In today's Courier, we present the best of 2017 list.
1. Ceres High boys tennis star Nolan McCaig dominated all three of his opponents on his way to capturing the title at the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-II Individual Singles Championships. The experience of finishing in the top four three times-including second twice-at the section tournament fueled Nolan's desire to reach the pinnacle of his sport. McCaig won all 23 of his matches in 2017. He claimed his fourth consecutive Western Athletic Conference crown. Nolan was voted conference MVP for the fourth consecutive year. McCaig's career record while starring at No. 1 singles was 100-4. He had a perfect 63-0 mark against WAC opponents.
2. John Alba joined elite company by becoming just the seventh Ceres High boys wrestler in the last 22 years to qualify for the CIF State Meet twice. The 145-pound senior grappler placed fifth at the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Meet, and first at the Division-IV and Western Athletic Conference tournaments. Alba had an overall record of 41-10.
3. Central Valley heavyweight David Lezama made program history by becoming the first Central Valley boys wrestler to win a match at the CIF State Championships. Lezama compiled a 35-14 record during his final season with the Hawks. He placed fourth at the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Meet. He finished first at the Division-IV and Western Athletic Conference finals. David captured titles at tournaments in Ceres, Oakdale and Corona.
4. Nayeli Pelayo became Central Valley's first-ever two-time CIF State Girls Wrestling Meet qualifier. Pelayo posted a 3-2 record on her way to a fourth-place finish in the 191-pound bracket at the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Championships as a junior. She won four of five matches while taking third at the South Regional competition. Pelayo placed first at the Western Athletic Conference finals with a perfect 2-0 mark. She also captured titles at tournaments at Pacheco and Bear Creek.
5. Julia Pata excelled in girls swimming, track and field and wrestling. Pata qualified for the Sac-Joaquin Section Championships in swimming for the fourth year in a row. She took first in the 100 free and 50 free at the Western Athletic Conference finals as a senior. Julia placed first in the shot put (33-2) and discus (90-4) at the WAC Track & Field Championships. A newcomer to the sport of wrestling, Pata compiled an impressive 23-8 overall record. The 160-pounder advanced to Masters and finished sixth at South Regionals. She was first at the conference tournament and Enochs Invitational.
6. Central Valley boys cross country standout Andres Rojo made program history by capturing the Western Athletic Conference's individual title and winning the league's Most Valuable Player award. Rojo, a senior, finished first with a time of 18 minutes, 02 seconds on the 3-mile course at the WAC Championships.
7. Ceres High girls water polo standout goalkeeper Camryn Elness made program history by being voted Most Valuable Player of the Western Athletic Conference. Elness totaled 140 blocks in 19 matches. She was selected to the WAC First Team as a junior. Camryn was the Bulldogs' goalie for three seasons.
8. Ceres High softball pitcher Callie Nunes added to her legacy by compiling a 20-3 record with a 0.52 earned-run average, 291 strikeouts and one no-hitter during her final season with the Bulldogs. Nunes' dominance on the mound in 2017 earned her first-team Cal-Hi Sports All-State Medium Schools honors. Callie was voted Western Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Year for the second year in a row. She ranked fourth in the state in strikeouts.
9. A standout hitter and third baseman on Ceres High's softball team, Rayohna Sagapolu was voted Most Valuable Player of the Western Athletic Conference. Rayohna batted .500 with five homers, nine doubles, 29 RBIs and 22 runs.
10. Sophomore Gary Condit finished first in the race for the Western Athletic Conference Boys Golf Most Valuable Player award. Condit shot a 3-over-par-75 while finishing first overall at the WAC Year-End Tournament.
11. Central Valley senior Estevan Barragan was named Most Outstanding Offensive Player for the Western Athletic Conference football campaign. He rushed for 1,111 yards and 13 touchdowns on the season. He caught 31 passes for 503 yards and two touchdowns. Estevan was a second-team all-league pick on defense. A standout safety, Barragan racked up 110 tackles, to go along with one interception, two pass deflections and one forced fumble.
12. Central Valley senior David Serrano was voted Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman in the WAC for his dominance in football. Serrano, who stands 6-foot-3 and weighs 275 pounds, anchored the Hawks' offensive line. Central Valley racked up 1,555 yards and 16 touchdowns in five games. The Hawks piled up 920 yards and 13 TDs on the ground. A first-team all-conference defensive lineman, David tallied 28 tackles and one sack.
13. Central Valley girls soccer player Citlaly Salinas was named Western Athletic Conference co-Defensive Player of the Year. Salinas anchored the Hawks' defense. She contributed at forward prior to switching positions.
14. Amelia Daoheung had a productive first season with Central Valley's girls golf program. Just a freshman, Daoheung garnered first-team all-Western Athletic Conference recognition. Amelia was the fifth-best player in the WAC's individual standings. She had a slope and rating average of 12.539.
15. Underclassman Dalton Durossette earned all-conference honors in two sports. A standout pitcher and infielder in baseball, Durossette was selected to the Western Athletic Conference First Team. Dalton batted .410 from the plate with one homer, three doubles, 22 RBIs, 34 runs and 11 stolen bases. He compiled a 7-4 record with a 2.53 ERA, one no-hitter, one shutout, three complete games and 56 strikeouts on the mound. Durossette was a second-team all-league selection in varsity football. Dalton completed 135 of 247 passes for 1,709 yards with 16 touchdowns and nine interceptions at quarterback.
16. Vianney Perez batted .375 from the plate with seven homers, three triples, six doubles, 34 RBIs, 28 runs and just three errors in 29 games while starring on Ceres High's softball team as a freshman. She earned first-team all-Western Athletic Conference accolades. Perez ranked first in the WAC in runs (17), second in homers (3) and RBIs (17), sixth in doubles (2), seventh in batting average (.472) and slugging percentage (.777), and 10th in on-base percentage (.513). She played shortstop on defense.
17. Central Valley girls soccer player Jocelyn Lopez filled the stat sheet during her sophomore year. Lopez totaled 24 goals and 16 assists at striker. She was selected to the Western Athletic Conference First Team.
18. Gerardo Flores was a key member on Central Valley's boys soccer team as a sophomore. Flores collected 21 goals, the 11th-highest total in the Sac-Joaquin Section, at forward. Gerardo was the third-leading scorer in the Western Athletic Conference. He also dished out five assists. Flores earned second-team all-WAC honors.