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Barragan pushes all the right buttons
• Courier’s top coach led CHS boys soccer to D-III section crown
Third-year head coach Danny Barragan led Ceres High’s varsity boys socccer team to a program-record 20 wins and the Division-III section crown. - photo by Dale Butler

Third-year leader Danny Barragan has been named the Ceres Courier’s Coach of the Year for the winter sports season.

Barragan guided Ceres High’s varsity boys soccer program to new heights.

“In a way, it’s still hard to believe,” he said. “But I really prepared myself. I figured out what it takes to get kids to listen. You have to know when to be strict in a non-harsh manner and when to be supportive.”

“This is the goal I had. I missed out on family events and vacations. It was all worth it.”
Danny Barragan

“This is the goal I had,” Barragan added.  “I missed out on family events and vacations. It was all worth it.”

Ceres High made history by claiming its second Sac-Joaquin Section title.

The Bulldogs qualified for the Northern California Regional Championship Tournament for the first time.

Ceres High posted a program-record 20-2-4 overall record.

The Bulldogs also had a program-best 16-game unbeaten streak.

Ceres High had two assistant coaches in Gilbert Zamora and Alexis Hernandez.

 “We set the bar really high this year,” Barragan said. “To be able to go in the gym and see the blue championship banner will bring back a lot of good memories. That was one of our missions. I’m not going to take full credit.”

Ceres High’s turnaround from its past failures was nothing short of amazing.

The Bulldogs totaled just eight wins the previous two seasons.

“I’m not going to lie,” Barragan said. “The last two years, I questioned myself. I failed in a way. But I always believed in this group. Nobody slacked off. They were focused. They were coachable. All the dedication paid off. It’s still hard to believe I was in charge of this team.”

Barragan was promoted to head coach of Ceres High’s varsity boys soccer program after assisting Miguel Saldate for two seasons.

He helped coach the varsity girls soccer team for two years.

Barragan directed Ceres High’s junior-varsity girls squad for three seasons and JV boys team for one year.

He had no previous coaching experience prior to arriving at Ceres High.

“I watched soccer all my life,” Barragan said. “I never played. I didn’t have any idea of how to coach it. I learned from watching Javier Mercado and Miguel Saldate.”