Central Valley’s tradition-rich varsity boys soccer program placed first during its first season in the Central California Conference.
Longtime leader Omar Leon and standout players Gerardo Flores, Erick Martinez, Victor Torres, Cesar Grajeda, Gilberto Flores, Isaac Juarez and Edivaldo Yepez garnered praise during the CCC’s year-end coaches’ meeting on Feb. 11 at Golden Valley High School.
“I didn’t agree with the MVP,” Leon said. “Other than that, I was very pleased with the overall voting and results of the first team.”
Leon was voted Coach of the Year.
“It’s nice to see him get that award,” Gerardo Flores stated. “He deserved it. He motivated us to be better on the field. He was organized. He was demanding. If you did what he said, he respected you. He was also fun to be around, especially at practice. I’ll always remember him.”
“I want to give all the credit to the players. They had great attitudes. They gave it their all.”Omar Leon
“I want to give all the credit to the players,” said Leon, who’s led the Hawks to seven league titles, including one in the CCC, and three in the both the Western Athletic Conference and Valley Oak League. “They had great attitudes. They gave it their all.”
Gerardo Flores was voted Offensive Player of the Year.
Flores, a senior striker, ranked first on the team in both goals scored (28) and assists (8).
“I’m happy,” Gerardo said. “It’s an award recognizing me for what I’ve been training for most of my life.”
“He turned out to be a great player,” Leon said. “He was skilled. He was very coachable. He was committed. He had a desire to keep improving.”
Leon nominated Gerardo Flores for CCC Most Valuable Player.
“The voting was very close,” Leon said. “Gerardo deserved it.”
“It would have been nice to get it,” Gerardo said. “I’m not upset. The coaches from other schools picked. It’s their opinion. I just tried to be original every time I was out there.”
Martinez was voted Goalkeeper of the Year.
He totaled 123 saves.
“Erick deserved it,” Leon said. “He got scored on the least in league. He had the most saves. He’s a great student as well.”
Martinez and Gerardo Flores were named to the CCC First Team as well, along with Victor Torres, Cesar Grajeda and Gilberto Flores.
Torres, a senior midfielder, had one goal and four assists.
Grajeda, a junior defender, had two goals.
Gilberto Flores, a senior defender, had two assists.
“We had the two best defenders in league,” Gerardo said.
Edivaldo Yepez and Isaac Juarez and were both selected to the CCC Second Team.
Yepez, a senior midfielder, had eight goals and five assists.
Juarez, a junior forward, had four goals and three assists.
Hawk teammates Jesus Yepez, Abel Calvo, Joel Arellano and Roberto Pelayo received honorable-mention accolades.
Yepez, a sophomore midfielder, had 13 goals and five assists.
Calvo, a freshman midfielder/forward, had three goals and one assist.
Arellano, a junior defender/striker, had two goals and two assists.
Pelayo, a senior defender, had two goals and one assist.
Seven of Central Valley’s 11 starters earned all-conference honors.
“It just shows the balance and amount of talent we had on the team,” Gerardo said.
The Hawks compiled a 10-2-0 in the CCC standings.
Central Valley ranked first in offense and defense in conference play.
The Hawks outscored their opponents, 37-9.
“We worked hard at practice and it showed on the field,” Gerardo said. “I wish we could keep playing. I’ll cherish every moment I’ve had at CV.”