Oakdale’s 2015 high school soccer season came to a close in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division III Finals on Nov. 14, and the Mustang squads met for the final time for their end of the season banquet and awards ceremony shortly thereafter. Players, coaches, parents and fans gathered at the OHS cafeteria on Tuesday night, Nov. 17 to celebrate both the junior varsity and varsity teams.
The junior varsity team, which went 10-1 and was crowned Valley Oak League champions, saw a handful of awards presented to its players during the ceremony. Head coach Jaime Martinez opened the night with a speech showing his gratitude to the players, parents and fans for their support of the team during the season. On their way to a 10-1 record, the team outscored their league opponents 68-8 and Martinez pointed out that two of those goals were scored by their own players. The first junior varsity award that was handed out went to Victor Par as he was named Most Improved. Martinez followed up with the presentation of the Coaches Award, which he presented to Alex Zamora. Best Defense award went to two players as Alexander Gonzales and Elijah Ryan were co-winners for the prestigious award honoring their defensive efforts throughout the season. Izzy Valero, who was called up to varsity during the playoffs, took home the Best Offense honors. Valero had an instant impact for the varsity team, as he scored a dramatic goal against Mira Loma in the team’s opening round playoff game. Valero was also recognized as Co-Most Valuable Player along with Westen Wright.
Following the junior varsity honors, varsity head coach Alfredo Quiroga took the microphone to announce his recipients for the 2015 honors. Senior Derrick Pennington was presented with the Coaches Award to begin the varsity honors. Although Pennington was one of 11 seniors on the team, he was the team’s captain and a leader to the team both on and off the field. Jake Burchell earned the team’s Most Improved Award, as the senior midfielder scored two goals and added two assists in the 2015 campaign. With the talent that the Section Finals runner-ups had on their roster, it was hard to pick just one standout from the following categories, thus resulting in co-recipients for each. Best Defense was presented to a pair of juniors, Manuel Aguilar and Juan Arias. Senior Michael Aruza and junior Wesley Allen took home Best Offense award. Aruza had 11 assists and six goals on the year, while Allen added 18 goals and 12 assists this season. Quiroga handed out the final award of the evening as Zidane Saucedo and David Serrano were announced as the team’s Co-MVPs. Saucedo, a senior midfielder, had six goals and dished out three assists in his final season at Oakdale. Fellow senior and midfielder Serrano had seven goals and a pair of assists.
The night was capped off by a 20-minute DVD that featured moments captured both on and off the field by the team’s videographer, Dan Trujillo. The moving DVD featured game highlights, as well as the team on the bus during travel games.