A standout on Central Valley High School’s boys soccer team for three seasons, Gerardo Flores made history this past week at the college level.
Flores became just the second male player from Cal State San Bernardino to register a hat trick in the past nine years.
The freshman forward contributed off the bench in a big way as the Coyotes rolled to a 6-1 win over Stanislaus State in California Collegiate Athletic Association play on Friday in Turlock.
“I just want to help the team out,” said Flores, who was named CCAA Player of the Week on Tuesday. “That’s the most important part.”
It was a memorable homecoming for Flores, who longed to return to Stanislaus County.
Central Valley High School is located less than 10 miles away from Stanislaus State.
“The last time I was here, it was for two days a month and a half ago,” he said. “I didn’t get to see everybody. It was good being back home and to play like that in front of everyone. I made my loved ones happy and that makes me.”
Flores scored goals in the 37th and 41st minutes in the opening half as 7-1-1 San Bernardino stormed out to a 4-0 lead in the opening half.
He netted his third goal 12 minutes into the second half.
“I have to give a shout out to my team,” he said. “That’s a big reason I scored three goals. They’re happy for me.”
“When you’re having fun, that’s when you play your best,” Flores added. “I woke up feeling good. I was having positive thoughts. I was ready for the game. I was focused.”
Flores posed for pictures with his parents, twin brother and two sisters after the game.
He also chatted with Central Valley boys soccer head coach Omar Leon.
“A lot of people came out to support me,” he said. “It was a fun environment to play in. I didn’t feel any pressure. I was nervous. I just wanted to perform well for my family and friends.”
Flores added to his career-goal total in San Bernardino’s 3-0 win at Chico State on Sunday.
He scored in the 51st and 58th minutes.
“I’m happy with the performance,” Flores said. “But at this level, the best players are consistent.”