Central Valley’s Alex Bautista and Ceres High’s Kristina Corbin have been named the Courier’s Top Male and Female Newcomer Athletes of the Year for the winter sports season.
Bautista and Corbin both stepped up in a big way while excelling in boys soccer and girls soccer, respectively.
Corbin earned second-team all-Western Athletic Conference honors.
The freshman forward/winger totaled 11 goals and six assists.
“She has amazing talent,” Bulldogs’ head coach Danny Barragan said. “She plays hard. She’s aggressive. She would do things that I didn’t expect. She was able to give herself passes and outrun defenders. Her speed is insane.”
Barragan promoted Corbin to varsity after watching her dominate during a junior-varsity scrimmage against Downey.
“Nobody could catch up to her,” Barragan said. “She stood out. She’s already good for her age. She has so much room to improve.”
A newcomer to high school soccer, Bautista collected 12 goals and three assists.
“I was excited to be on the varsity team,” the sophomore attacking midfielder said. “I had to work hard to keep my starting spot. I wasn’t expecting to score a lot of goals. My teammates helped me out a lot.”
Bautista shined brightest on the biggest stage.
He scored five goals in four playoff games.
“I didn’t want to let my team down,” Bautista said.
Corbin and Bautista both played for winning programs.
Ceres High compiled a 16-1-1 overall record, advanced to the quarterfinals of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-III playoffs and claimed the Western Athletic Conference championship (11-0-1).
Central Valley posted a 20-5-3 overall record, reached the Division-II title game and captured its second consecutive Central California Conference crown (9-1-2).