Central Valley and Ceres High fans will be thoroughly entertained during the fall sports season.
The Hawks and Bulldogs both have exceptional individual talent.
1.Ja'Quan Gardner will have an opportunity to become the Stanislaus District's all-time leader in rushing yards during his senior year with Central Valley's varsity football team. Gardner's racked up 3,457 yards and 40 touchdowns the past two seasons. Ja'Quan needs 1,594 yards to eclipse Central Catholic grad Louis Bland's Stanislaus District career mark (5,140) according to an article published in the Modesto Bee.
2. Senior midfielder Ozzie Ramos will fill a vital role as Central Valley's varsity boys soccer team looks to continue its run of dominance. The Hawks set a program record for wins in a season last year. Central Valley (24-3-2) captured their fifth straight conference championship and secured their sixth consecutive playoff berth. Ramos, 2012 Western Athletic Conference Most Valuable Player, collected 22 goals and 14 assists. A third-year starter, Ozzie has already established himself as one of Central Valley's all-time greatest players. The list includes Ramos, Daniel Ochoa, Gerardo Cazares and Jose Ramirez.
3. A role player with the Bulldogs' varsity boys water polo program as a freshman, Zachary Jones was unstoppable in the pool in 2012. Jones racked up a team-leading 51 goals and 50 steals as Ceres High captured the Western Athletic Conference championship-its first league title in eight years-and returned to the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs. Zachary was voted Western Athletic Conference Most Valuable Player. Jones set personal records while capturing a bronze medal in the 50 free and finishing eighth in the 100 free at the Sac-Joaquin Section Frosh-Soph Boys Swimming Championships in May. He took first in the 100 free for the second straight year and placed fourth in the 100 breast during the WAC varsity finals.
4. A standout on Ceres High's varsity girls golf team since her freshman year, junior Caitlin Pfaff will try to win her second consecutive Western Athletic Conference Most Valuable Player Award. Pfaff has improved vastly each season with the Bulldogs. She racked up 92 points while finishing atop the conference's individual standings last year. She placed third and earned first-team all-league honors in 2011. Ceres High's secured back-to-back playoff berths the past two seasons thanks in large part to Caitlin's clutch play.
5. Ceres High varsity girls tennis standout Marifer Ochoa has a family tradition to uphold. Younger brother/Bulldog sophomore Julio claimed his second straight Western Athletic Conference varsity boys tennis singles crown during the springtime. Older Brother Luis (class of 2010) was also a two-time league champion. Marifer captured the WAC singles title as a freshman in 2010, beating Alexis Barcellos. She lost in the finals to 2013 Los Banos grad Barcellos her sophomore and junior years. Ochoa earned first-team all-league honors this past season. She won 17 of 21 matches, finished in the top eight at the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-II Individual Championships and led the Bulldogs to their sixth straight playoff appearance. Marifer's posted a 42-6 record in WAC play since her freshman year.
6. Lisette Carretero had a breakout season while starring on Ceres High's varsity girls cross country team as a sophomore. She was awarded an all-league patch for her eighth-place showing at the Western Athletic Conference championships. Lisette helped lead the Bulldogs to a three-way tie for first place in the WAC regular season dual-meet standings (5-1). Older sister/2013 Ceres High grad Cecilia finished second three times at the conference finals.
7. Mia Lorenzo is Central Valley's best all-round female athlete. A standout in three sports, Lorenzo will suit up for the Hawks' varsity volleyball squad this fall. She totaled 10 kills in two wins versus crosstown-rival Ceres High last season. Mia earned second-team, all-WAC honors in softball during the spring. She batted .341 with 10 RBIs. She averaged 9.8 points, 3.9 steals, 3.8 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game while starring in girls basketball last winter. Lorenzo shot 39 percent (13 of 39) from 3-point range.