1. Central Valley's varsity boys soccer team qualified for the Sac-Joaquin Section finals for the fourth time in five years, totaled a program-best 26 wins with just two losses, won its sixth straight league title and participated in the playoffs for the seventh consecutive year. The Hawks reeled off a program-best 20 straight wins prior to being upset 3-2 by Christian Brothers in the section finals.
2. Ceres High's varsity boys tennis team brought home a second-place trophy plaque from the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-II Championships. The Bulldogs compiled a 3-1 record at the 21-team event. The Bulldogs successfully defended their Western Athletic Conference title with a perfect 12-0 mark and compiled a program-best 30-2 record this year.
3. Central Valley's varsity football team logged its best season to date. The Hawks (6-5) qualified for the playoffs and compiled a winning record for the first time in school history under second-year head coach Jason McCloskey's guidance. Central Valley also improved its head-to-head record versus crosstown-rival Ceres High to 7-1.
4. Ceres High's varsity girls golf team secured its fourth consecutive playoff berth and finished second overall in the Western Athletic Conference standings (10-2) behind undefeated Central Catholic thanks to the play of Caitlin Pfaff, Eric Hogner, Abigail Nou, Brittany Turnbow, Hannah Smith and Dania Medina.
5. Ceres High's varsity boys soccer team posted a 2-1 record en route to a top-four finish at the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-III playoff tournament. The Bulldogs lost 3-1 to eventual-champion/third-seeded Christian Brothers in the semifinals. Ceres High stormed back for a 5-2 win over No. 10 American Canyon in the first round of the playoffs and upset No. 2 Oakdale 3-1 in a penalty-kick shootout during the quarterfinals. The Bulldogs compiled a 13-6-1 overall record, placed second in the WAC (8-3-1) behind Central Valley and advanced to the postseason for the sixth year in a row.
6. Ceres High School's varsity baseball team qualified for the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs for the third straight year. The Bulldogs finished 20-7-1 and second overall in the Western Athletic Conference standings (10-2). Ceres High won its first 10 league games prior to being swept by perennial power Central Catholic. The Bulldogs collected a pair of wins (4-1, 10-0) against the crosstown Hawks.
7. Central Valley's varsity baseball team participated in the postseason for the first time during its seven-year history. The Hawks compiled a program-best 19-9 record and placed third in the Western Athletic Conference (6-6). Central Valley bested Ceres High 9-5 for the Ceres Lions Club/Art McRae tournament title. The Hawks won 12 of 15 road games.
Other Notable Stories
1. Several hundred people attended a candlelight vigil for 19-year-old Junior Moniz at Bulldog Stadium on Nov. 9. The 2012 Ceres High grad passed away a day earlier from injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident. Moniz contributed at wide receiver, defensive back and kick returner as a member of the Bulldogs' varsity football team his junior year. He caught five passes for 62 yards and one touchdown in eight games. He ran for 29 yards on five carries. He had 30 tackles, seven pass defenses and one interception. He amassed 272 yards and one TD on 10 kickoff returns. Junior played one season of varsity baseball. Just a sophomore, Moniz collected seven hits, six RBIs, nine runs and three stolen bases in 16 games.
2. Central Valley senior running back Ja'Quan Gardner was recognized at the national level for his record-breaking play on the gridiron. Gardner was interviewed by Good Day Sacramento after being named USA Today/Asics Ultimate Athlete of the Year. Ja'Quan finished in first place with 207,062 votes. The other seven finalists had a combined 280,873 votes.
3. Surrounded by family members, teammates and classmates, Central Valley varsity boys basketball star Ryan Donnelly signed a national letter of intent to continue his playing career with Cal State Stanislaus. Ryan will follow in the footsteps of older sister Shannon. She had her No. 35 jersey retired by the Warriors in 2003. She was inducted into Stanislaus' Athletic Hall of Fame in 2011. Shannon was a three-time All-American and four-time All-Region player. Ryan averaged 16.6 points and 8.0 rebounds per game during the 2012-13 season. He was selected to the Western Athletic Conference First Team.
4. Friends since the ninth grade, Sam Gaede and Nash Madden share a common interest. They love outdoor sports. Gaede and Madden co-founded the Central Valley High School Bass Fishing Club during the 2012-13 school year. Membership has grown from six to 40-plus anglers. Central Valley registered its club through The Bass Federation/Student Angler Federation at highschoolfishing.org. Insurance forms and permission slips were submitted. Other hurdles were cleared as well. Membership dues were $25 per student.
5. Greg Magni stepped down as head coach of Central Valley's varsity baseball program to become the Hawks' new athletic director. The Hawks enjoyed a breakthrough year under Magni's guidance in 2013. Central Valley qualified for the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs for the first time, posted a 19-9 overall record and finished third in the Western Athletic Conference standings (6-6). The Hawks had a 1-1 mark versus seven-time WAC champion Central Catholic. Central Valley beat crosstown-rival Ceres High 9-5 on its way to a first-place finish at Art McRae Tournament. Central Valley also posted a 12-0 victory over Division-I postseason participant Pitman.
6. Central Valley High School's varsity football team competed with and lost to two of the top programs in California.Central Catholic (15-1) won State, NorCal and Sac-Joaquin Section titles.Manteca High (13-2) captured the Division-III section crown. Central Valley compiled an 0-2 record against Manteca in 2013. The Buffaloes edged the 15th-seeded Hawks 69-55 in the opening round of the playoffs on Nov. 15 in Manteca. Manteca topped Central Valley 47-20 during the regular season in Ceres on Aug 30. Central Valley challenged Central Catholic in Western Athletic Conference play before suffering a 43-34 loss at Bulldog Stadium on Oct. 25. The outcome wasn't settled until midway through the fourth quarter. Donovin Townsend's 15-yard TD pass to a wide-open Matthew Teixeira and subsequent 2-point conversion run gave Central Catholic a nine-point lead at the 5:55 mark of the final period. The Raiders thwarted Central Valley's comeback attempt with an interception.