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Central Valley, Ceres High varsity boys soccer players earn all-conference honors
Central Valleys Ozzie Ramos (8) was voted Western Athletic Conference Most Valuable Player for the second year in a row. The senior midfielder collected 24 goals and 22 assists for the undefeated Hawks (12-0-0). - photo by DALE BUTLER/The Courier

Central Valley High School varsity boys soccer star Ozzie Ramos won his second straight Western Athletic Conference Most Valuable Player award in a vote by the league's head coaches on Nov. 6 in Hilmar.

It marked the sixth year in a row a player from Central Valley or Ceres High was recognized as the best player in league.

Central Valley's Daniel Ochoa (2011), Gerardo Cazares (2010) and Jose Ramirez (2009), and Ceres High's David Estrada (2008) were past winners.

"We're a small city but we got a lot of talent," Bulldogs head coach Javier Mercado said. "We've been blessed."

Added Hawks head coach Omar Leon: "The geographical area we're located in, a lot of these kids have been playing soccer all their lives. That gives them an advantage."

Ramos tallied 24 goals and 22 assists during his final season with the Hawks, who posted a perfect 12-0-0 record en route to a first-place finish in the WAC.

"Central Valley has been the top team for a while," Mercado said. "A lot of it has to do with how Ozzie played. He dominated the midfield. He was consistent."

"The vote was unanimous," Leon stated. "He (Ramos) deserves the recognition. He did a great job for our program. The rest of the players look up to him."

Central Valley's Omar Orozco, Juan Medrano and Daniel Hernandez, and Ceres High's Cris Torres, Tomas Rocha and Gustavo Villalon (Sr.) were selected to the WAC First Team.

Orozco (Sr.) collected 25 goals and nine assists.

Medrano (Sr.) contributed 15 goals and seven assists.

Hernandez (Sr.) scored four goals and dished out seven assists.

Torres (Jr.) led the Bulldogs with 13 goals and four assists.

Rocha (Sr.) added 10 goals and three assists.

Central Valley's Anthony Calvo, Jaime Lua and Jesus Mendoza, and Ceres High's Cristian Cabrales earned second-team all-conference honors.

Calvo (Sr.) had 16 assists and four goals.

Lua (Sr.) had three goals and three assists.

Mendoza (Jr.) had one goal.

Cabrales (Jr.) had seven goals and six assists.

Greg Hartsell of third-place Patterson (8-3-1) was selected WAC Coach of the Year. He beat out Mercado and Leon.

"I was surprised," Mercado said. "Coach Leon should have won it."

The Bulldogs placed second in conference play (8-3-1). Ceres High beat (2-1) and tied (4-4) Patterson this year.

The Hawks represented the WAC in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-III finals.

The Bulldogs advanced to the semifinals.