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Hawk standout Velasquez earns WAC MVP award
Andres Velasquez had a memorable final season with Central Valleys varsity boys soccer team. Velasquez collected 24 goals and nine assists in WAC play. - photo by WAYNE THALLANDER/The Courier

Andres Velasquez filled the stat sheet while starring on Central Valley's varsity boys soccer team this season.

Velasquez's production earned him Western Athletic Conference Most Valuable Player honors as voted on by the league's coaches on Feb. 20 at Pacheco High School.

"It's a huge accomplishment," Hawks head coach Omar Leon said. "He got it because of his performance and commitment. He scored in almost every single game."

Central Valley's Angel Lopez, Adrian Espinoza, Jacob Guerrero, Gerardo Flores and David Montanez, and Ceres High's Erick Martinez and Saul Ruiz were also rewarded for their outstanding play.

Velasquez, a senior forward, led the WAC in scoring with 24 goals.

He ranked third in assists (9).

Andres played soccer at Ceres High as a sophomore and freshman.

"He was new to the team last year," Leon said. "It was a transition. He's always had the talent."

Velasquez will be remembered as one of Central Valley's all-time greatest players.

He joins a list that includes Omar Orozco, Ozzie Ramos, Daniel Ochoa, Gerardo Cazares and Jose Ramirez.

Ramos (2012, 2011), Ochoa (2011), Cazares (2010) and Ramirez (2009) were also voted league MVPs.

Orozco shattered Ochoa's record for goals scored in a single season.

"This year, Andres was really focused and knew the expectations," Leon said. "Everybody looked up to him. He had a wonderful year. I'm very happy for him."

Lopez, Espinoza, Guerrero and Martinez were all selected to the WAC First Team.

Angel, a senior midfielder, ranked sixth in the WAC in both goals scored (8) and assists (6).

Lopez suited up for the Hawks for four seasons.
"He's been on varsity since he was a freshman," Leon said. "He's a totally different player now. He's matured. He's bigger, stronger and faster. He has a lot more skill. He's come a long ways."

Espinoza, a senior midfielder, ranked sixth in the WAC in assists (6).

Adrian had to sit out the preseason after transferring from Ceres High.

"He had the courage and confidence to suggest ideas, formations and new plays," Leon said. "That impressed me. He was a leader on the field. He got into really good shape playing football. That made a difference."

Guerrero, a senior, was Central Valley's top defender.

He chipped in on offense with two goals and two assists.

"All of his hard work paid off," Leon said.

Just a freshman, Erick was the Bulldogs' starting goalkeeper.

Flores, Montanez and Ruiz garnered second-team all-conference recognition.

Gerardo, a sophomore forward, ranked third in the WAC in scoring with 14 goals.

David, a senior midfielder, collected one assist.

Saul, a sophomore, started at sweeper.

Central Valley (9-4-2) and Ceres High (2-11-2) placed third and fifth, respectively, in the WAC standings.