. Stanislaus edged Notre Dame de Namur 3-2 in the opening round.

"Our expectations were high," Cazares said. "We did pretty well. I'm not surprised. We got a great team. I'm happy because we worked hard for it."

Ramirez made four starts while competing in 19 games for Stanislaus this season.

The redshirt freshman midfielder collected one goal against Cal State Monterey and one assist versus Sonoma State.

Jose took 16 shots on the year.

Cazares, a redshirt freshman midfielder, played in 16 games. He started three times.

Gerardo converted one of his nine shot attempts.

Hernandez, a sophomore midfielder, suited up for 10 games. He made three starts.

Larry took six shots.

Jose, Gerardo and Larry were role players.

"It's a lot different from high school," Cazares said. "There's a lot of great talent out there."

Under Leon's guidance, Ramirez, Cazares and Hernandez helped Central Valley's boys soccer program reach record heights.

Jose, Gerardo and Larry were major contributors as sophomores when the Hawks captured the school's first league title in a team sport. Central Valley placed first in the Valley Oak League, advanced to the semifinals of the Division-IV playoffs and finished 17-3-2 on the year.

Ramirez, Cazares and Hernandez propelled the Hawks to conference titles in 2010 (Western Athletic Conference) and 2009 (VOL). Jose and Gerardo were named VOL and WAC Most Valuable Players, respectively. Central Valley was runner-up at the section tournament both years. The Hawks had a combined record of 33-5-7 from 2009-10.

Daniel Ochoa, a four-year star on Central Valley's varsity boys soccer team, reunited with Ramirez, Cazares and Hernandez at Stanislaus this past year. Ochoa, the 2011 WAC MVP, missed the entire season with a foot injury. Daniel totaled a program-record 88 goals and dished out 27 assists with the Hawks.

The Warriors will continue to recruit Hawk talent.

"I've never been a part of something like that," Stanislaus assistant Dominic Figueroa said when asked if he's ever coached a college team with four players from the same high school. "It's amazing. I don't know what's in the water over in Ceres. Obviously, they have a good high-school tradition."

Cazares praised Central Valley's leader.

"Omar is a great coach," he said. "He cares about what he's doing and he's a good person too."