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CVs Fregoso, Barragan to play football at next level
Oso, Jonathan helped lead Hawks to record heights
Jonathan Barragan (pictured left) and Oso Fregoso signed with Valley City State University and Occidental College, respectively. - photo by Contributed to the Courier

Oso Fregoso and Jonathan Barragan played eight seasons of football together, including three at Central Valley and five with the Ceres Seahawks.

Fregoso and Barragan signed national letters of intent with Occidental College and Valley City State University, respectively, inside their school's gymnasium on April 4.

"We've grown up together," Fregoso said. "For us to finally reach our goals and dreams is a big accomplishment for us. We couldn't have done it without our families, friends, coaches and teammates."

Added Barragan: "We're happy for each other. Not everybody gets an opportunity like this. It's a dream come true."

"It's definitely going to impact their lives and motivate others," Central Valley head coach Scott Edwards said. "It's going to give other kids hope."

Fregoso considered joining Barragan in North Dakota before deciding to stay in California.

Occidental College posted a 1-8 overall record and placed fifth in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (1-6) this past season.

"I was open to all options during the recruiting process," said Fregoso, who also drew interest from Whittier College and Pacific Lutheran University. "We talked about playing for the same team. Occidental is the best fit for me because I'll get the best education possible. I also like the Los Angeles area. If I work my butt off, I'll have a good chance at playing as a freshman."

"It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," Barragan said. "I can't wait. Other schools offered me scholarships but less money. I talked with the coaches. They believe I can play freshmen year. I need to get bigger so I can be more physical."

Fregoso starred a defensive end on Central Valley's varsity football squad this past fall.

Oso was named the Western Athletic Conference's Outstanding Defensive Player.

He garnered first-team all-league recognition as well.

Fregoso racked up 72 tackles, 10 sacks, four forced fumbles, two pass deflections and on fumble recovery in 11 games.

"It was the most enjoyable season I've had playing football," Fregoso said. "We made school history. We won nine games and our first conference title. We made playoffs for the second time in three years. We accomplished all of our goals."

Jonathan enjoyed a breakout season as the Hawks' featured running back in 2016.

He was selected to the Western Athletic Conference First Team.

Jonathan piled up 1,731 all-purpose yards and 14 touchdowns.

He rushed for 1,148 yards and 13 TDs.

He caught 13 passes for 266 yards.

Jonathan also returned a punt 56 yards for a score.

"I did whatever was best for the team," Barragan said. "Coach had faith in me."

Oso and Jonathan competed under Edwards' guidance for three years.

The Hawks amassed a 21-11 overall record (12-5 WAC), claimed one conference title and participated in the playoffs twice.

"Coach played a big part in my success," Barragan said. "He's one of the best coaches I've ever had. He's like a father figure. I could tell him anything."

"He had a big impact on me," Fregoso said. "He pushed each and every one of us to our limits. He's strict because he wants us to do our best. He's a great coach."

Central Valley reached new heights in 2016.

The Hawks (9-2) made history by winning their first-ever conference championship and setting a program record for victories in a season.

"Each and every one of us put in the work during the summer, fall and spring," Fregoso said. "We knew if we did that we'd get better as individuals and as a team."

"Having chemistry helped," Barragan said. "We played together for so many years."

A total of four standouts from this past season's team will continue their gridiron careers in college, including Fregoso, Barragan, Gabriel Quezada and Erik Mejia.

Quezada and Erik Mejia will join former Hawk star running back Ja'Quan Gardner at Humboldt State.

"It's exciting for our program," said Edwards, who contacted more than 50 colleges during the recruiting process. "I want all of my guys to go to college. The harder you work, the more opportunities you are going to have."

"Fortunately for us, we have four players from our team that are getting a chance to play at the next level," Barragan said. "All of our hard work paid off. None of this would be possible without him (Edwards). We really want to thank him."