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Hawk football standouts garner recognition
Alexis Becerra portrait
Five members of Central Valley’s football program earned Central California Conference honors, including senior linebacker Alexis Becerra. - photo by DALE BUTLER/ Courier file photo

Central Valley High School football standouts Osvaldo Pelayo, Adrian Perez, Ruben Valenzuela, Alexis Becerra and Alejandro Hernandez have all earned Central California Conference honors for their contributions on the gridiron this fall.

Pelayo and Perez were selected to the CCC Second Team in a vote by the conference’s head coaches earlier this month.

Valenzuela, Becerra and Hernandez were honorable-mention picks.

“I’m happy to see some of our guys get the recognition they got,” Hawks’ head coach Derrick Goblirsch said.

“It’s a good way to end my last year of football in high school,” Perez said. “I plan on playing in college. I enjoyed playing for CV. It was a fun environment.”

Perez, a 6-foot-4 240-pound defensive lineman, tallied 47 tackles, three sacks, one fumble recovery and one pass deflection.

“His presence on the field was definitely known,” Goblirsch said. “Other teams had to game plan for him. He’s what made our defense go.”

“I had a solid year,” Perez said. “I stayed consistent throughout the season. I was in the weight room all offseason. I did a lot of sprints and ladders. I got faster and a little stronger. I was able to read offensive lines better. David Serrano (former Hawks lineman) helped me out a lot with my technique.”

Pelayo, a senior center/guard, was the Hawks’ top offensive lineman.

Central Valley racked up 2,511 yards and 24 touchdowns thanks in large part to his stellar play.

“He was the backbone of our offensive line,” Goblirsch said. “He was kind of like our coach on the field.”

Pelayo managed to earn all-league honors despite missing two games with a broken ankle.

“The two games he didn’t play, we struggled to run the ball,” Goblirsch said.

Valenzuela, a senior linebacker, had 88 tackles, two forced fumbles and one sack.

“He stepped up big time for us this year,” Goblirsch said. “He’s capable of doing whatever he wants to do. He plays with high energy. He’s a hustler. He gives full effort 100 percent of the time. As a coach, you appreciate that.”

Becerra, a senior linebacker, had 63 tackles and two interceptions.

“He’s just naturally talented. He’s not the biggest, faster and strongest guy. He has a knack for getting to the ball. He’s got the right mindset.”
Coach Derrick Goblirsch on Alexis Becerra

“He’s just naturally talented,” Goblirsch said. “He’s not the biggest, faster and strongest guy. He has a knack for getting to the ball. He’s got the right mindset.”

Hernandez, a senior defensive end, had 62 tackles, four sacks and one fumble recovery.

He played linebacker as a junior.

“He was our biggest surprise of the year,” Goblirsch said. “He made huge strides in the weight room. He worked hard and did his job all season. He mastered his position.”

Central Valley compiled a 4-6 overall record and finished in sixth place in the CCC standings (1-5).

Pelayo, Perez, Valenzuela, Becerra, Hernandez and the Hawks made history during the 2020-21 school year. Central Valley completed its first undefeated season and captured its second conference championship. The Hawks went 5-0 and placed first with a 4-0 mark in the Western Athletic Conference South standings.

Pelayo, Perez, Valenzuela, Becerra and Hernandez will be lost to graduation in June.

“They’re all going to be missed,” Goblirsch said. “I can’t say enough good things about them."