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Local talent rewarded for stellar play
Fernando Cano
Junior Fernando Cano led Central Valley’s boys soccer team with 11 goals this year. Cano garnered WAC South recognition for his outstanding play. - photo by DALE BUTLER/ Courier file photo

Ceres High’s and Central Valley’s boys soccer programs placed a combined seven players on the Western Athletic Conference South Division First Team.

The voting process was completed via email last month.

The Bulldogs had four all-league selections, including Hassiel Ruiz, Gilbert Zamora III, Luis Yepez and Noah Trevino.

The Hawks had three all-conference picks in Fernando Cano, Alejandro Gonzalez and Carlos Loza.

“I based everything on stats,” Ceres High head coach Gilbert Zamora Jr. said. “I made it fair.”

“All three (Cano, Gonzalez and Loza) never missed practice or games,” Central Valley leader Horatio Garcia said. “They were very responsible.”

Ruiz’s main position was offensive midfielder.

The senior also contributed at center forward and defense.

Ruiz tallied seven goals and one assist for the WAC South champion Bulldogs (8-1-1).

“He deserved MVP,” Zamora Jr. said. “He did a lot for the team. You could put him anywhere and he could make the difference. He’s a kid that’s got a lot of talent. “He’s very disciplined. He’s more athletic than a regular soccer player. He’s something different. He can play in college.”

 “I was surprised he wasn’t picked for league MVP,” Garcia said. “He had everything—ball control, physically strong and very fast. He was a striker who couldn’t be controlled. When they needed him on defense, he was very solid.”

Zamora, a freshman, logged playing time at winger and fullback.

He collected six goals and three assists.

“He adapted to varsity quick because he’s got a lot of experience playing against tough travel teams,” Zamora Jr. said. “He was also surrounded by good players and took advantage of it.”

Coach Zamora promoted Gilbert III to varsity because of his talent.

“He earned his spot,” Gilbert Jr. said. “I treated him like any other player on the team. When it’s sports, I’m his coach. When it’s family time, he’s my son.”

Yepez, a senior midfielder/forward, had three goals and four assists.

“He’s an amazing player,” Zamora Jr. said. “He’s really athletic.”

Trevino, a junior, was a defensive midfielder.

 “Noah was a very important player to the team and was one of the best at his position,” Zamora Jr. said. “He covered a lot of ground.”

Cano led third-place Central Valley (4-5-1) in scoring with 11 goals.

The junior striker tied for second on the team in assists (4) with Loza.

“He’s very intuitive,” Garcia said. “He’s always at the right place at the right time. He’s very strong. He’s really fast.”

Gonzalez and Loza were team captains.

Gonzalez, a senior center midfielder, had one goal and a team-leading five assists.

Loza, a junior center back, contributed one goal and four assists.

“They were leaders on and off the field,” Garcia said. “Alejandro knows the game really well. I didn’t have to tell him where he needed to be. Carlos was our defensive leader. He’s a really good player.”

Luis Yepez CHS
Luis Yepez collected three goals and four assists during his final season with the Ceres High boys soccer team. - photo by DALE BUTLER/ Courier file photo