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Barragan joins elite company
Estevan Barragan
Estevan Barragan will be remembered as one of Central Valley’s greatest football players. Barragan was voted Western Athletic Conference Most Outstanding Offensive Player during his final season with the Hawks. - photo by DALE BUTLER/Courier file photo

Estevan Barragan joined an elite group when he was named Central Valley High School’s Golden Hawk Male Athlete of the Year Award recipient this past month.

Barragan’s name will be displayed on a banner inside CV’s gymnasium, along with past winners Oso Fregoso (2017), Moses Ghiorso (2016), Jaron Dickson (2015), Ja’Quan Gardner (2014), Abraham Navarro (2013), Daniel Ochoa (2012), Tyree Jones (2011), Vince Lopez (2010), Trevor Mew (2009) and Mike Tubera (2008).

“I know Ja’Quan, Moses, Tyree and Abraham,” Barragan said. “It’s cool to have my name up there, too.”

Estevan earned seven varsity letters during his prep athletic career with his main sport being football.

Barragan always played with maximum effort and intensity during his three-year career on the gridiron.

“He works harder than any other athlete I’ve ever been around,” Central Valley head coach Scott Edwards said. “It’s unparalleled.”

 Added Barragan: “I hate to lose. I’m a competitive person.”

Estevan, who was generously listed at 5-foot-8 and 185 pounds on Central Valley’s team roster, racked up a program-record 304 tackles while starring at safety.

 “His production was awesome,” Edwards said. “He led the league in tackles two out of three years. He’s the best tackler I’ve coached at the high-school level. He holds the record at Central Valley.”

Barragan was Central Valley’s top player on both sides of the ball during his senior year.

He was voted Western Athletic Conference Most Outstanding Offensive Player.

He rushed for 1,111 yards and 13 touchdowns.

He hauled in 31 passes for 503 yards and two TDs.

Estevan earned second-team all-league honors on defense.

He had 110 tackles, one interception, two pass deflections and one forced fumble.

“I set goals for myself every year,” Barragan said. “My goal was to get 100 tackles and 1,000 rushing yards this year. It was a grind.”

Barragan’s outstanding play at safety earned him first-team all-WAC honors his junior and sophomore years.

“He proved a lot of people wrong as a sophomore,” Edwards said. “They continued to attack him on the field and got stopped. He loves competition. That was something engrained in him as a kid.”

Barragan’s teams also experienced success.

Central Valley amassed a 21-11 overall record, won one conference title and qualified for the playoffs twice from 2015-17.

“I wish we would have made it to playoffs my senior year,” Estevan said. “We went my junior and sophomore years. We made great things happen for CV. I’m glad I was a part of that. I’m happy I got to be coached by him (Edwards). I love football just as much as he does.”

Barragan will be remembered as one of Central Valley’s greatest male athletes.

“It’s amazing,” said Estevan, who also earned three varsity letters in track and field and one in baseball. “It’s a blessing. I earned it. I worked hard.”

“He meant a lot to our team,” Edwards said. “He’s going to be missed on campus.”

Barragan will enroll at Fresno State this fall.

He plans to major in mathematics.

Estevan introduced himself to Bulldog head coach Jeff Tedford at a meet-and-greet event in Turlock on May 23.

“We had a great conversation,” Barragan said. “My dream is to play football at the Division-I level. I’m going to try out. Hopefully, I impress the coaches and earn a spot on the team.”