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CV football standouts win major awards
Barragan, Serrano named Most Outstanding Players
Estevan Barragan - photo by DALE BUTLER/Courier file photo

Central Valley's varsity football program claimed nearly every major award during the 2016 Western Athletic Conference year-end coaches' meeting.

Scott Edwards won Coach of the Year.

Erik Mejia, Oso Fregoso, Gabriel Quezada and Angel Lopez were voted Most Valuable Player, Most Outstanding Defensive Player, Most Outstanding Defensive Lineman and Most Outstanding Special Teams Player, respectively, after leading the Hawks to the WAC title.

Seniors Estevan Barragan and David Serrano were named Most Outstanding Offensive Player and Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman for the 2017 campaign.

Serrano, Barragan and Hawk teammates Vincent Bocanegra and Nasson Sanchez also earned all-conference accolades for their contributions on the gridiron.

Honors were doled out on Nov. 15 in Patterson.

"It's an honor to be presented that award," Serrano said. "I wouldn't have been able to do it without my coaches and teammates pushing me to my fullest ability."

Barragan led the WAC in rushing yards (550) and rushing touchdowns (7).

He averaged 7.2 yards per carry.

Estevan also hauled in 14 passes for 238 yards and one TD.

"Coaching kids like that keeps you in this profession," Edwards said. "He's impacted a lot of guys in the room, including the coaches. He plays the game with more heart and self-sacrifice than anybody I've been around. That's what makes him special. He's a true warrior."

"I'm very proud of him," Serrano said. "He really deserves it. I don't think there's anybody in the league that worked as hard as him during the season and summer. He had a motor that didn't stop. I knew he'd win a big award. He's one of the reasons I won my award. If he worked to his fullest ability, I tried to match him."

"I had coach Edwards for advanced weight training my freshman year," Barragan said. "He always believed in me. I never wanted to let him down. I always gave 100 percent. I just tried to do my job. I was never satisfied. Every time I watched game film, I was looking for mistakes I made. I know I could have done better."

Jonathan Barragan (Estevan's older brother) and Moses Ghiorso were the Hawks' featured running backs in 2016 and 2015, respectively.

"The guys ahead of me were really good," Estevan said. "They taught me a lot. I became a better leader. I was more vocal. I was asking more from my teammates."

Estevan was a second-team all-league pick on defense.

A standout safety, Barragan ranked first in the WAC in tackles (60).

"I've been playing defense my whole life," he said. "It's something I like doing. The funnest part is going against other teams' best guys and frustrating them. Wherever the ball was, I always tried to make big plays."

Serrano, who stands 6-foot-3 and weighs 275 pounds, anchored Central Valley's offensive line.

The Hawks racked up 1,555 yards and 16 touchdowns in five games.

Central Valley piled up 920 yards and 13 TDs on the ground.

A first-team all-conference defensive lineman, David tallied 28 tackles and one sack.

"I wanted to be one of the best linemen in the league and area," Serrano said. "I knew I had it in me. I just had to push myself to the limit. I didn't want to let my family, friends, teammates and coaches down. I still feel like I could have done better."

Barragan and Serrano teamed up at Central Valley for four years, including three at the varsity level.

Estevan and David both filled major roles as the Hawks amassed a 21-11 overall record, won one conference title and qualified for the playoff twice from 2015-17.

"It was an honor playing alongside him," Serrano said. "There are kids that are bigger, stronger and faster. But none of them had the same heart and work ethic for the game."

"I wasn't the tallest or biggest guy out there," said Barragan, who's listed generously at 5-foot-8 and 175 pounds on Central Valley's roster. "I worked really hard in the weight room to try to get to the next level."

Bocanegra, a junior lineman, was a first-team pick on defense and second-team selection on offense.

Vincent made six tackles.

Sanchez, a senior inside linebacker, was named to the WAC Second Team.

Nasson totaled 46 tackles, which ranked third in conference play.

Central Valley (2-3) and Ceres High (0-5) finished fourth and last, respectively, in the 2017 WAC standings.

"We accomplished big goals these past three years," Serrano said. "We didn't make playoffs this year so I'm not fully satisfied."