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Second-place finish for Central Valley
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The competitive juices were flowing during the Central Valley High School varsity boys soccer team's intersquad scrimmage on Tuesday, Aug. 21. Tied 0-0 at intermission, the red team which consisted of potential starters for the upcoming season scored three times in the final 30 minutes on its way to a hard-fought 3-0 victory over the reserve-led white team.

First-year head coach Omar Leon finalized his roster on Thursday.

"Some of the players that I cut could have been starters at other high schools," he said.

Buoyed by a wealth of talent and depth, the 2007 Hawks ushered in the new year with a second-place finish at the Sierra Cup on Saturday in Manteca. Central Valley amassed a 1-1-2 record.

"Overall, they did a great job," Leon said. "I was really happy with their attitude and performance. Everyone was encouraging each other. They tried their best."

Central Valley lost 2-0 to Hilmar in the title game. The Yellowjackets defeated Livingston 2-1 in overtime for the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V championship last season.

"Before the tournament everybody was talking about Hilmar and Franklin because they have really good teams," Leon said. "No one was talking about Central Valley because we're a new school. We don't have a lot of history."

Central Valley and Hilmar battled for 60 minutes.

"It could have gone either way," Leon said. "We had three chances in front of the goal in the first half but didn't put them away."

The Hawks beat Sierra (2-1) and tied Escalon (1-1) and Orestimba (3-3).

Central Valley utilized a zone defense during the course of the tournament.

"It was an opportunity to see who could perform according to the system I want them to play," Leon said. "Once they get it down, it's going to be a solid group of kids."

The Hawks will rely on team instead of individual play this year.

"That's what we need to work on," Leon said. "The communication."

Central Valley tied for third-place in the Valley Oak League standings during its first varsity season in 2006.

"Our objective is to do better than last year," Leon said.