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CV boys soccer squad chasing after elusive section crown
Jesus Yepez and Cesar Grajeda plan to help Central Valley’s varsity boys soccer program continue its tradition of excellence this winter. The Hawks have won six conference titles and participated in the playoffs 10 times under head coach Omar Leon’s guidance. - photo by Dale Butler

Central Valley’s varsity boys soccer team has accomplished just about everything under coach Omar Leon’s guidance.

Six conference titles. 

Ten playoff appearances.

The Hawks would like to check the goal of winning a section championship off their list. Central Valley has reached the finals five times.

“Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to win that particular game. If we ever make it there again, hopefully, we don’t walk away with the same feeling.”
Coach Omar Leon

“Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to win that particular game,” Leon said. “If we ever make it there again, hopefully, we don’t walk away with the same feeling.”

Central Valley’s top returners are Axel Bautista (Sr.), Gerardo Flores (Sr.), Gilberto Flores (Sr.), Roberto Pelayo (Sr.), Victor Torres (Sr.), Edivaldo Yepez (Sr.), Joel Arellano (Jr.), Cesar Grajeda (Jr.), Isaac Juarez (Jr.), Erick Martinez (Jr.), Agustin Gutierrez (So.) and Jesus Yepez (So.). 

The Hawks’ top newcomers are Marcos Covarrubias (Jr.), Alex Bautista (Fr.) and Abel Calvo (Fr.).

Torres and Gerardo Flores both earned first-team all-Western Athletic honors a season ago.

Flores collected 14 goals and nine assists.

Torres tallied two goals and two assists.

Juarez was named to the WAC Second Team.

He totaled six goals and three assists.

Gutierrez had eight goals and four assists.

Jesus Yepez had three goals and one assist.

Gilberto Flores had two goals and two assists.

Axel Bautista had two goals and one assist.

Pelayo and Edivaldo Yepez both had two goals.

Arellano had one goal and three assists.

Grajeda had one goal and one assist.

“We have a very good team,” Leon said. “We’re stronger, defensively. We need to develop a killer instinct on offense.”

Central Valley posted an 11-7-6 overall record and placed third in the Western Athletic Conference standings (5-3-2) last season.

The Hawks reached the quarterfinals of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-II playoffs.

“The bar has been set very high in the past,” Leon said. “We need to maintain that reputation. The kids know that.”

Central Valley will compete in the Central California Conference this year as part of the section’s realignment plan.

The Hawks will face Patterson, Atwater, Buhach Colony, Merced, Golden Valley and El Capitan.

“It’s always good to have an opportunity to play against different schools,” Leon said. “The competition level is going to be about the same as the WAC. I expect all the games to be close.”