Adrian Espinoza, Juan Castillo, Adrian Covarrubias and Martin Reyes filled key roles while leading Ceres High School’s varsity boys soccer team to a fourth-place finish in the Western Athletic Conference standings.
Espinoza, Castillo, Covarrubias and Reyes were recognized in a vote by the WAC’s head coaches this past month in Hilmar.
“They really deserved to be honored,” said Miguel Saldate, second-year head coach of the Bulldogs.
Ceres High (6-6-0, 18 points) secured the WAC’s fourth and final playoff berth thanks to its 2-1 upset win versus third-place Pacheco (8-4-0, 24 points).
Espinoza led the way with one goal and one assist as the Bulldogs avenged a 3-0 loss.
Castillo had one goal.
“It was good because both Ceres teams were fighting for a (playoff) spot,” Saldate said. “It was fun. I thought we were going to do better. But we had a lot of injuries on our team.”
Espinoza, Castillo and Covarrubias were all selected to the WAC First Team.
Espinoza, a junior midfielder, collected four goals and three assists during Ceres High’s six victories.
“He’s a very competitive player,” Saldate said. “He puts a lot of effort into every game.”
Castillo, a senior midfielder, scored twice.
Juan missed the first two WAC games because of a family emergency.
“Once he came back, we started doing better,” Saldate said. “He worked hard, too.”
Covarrubias, a senior defender, helped Ceres High notch three victories by shutout.
The Bulldogs surrendered just one goal during three of their wins.
“He worked hard at practice,” Saldate said. “He played hard. He did everything for the team.”
Reyes, a senior goalkeeper, received second-team accolades. “He’s a kid that wanted to win all of the games,” Saldate said. “There were times he played injured. He’s a very tough kid.”
Central Valley High School head coach Omar Leon didn’t nominate any of his players for all-WAC recognition.
The fifth-place Hawks (5-7-0) had their streak of consecutive playoff appearances snapped at eight seasons.