Miranda Alvear entered her senior year feeling more prepared than ever before.
A club-team change during the offseason helped elevate the Livingston striker’s game to new levels. The repetition of more competitive practices had Alvear making better runs, feeling faster and just all-around more technically sound. Still, she kept her expectations tempered entering the season, figuring the rest of her competition would follow suit.
It wasn’t until the first round of Western Athletic Conference play concluded that Alvear began to understand the gulf in class. Results kept piling up as Alvear racked up a team-high 39 goals and 26 assists. Both led the league and her 104 points ranked fourth in the section and 10th in the state. The offensive explosion helped earn her the WAC MVP.
“I was still a little bit shocked when I got it, because we finished second place, but after the first round of league I figured it was probably between me and someone from Central Valley,” Alvear said. “Coming into the season I was hoping to average a goal a game. I knew I was doing well, but I didn’t realize how well until the season was over and I looked at my stats. I was shocked.
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“Coming into the season I knew I had better control and was just all-around better offensively. I didn’t think it was going to be that big of a deal, because I figured everybody else coming back was going to be better too.”
The Ceres schools split the other major awards with Central Valley’s Citlaly Salinas and Ceres’ Dominique Koeurn earning co-Defensive Players of the Year. CV’s Maria Birones was named Coach of the Year after leading the Hawks to a second straight league title.
The Wolves were the top decorated local squad with six different players being recognized. Included in that group were three more first-team selections in Ana Rodriguez, Joceylin Vega and Kylie Garcia. Pacheco’s Yatzari Fregoso received the other local first-team nod.
Krisma Nunez (Livingston), Jennifer Barajas (Livingston), Maricruz Martinez (Pacheco) and Lisette Calderon (Los Banos) were all named to the second team.
The boys side had a little bit of controversy as Central Valley’s Andres Velasquez beat out Pacheco’s Rodolfo Rivera for MVP by a single vote. The section-champion Panthers did sweep the other major awards with Luis Vargas getting named the Defensive POY and Wes Wing named the Coach of the Year.
Pacheco dominated the all-league nods as well, placing seven on the first or second teams.
Rivera, Kyle Zambrano, Cesar Martinez, and Roberto Vargas all earned first-team nods. They were joined by Livingston’s Francisco Lopez.
Steven Balvaneda (Pacheco), Esteven Galindo (Pacheco), Marco Sobrevilla (Livingston), Abhishak Singh (Livingston), Ricardo Garcia (Livingston), Daniel Vega (Livingston), Enrique Medina (Livingston) and Yezen Zaza (Los Banos) were named to the second team.